Bullpen throws 4.2 scoreless innings as No. 12 Arkansas beats Alabama 3-1
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Five Arkansas pitchers combined to allow one unearned run on four hits as the 12th-ranked Razorbacks opened their series against Alabama with a 3-1 win on Thursday night at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.
The Razorbacks improved to 22-8 overall and 7-3 in the Southeastern Conference, while the Crimson Tide dropped to 19-12 and 7-3 in league play.
The Arkansas bullpen was the story of the night as four Razorback relievers combined to throw 4.2 scoreless innings. Jalen Beeks (4-0) earned the win out of the bullpen, striking out three and allowing just one hit in 2.2 innings. Beeks extended his streak of scoreless innings to 16.2. Trey Killian worked a third of an inning, Chris Oliver struck out both batters he faced and Colby Suggs closed it out with a scoreless ninth inning, recording his fourth save of the season.
Arkansas starter Barrett Astin did not figure into the decision. Astin allowed an unearned run on three hits and struck out four in 4.1 innings.
Alabama starter Charley Sullivan (3-2) took the loss. Sullivan gave up three runs, only one earned, on eight hits and struck out three in five innings.
The Arkansas offense pounded out 12 hits. It was the Razorbacks’ sixth double-digit hit effort in 10 conference games this season. Willie Schwanke led the way at the plate, going 3-for-3. Joe Serrano and Tyler Spoon each had two hits and scored a run. Jacob Morris and Matt Vinson each contributed an RBI.
Brett Booth, Cameron Carlisle, Andrew Miller and Georgie Salem each had one hit to account for the Crimson Tide’s four.
The Razorbacks struck first, scoring a run in the top of the second. Vinson drew a 10-pitch walk to start the inning and then advanced to second after a sacrifice bunt by Wise. An infield single by Schwanke put runners on first and third. Morris then laid down a perfect bunt up the first-base line for the run-scoring single.
Arkansas stretched the lead to 3-0 with two runs in the top of the fifth. Serrano reached on a two-base error on a dropped pop fly to shortstop to start the inning. Spoon then grounded a single to left and a fielding error on the play allowed Serrano to score from third. With one out, Brian Anderson singled to right, moving Spoon to third. Vinson then drove in a run on a fielder’s choice groundout.
Alabama got a run back in the bottom of the fifth. Carlisle reached on an infield single to lead off the inning, but was retired on a fielder’s choice groundout by Mikey White. A base hit to right by Miller put runners on first and second. Salem hit what appeared to be an inning-ending double play to second baseman, but Schwanke couldn’t handle Anderson’s throw to first as the ball got past Schwanke, allowing White to score.
Alabama did not go quietly in the ninth as the Crimson Tide put a pair of runners on base. Kyle Overstreet drew an 11-pitch walk to start the inning. After a wild pitch moved Overstreet to second, Chance Vincent grounded out to second, advancing Overstreet to third. After White struck out swinging for the second out, a walk to Miller put base runners on the corners. Salem battled Suggs in a 10-pitch at bat, but Suggs won the battle, inducing a groundout to short to end the game.