Alabama walks off Arkansas baseball after throwing error in the 10th | Whole Hog Sports (2024)

Alabama pinch runner Mason Swinney scored on a throwing error by Arkansas pitcher Jake Faherty in the 10th inning and the 17th-ranked Crimson Tide snapped the top-ranked Razorbacks’ 11-game win streak with a 4-3 victory Saturday at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.

Faherty bobbled a grounder by TJ McCants, then airmailed a throw toward first baseman Ben McLaughlin. That allowed Swinney to score from second base.

Alabama (23-12, 5-9 SEC) snapped a five-game losing streak in front of a near-capacity attendance of 5,800. The game was played just after the end of the Crimson Tide’s A-Day spring football game.

“I had a mentor early on in my career and he told me three of the most important things in baseball are faith, love and home-field advantage,” Alabama coach Rob Vaughn said. “My goodness, was that home-field advantage something else tonight.”

Faherty replaced Gage Wood on the mound after Wood allowed a leadoff double to Alabama five-hole hitter Kade Snell. Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn called the ending disappointing.

“I’d have rather had the ball just leave the yard if we get walked off,” Van Horn said. “It’s tough losing on a play like that, a comebacker. The runner had broke from second; if he fields the ball, you’ve got an opportunity to just throw him out at third base. Obviously you saw what happened.”

Arkansas extended the game with some unbelievable plays in the ninth inning. Peyton Holt’s two-out home run against Alabama closer Alton Davis tied the game 3-3.

In the bottom of the ninth, Arkansas right fielder Kendall Diggs laid out to make a leaping catch on the warning track to rob Justin Lebron of a game-winning hit. Diggs had a wound on his hand open when he hit the dirt, but he quickly threw the ball back into the infield to keep a runner from trying to score.

“My only chance at it was to launch myself in the air,” Diggs said. “It worked out. I tried to get up quick and get the ball in, knowing there were runners on.

“I haven’t been producing like I wanted at the plate, so I’m just trying to help. I just want to win, man, and do everything we can.”

With two outs, shortstop Wehiwa Aloy made a sharp stop, spin and turn to throw out Will Hodo with a runner at third base.

“They go out and make two unreal plays in the bottom of the ninth to send it to extras and had every ounce of momentum coming off that field,” Vaughn said.

But Arkansas could not capitalize in the top of the 10th as Alton Davis retired the Razorbacks’ 9-1-2 hitters in order.

“We didn’t do anything in the top of the 10th, which was a little disappointing,” Van Horn said. “Then, obviously, we hung a breaking ball and [Snell] hit it off the wall. Then you guys know what happened after that. It was a tough loss, but we played hard and have a chance to win the series.”

Alabama took a 3-2 lead on McCants’ two-out double to right field in the ninth. The line drive sailed just over the leaping glove of McLaughlin at first. McCants’ hit was against left-on-left specialist Stone Hewlett, who also issued a two-out walk before stranding the bases loaded.

All three of Arkansas’ runs came via solo homers. Peyton Stovall hit a two-out homer to right field in the fifth to pull the Razorbacks within 2-1 and Jared Sprague-Lott hit a leadoff homer to left in the sixth to tie the game 2-2.

Holt, starting in left field for the first time, led Arkansas at the plate and went 3 for 4. Stovall had a pair of hits with the home run and a double.

Alabama out-hit Arkansas 8-6. The Razorbacks have struggled offensively in the series and have 11 hits through two games.

“I’m just trying to get some offense,” Van Horn said of the decision to start Holt, who improved his team-best batting average to .367. “We haven’t had any offense from our outfield, honestly, in a while. We’ve got to have some outfielders start swinging the bat for us.”

Hodo and Gage Miller hit leadoff homers in the second and third innings against Arkansas starter Mason Molina to give Alabama a 2-0 lead. Molina took a six-inning no-decision in his longest outing of the year. The left-hander threw 67 of 101 pitches for strikes and allowed 2 runs on 5 hits with 6 strikeouts.

“I thought Mason Molina did a really good job tonight,” Van Horn said.

Stovall’s homer was the only blemish for Crimson Tide lefty Justin Farone, who pitched five innings. Right-hander Tyler Fay added three innings of solid relief, but also allowed Sprague-Lott’s game-tying homer.

“Greg went out and competed his tail off and executed pitches and didn’t flinch,” Vaughn said. “He gave up a solo shot and that was it, and I thought he threw the ball extremely well.”

Why Arkansas lost

The Razorbacks’ offense has been a concern in recent weeks, but great pitching made up for hitting struggles.

With three solo home runs, Arkansas did not provide its pitchers with enough against the Crimson Tide.

Player of the Game: Alabama CF TJ McCants

McCants was 2 for 5 with the go-ahead double in the ninth and put the ball in play in 10th that led to the winning run.

The speedy transfer from Ole Miss was also great defensively as he covered a lot of ground in center field.

Up next

Arkansas and Alabama will play the rubber match of the series Sunday at 1 p.m.

Alabama walks off Arkansas baseball after throwing error in the 10th | Whole Hog Sports (2024)


Alabama walks off Arkansas baseball after throwing error in the 10th | Whole Hog Sports? ›

Alabama pinch runner Mason Swinney scored on a throwing error by Arkansas pitcher Jake Faherty in the 10th inning and the 17th-ranked Crimson Tide snapped the top-ranked Razorbacks' 11-game win streak with a 4-3 victory Saturday at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.

Who won the Alabama-Arkansas softball game? ›

Arkansas softball pulls out series win versus No. 15 Alabama, Leinstock shines from the circle.

Has Arkansas ever won the SEC championship? ›

This year's championship team joins past SEC champions from Arkansas in 1999, 2004 and 2021. The Razorbacks also won Southwest Conference championships in 1989 and 1990. Van Horn has led the team to the last three conference titles.

Has Arkansas ever won a SEC championship game? ›

The Razorbacks have won thirteen Southwest Conference titles, and although they have never won a Southeastern Conference title, the Razorbacks have won the Southeastern Conference West Division Championship three times, as of 2009.

Did Arkansas win the Citrus Bowl? ›

ORLANDO, Fla. -- The University of Michigan football team became the first Big Ten team to win the CompUSA Citrus Bowl in five years as the 15th-ranked Wolverines defeated No. 11 Arkansas 45-31.

Has Arkansas ever won NCAA? ›

Under the coaching leadership of Nolan Richardson, the Hogs won the national championship in 1994, defeating Duke, and appeared in the championship game the following year, finishing as runner-up to UCLA. The Razorbacks have made six NCAA Final Four appearances (1941, 1945, 1978, 1990, 1994, and 1995).

How many championships does Alabama softball have? ›

National championships

Women's sports (8): Team gymnastics: 6 (1988, 1991, 1996, 2002, 2011, 2012) Softball: 1 (2012)

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