Alabama baseball is 13-15 through the first 28 games of the Greg Goff era, including a 2-7 record against other SEC teams.
“I didn’t come here to lose,” Goff said. “We just have to continue to get better. We have to continue to practice and work on the fundamentals, so whenever we are in a situation to win the series, we win that series.”
Arkansas was the latest SEC opponent for the Crimson Tide.
The first two games were lopsided victories for both teams, with the final score of 7-1 in both games.
Blaine Knight started game one for the Razorbacks. He dominated the Crimson Tide going eight innings and allowed just one run and three hits. At one point he sat down 19 straight Alabama hitters. After the first inning, he allowed one runner in the eighth inning where Tanner DeVinny doubled off the center field wall.
“Hats off to him, he pitched his tail off,” DeVinny said. “He was able to locate and kept us off balance. As an offense, we are going to have to come back tomorrow and put this one behind us. He was really good at throwing any pitch in any count.”
Arkansas’ offense put seven runs against Alabama, with five runs coming against starter Jake Walters, along with 17 hits.
Alabama’s offense woke up in game two. It put up four runs in the second inning, all on Arkansas starter Trevor Stephan. Stephan made it just 1.1 innings before being removed in the second.
“I like big innings, I don’t care how we get them [runs],” Goff said. “It’s the first time we’ve had to give our pitchers a chance to relax. It was really good to get a big inning early.”
Alabama’s pitching staff answered in game two throwing Dylan Duarte. Duarte went 8.1 innings, which was a new career high. He also allowed just one run off six hits.
With both offenses having big days in the series it was suiting that the series came down to the ninth inning of game three.
The ninth inning started with a single up the middle for Arkansas. Chad Spanberger followed up with a long at bat that eventually led to a pop fly to short left field, that landed between three Alabama defenders for a single. After a sacrifice bunt and an intentional walk, Carson Shaddy singled over the outstretched glove of Cody Henry, for the two go-ahead runs, and an eventual 8-5 win for Arkansas.
Alabama came back two separate times in the game. The first time was in the bottom of the third inning, where trailing by three, Kyle Kaufman hit a three-run home run over the left field wall.
The second came in the seventh trailing by two runs. With two outs in the inning Chandler Avant singled through the left side, advancing Logan Carey to third. Carey would come into score after Kyle Kaufman’s infield single. Avant would come in just three pitches later off a wild pitch.
Neither starter went far in the game. Alabama starter Nick Eicholtz went just 3.1 innings and was tagged with three runs off eight hits. Arkansas starter Josh Alberius went just three innings and gave up three runs off five hits.
The series loss makes the Crimson Tide 0-3 in SEC series under Goff. In the finale against Arkansas the Crimson Tide had mental errors that cost it the game.
“There has to be a point where we look at the weekend and we can’t say ‘there were two or three plays or pitches that cost us the win,’” Goff said. “We have to start winning those games if we are going to make it to the post season. We need to make those pitches and those plays.”
Alabama travels to Troy on Tuesday and hosts the Trojans on Wednesday.
Source:: The Crimson White Sports