TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Behind Peyton Stovall’s two-run offender and Cayden Wallace’s three-run launcher in the fifth, No. 7 Arkansas (38-14, 18-10 SEC) overwhelmed Alabama (27-25, 10-17 SEC) with seven unanswered runs on en route to a 7-3 win to open the series on Thursday night at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.
With the win, the Razorbacks have won 18 or more conference games for the fifth straight year. SEC East foe Florida was the last team to accomplish this feat, going from 2014 to 2018.
Arkansas and No. 6 Texas A&M (34-16, 18-10 SEC) remain at the top of the SEC Western Division standings with two games to go. The Hogs are seeking their fourth straight division title (2018, 2019 & 2021).
Will McEntire started Thursday night with the SEC for the first time in his career, giving the Razorbacks four innings with three runs. The redshirt sophomore hit four while allowing eight hits and giving up two walks before making way for the bullpen.
Alabama led 3-0 after four innings, but Arkansas upped the ante offensively in the fifth. The Hogs broke through for five runs thanks to Stovall and Wallace’s rally-igniting home runs.
Stovall’s double homer to right center was his fourth of the season, while Wallace’s triple tank across the court at left was his ninth of the year. Wallace is now cutting .306/.399/.526 with 46 runs batted, which equals for the team’s lead.
Arkansas led 5-3 and turned to Kole Ramage, Evan Taylor and Brady Tygart to defend the lead. The trio did just that, combining eight strikeouts over five scoreless innings to McEntire’s relief.
Ramage fanned two out of the bullpen in his 1 1/3 innings while Taylor hit a season-high four over two frames to go 5-0 in the season. Tygart secured the last 1 2/3 innings, batting two and securing his eighth save of the year.
The bullpen’s job got even easier in the top of ninth place after the Jalen Battles double extended the Hogs’ lead to 7-3 with two runs to the left center gap. Battles ended his night with two hits, tying him with Wallace for the team’s lead in multi-hit games (17) that season.
Arkansas will seek its fifth straight win against Alabama in a nationally televised ball game at The Joe tomorrow night. The first pitch is scheduled for Friday, May 20 at 7:00 p.m. on SEC Network with Tom Hart (play-by-play) and Chris Burke (analyst).
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