Alabama blown out by No. 9 Arkansas in SEC home opener, 12-3

The Razorbacks combined for 15 hits including three home runs in rout of the Crimson Tide

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The Alabama baseball team had a really bad day.

First, the Crimson Tide lost its SEC home opener to visiting No. 9 Arkansas on Friday, 12-3.

It then announced that sophomore catcher Sam Praytor will miss the rest of the season due to an injury in his throwing arm.

“Really tough night for us,” Alabama coach Brad Bohannon said. “The game got away from us there in the second inning, and to Arkansas’ credit the guys had a lot of good swings.”

The Crimson Tide failed to post anything on the scoreboard until the ninth inning, long after the outcome had been decided. Arkansas' runs came early and often, with the Razorbacks registering 15 hits against Crimson Tide pitchers.

The first was a solo home run by the second player to bat, sophomore right fielder Heston Kjerstad.

The Razorbacks topped that by adding six runs in the second. A single to center field by freshman left fielder Christian Franklin scored sophomore designated hitter Matt Goodheart, and was followed by a three-run single by Kjerstad. Senior first baseman Trevor Ezell doubled to left center field and junior center fielder Dominic Fletcher brought him in with a single to right.

The lead grew to 8-0 in the third, off of doubles by Goodheart and Jacob Nesbit.

The freshman third baseball hit a two-run home run to left center field in the top of the eighth, giving Arkansas a 10-0 lead.

The Razorbacks' final home run happened in the the ninth, with Fletcher sending the ball into the heart of the student section in right field. Three batters later, junior second baseman Jack Kenley singled to right, and senior catcher Zack Plunkett came in for the score.

Keyed by a double by Johnny Hawk, Alabama rallied for three runs during its final at-bat. The rally included two walks, a wild pitch and a fielder's choice.

Alabama starting pitcher Sam Finnerty (4-2) was credited with the loss. He allowed eight runs off of nine hits in four innings pitched with six strikeouts and no walks.

”[Finnerty] wasn’t sharp,” Bohannon said. “He’s been great every time this year. It just wasn’t his night. A lot of hard contact with Arkansas.

“It was a tough night for us, and the whole key is that we don’t bring it to the park tomorrow.”

For Arkansas, junior Isaiah Campbell (5-0) earned the win, scattering five hits over seven innings.

With the loss, Alabama now has an overall record of 18-5 (1-3 SEC). The Razorbacks move to 19-3 (4-0).

Alabama continues its SEC homestand against Arkansas on Saturday. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m. CT (SEC Network+).

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Christopher  Walsh
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