Fayetteville, AR (UofA) – Senior Rick Nomura almost had a senior weekend to remember when he hit a go-ahead two-run home run in the eighth inning against Alabama. The Hogs were one strike away from clinching the victory in the ninth before the Crimson Tide plated four runs en route to handing Arkansas a 7-4 loss at Baum Stadium.
Arkansas (26-25, 7-20 SEC) battled Alabama (30-21, 15-12) in what had turned into a pitching duel all afternoon. Both teams scratched across two runs in the first three innings, but then put up zeroes from the fourth through seventh innings.
Nomura’s home run, which was his fourth of the year, came after the Crimson Tide brought in their closer Thomas Burrows (2-0), who registered a save earlier in the series. After Cullen Gassaway reached on an error, Nomura corked the first pitch he saw with two outs into the Hog Pen in left field, giving Arkansas the 4-3 lead.
Razorback pitcher James Teague (3-4), who was brought in to pitch in the eighth, nearly finished it out in the ninth, but gave up a pair of two-out singles after walking a batter to load the bases.
Freshman starting pitcher Blaine Knight pitched well for 4 2/3 innings, allowing just two earned runs on four hits with four strikeouts. Alabama, which came in with six home runs through the first two games of the series, hit another in the first off Knight, giving it seven home runs in three games. Knight was able to settle down afterward, allowing just three hits during the rest of his outing.
Gassaway picked up his second-straight multi-hit game, going 2-for-3 with one run scored and one walk. Freshman Grant Koch had a double down the left field line back in the second inning to help Arkansas score its first two runs of the game. The double capped a 3-for-8 weekend (.375) with all three of his hits being doubles.