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Alabama Baseball Clinches SEC Berth, Downs No. 5 Arkansas 8-6

A six-run fifth inning propelled the Crimson Tide past the Razorbacks and put it in the position it needed to clinch a spot in next week's tournament.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — On Senior Night, Alabama baseball toppled No. 5 Arkansas 8-6, clinching a berth in the SEC Tournament in the process.

The win was powered by a fifth inning that saw the Crimson Tide score six runs en route to the victory. While Friday's win means that Alabama will be making a trip to Hoover next week, Saturday's series finale with the Razorbacks will play a part in determining the team's seeding.

"It's all a testament to working harder and good coaching and working really hard — that's all there is to it," Alabama senior first baseman Drew Williamson said. "You keep progressing, and you get where you want to be."

Arkansas jumped on the scoreboard first with runs scored in the second and fourth innings, giving the Razorbacks an early 2-0 lead. In the bottom of the fourth, an RBI-single by Alabama third baseman Zane Denton cut the Arkansas lead in half.

The Razorbacks responded in the top of the fifth by scoring two more runs and jumping ahead 4-1. At the time, it seemed like same story, different day for the Crimson Tide. However, the Alabama lineup had a few more tricks up its sleeve.

In the bottom of the fifth, Alabama scored six runs off of five hits and two walks. The inning was highlighted by a one-out single by designated hitter Owen Diodati that sent both left fielder Tommy Seidl and Denton across the plate.

In the top of the sixth, center fielder Andrew Pinckney put the icing on the cake with a leadoff solo home run to put the Crimson Tide up by four runs.

Arkansas responded with two runs in the top of the seventh, but it was the last time either team would score and Alabama left Senior Night with an 8-6 win.

On the mound, Alabama starter Jacob McNairy (6-2) was credited with the win. In total, McNairy surrendered four runs off of six hits while he walked three batters and struck out seven. Closer Dylan Ray (6) was issued the save.

Arkansas starter Connor Noland (5-4) was saddled with the loss.

"A really good win for us tonight," Alabama head coach Brad Bohannon said. "Really can't say enough good things about Arkansas. I'm really impressed with their team. They're physical, they got a nice mix and balance offensively and really impressive arms on the mound.

"So it's great to get a win over a legitimate top-five, top-10 team like that."

With the win, Alabama moves to 28-25 overall and is 11-17 in SEC play. Meanwhile, Arkansas drops to 38-16 on the season and is 18-12 in the conference. The Crimson Tide and the Razorbacks will face each other one final time in Saturday's series finale (1 p.m. CT, SEC Network+).

Alabama Stats

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Arkansas Stats

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How it happened...

Final Score: Alabama 8, Arkansas 6

Top 9

  • Lanzilli struck out swinging. Ball game.
  • Dylan Ray enters the game to replace Guffey on the mound.
  • Moore singled through the left side, Wallace advanced to second. Two out, runners on first and second for Lanzilli.
  • Turner flied out to left, and the Razorbacks are down to their final out.
  • Wallace singled through the right side. Runner on first, one out.
  • Leach popped up to second. One out.
  • Leach pinch hit for Gregory.
  • Rose to center field, Eblin to second base, Pinckney to right field.

Bottom 8

  • Tamez grounded out to third. Inning over.
  • Williamson advanced to second on a wild pitch.
  • Williamson reached on an error by the shortstop.
  • Pinckney struck out swinging. Two out.
  • Hamiter struck out swinging. One out.

Top 8

  • Battles grounded into a double play. Side retired.
  • Stovall struck out swinging. One out.
  • Webb singled to center field. Nobody out, runner on first for Stovall.

Bottom 7

  • Rose grounded out to short. Inning over.
  • Jarvis struck out swinging. Two out.
  • Diodati struck out swinging. One out.
  • Kole Ramage replaces Vermillion on the mound.

Top 7

  • Slavens struck out looking for out number three.
  • Brock Guffey enters the game, replacing Hess on the mound. Runner on first with two outs for Slavens.
  • Lanzilli doubled down the left field line. Both Moore and Wallace score. 8-6 Alabama with two outs.
  • Moore singled to left, Wallace advanced to second.
  • Turner struck out swinging. Two out.
  • Wallace reached on a fielder's choice, Gregory out at second. One out.
  • Gregory hit by pitch.

Bottom 6

  • Seidl grounded out to first. Inning over.
  • Denton flied out to left. Two out.
  • Tamez grounded out to third, Williamson advanced to second. One out.
  • Williamson drew a four-pitch walk.
  • Pinckney hit a leadoff solo home run to left field. 8-4 Alabama.

Top 6

  • Battles grounded out to short. Side retired in order.
  • Stovall grounded out to third. Two out.
  • Webb struck out looking. One out.
  • Ben Hess replaces McNairy on the mound for Alabama. Final line for McNairy: 5.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 BB, 7 K, 100 TP/62 ST.

Bottom 5

  • Hamiter flied out to center field. Inning over.
  • Rose struck out looking. Two out.
  • Jarvis advanced to second, Diodati to third on a passed ball.
  • Zebulon Vermillion replaces Morris on the mound for Arkansas.
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  • Jarvis reached on a fielder's choice to the pitcher (sac-bunt), Diodati advanced to second, Seidl scored. 7-4 Alabama with runners on first and second, still one out for Rose.
  • Diodati singled to right field, Seidl advanced to third, Denton scored, Tamez scored. 6-4 Alabama. One out with runners at the corners for Jarvis.
  • Seidl singled to right center, Denton advanced to second, Tamez to third, Williamson scored. 4-4 tie. Still one out with bases loaded.
  • Denton drew a full-count walk. Bases loaded, one out for Seidl.
  • Tamez advanced to second, Williamson to third on a wild pitch.
  • Zack Morris replaces Connor Noland on the mound for the Razorbacks.
  • Tamez singled through the left side, Williamson advanced to second, Pinckney scored. 4-3 Arkansas. One out, runners on first and second for Denton.
  • Williamson singled through the right side. Runners at the corners, one out for Tamez.
  • Pinckney reached on a fielder's choice to second base, Hamiter out at second, Rose scored. 4-2 Arkansas. One out.
  • Hamiter singled to right field. Rose advanced to third. Nobody out, runners at the corners for Pinckney.
  • Rose drew a full-count walk.

Top 5

  • Slavens struck out looking.
  • Lanzilli singled to center, Moore advanced to second, Turner scored. 4-1 Arkansas.
  • Moore walked. Runners on first and second with two outs for Lanzilli.
  • Turner doubled to right center, Battles scored. 3-1 Arkansas.
  • Wallace struck out swinging. Two out.
  • Battles advanced to third on a wild pitch.
  • Gregory grounded out to pitcher, Battles advanced to second. One out.
  • Battles singled to second.

Bottom 4

  • Jarvis grounded out to first. Inning over.
  • Diodati struck out swinging. Two out.
  • Seidl flied out to center field. Runners stay put. One out.
  • Denton singled to right field. Williamson scored, Tamez advanced to second. 2-1 Arkansas.
  • Tamez singled through the right side, Williamson advanced to third. Nobody out with runners at the corners for Denton.
  • Williamson singled through the left side. Runner on first, nobody out.

Top 4

  • Stovall grounded out to catcher. Three out.
  • Webb grounded into a double play. Two out.
  • Slavens singled to right center, Lanzilli scored. 2-0 Arkansas.
  • Lanzilli doubled down the left field line. Runner on second, nobody out.

Bottom 3

  • Pinckney struck out looking, and Alabama leaves three runners on base.
  • Hamiter singled to second, all runners advanced. Bases loaded with two out for Pinckney.
  • Rose flied out to right field. Two out.
  • Jarvis walked, Diodati advanced to second.
  • Diodati singled to first. Runner on first, one out.
  • Seidl flied out to right. One out.

Top 3

  • Moore struck out swinging. Side retired in order.
  • Turner grounded out to second. Two down.
  • Wallace struck out swinging. One out.

Bottom 2

  • Denton struck out swinging. Inning over.
  • Tamez grounded out to short. Two out.
  • Williamson grounded out to short. One out.

Top 2

  • Gregory struck out swinging for the third out.
  • Battles grounded out to short. Slavens scored. 1-0 Arkansas. Two out.
  • Stovall doubled down the left field line. Slavens advanced to third. One out, runners on second and third.
  • Webb struck out swinging. One out.
  • Slavens drew a full-count walk. Runner on first, nobody out.

Bottom 1

  • Pinckney grounded out to third. Inning over.
  • Hamiter grounded out to second. Two out.
  • Rose struck out swinging, thrown out at first. One out.

Top 1

  • Lanzilli lined out to third. Three up, three down for McNairy.
  • Moore drew a four-pitch walk. Runner on first, two outs.
  • Turner struck out swinging. Two down.
  • Wallace grounded out to second. One out.