Keuchel's gem comes up short
TUSCALOOSA, Ala.– Junior Dallas Keuchel allowed just two runs on eight hits and freshman Collin Kuhn hit his first career home run, but the effort was not enough for the No. 11 Arkansas Razorback baseball team as it falls to No. 21 Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Ala., 2-1, on Friday night.
The Razorbacks (31-15, 14-10 SEC) drop their third straight SEC contest while Alabama (32-15, 15-9 SEC) clinches a spot in the Southeastern Conference tournament with the victory.
A scoreless game going into the third inning, freshman Collin Kuhn broke the tie with the first home run of his young career, a fly ball that carried just over the fence in right-center field to make it a 1-0 game in favor of the Razorbacks. Kuhn’s long ball broke what was the start of a perfect game for Alabama starter Austin Hyatt who had retired the first eight batters he faced, four by strikeout.
The two teams would trade zeros on the scoreboard through the next four innings as Keuchel scattered his hits throughout the game and only allowed two in an inning in the pivotal eighth when the Crimson Tide scored their two runs. Using all his pitches, Keuchel held the SEC’s most potent offense scoreless for most of the game and was aided by a double play and pick off early in the contest.
The Alabama eighth inning began harmless enough with a ground out, but a one-out single up the middle put a runner on base. The first walk of the game placed runners on first and second and was followed by a ground out to first base which advanced the runners into scoring position. A 2-0 count to Alabama’s best hitter followed and a pitch in the dirt scooted under the glove of Arkansas’ catcher and allowed one run to score. Two pitches later and Kent Matthes stroked a double down the left-field line to score the eventual game-winning run.
Alabama starting pitcher Austin Hyatt threw a complete game three-hitter to pick up his eighth win of the season, striking out seven. Aside from a two-hit inning in the third by the Razorbacks which included Kuhn’s home run, Hyatt allowed just one more hit, a harmless single to Scott Lyons.
The Razorbacks and Crimson Tide continue their series on Saturday evening at 4 p.m. at Sewell-Thomas Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala. For more information regarding Razorback baseball or University of Arkansas athletics please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.