FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The wheels may not be off the wagon for Arkansas but they are wobbling.
Especially against Alabama.
After losing two in a row last weekend, the Crimson Tide had another workmanlike 4-3 win over the Razorbacks in a delayed start to the SEC Tournament in Hoover, Alabama.
And if you had plans for an NCAA Regional at Baum-Walker this year, well, you might want to change those travel plans for somewhere else.
Only three Hogs got hits in the loss. Chris Lanzilli and Jalen Battles each had two.
It was balanced by another collapse in the pitchers.
“The game really comes down to the first couple innings,” pitching coach Matt Hobbs said later.
He had to fill in for Dave Van Horn, who missed the game with something. We have no idea what that is, but the UA released a statement that said he was resting comfortably in the team hotel.
“We didn’t play very good defense at the beginning of the game and they took advantage,” Hobbs said.
Arkansas teams don’t make errors, but this team does and that’s part of the problem. Alabama only had two of their runs earned.
The pitching staff is also sputtering like an old car with a couple of cylinders not firing properly.
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It all happened to happen at the worst possible times. That’s how they got down 2-0 early against the Crimson Tide.
“When you’re facing a good team it’s tough to come back,” Hobbs said.
The Tide isn’t a good team and it’s hard to mount any sort of comeback when you can’t get the hits when you need them.
The Hogs are on a bad stretch and the numbers don’t help with a quick glance. They actually out-hit Alabama, 5-4, but they didn’t do it with runners in scoring position.
Relief pitching keeps this one from getting out of hand like Sunday’s 18-6 debacle. Will McEntire started and got banged around for 2.1 inning before relief by committee managed to keep the Tide in check.
“The last couple games can really leave a sour taste in your mouth if you’re those guys because they have been so good for us this season,” Hobbs said.
There’s no single thing you can really point at with these Hogs. This bad stretch at the end has had a team that was among the best in the country not finding a way to win.
“It’s one of those things,” Hobbs said about the current losing stretch. “Unfortunately, it’s happening right now.”
The Hogs will resume play in the tournament Thursday, assuming they can get the games in around the weather, which is supposed to cause more problems.
The league has a problem with too many games and not enough days if they start to get more delays Thursday.
So get ready for what may be a really long Memorial Day weekend for the tournament.
Whether that affects the Hogs or not is still up in the air.