Andrew Hutchinson has been a multimedia reporter for the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette since 2014.
Killian Dominates Alabama
Trey Killian will likely factor into Arkansas' starting rotation in 2014, Razorbacks coach Dave Van Horn said Thursday.
FAYETTEVILLE Just one day after Arkansas and Alabama combined to score 26 runs, the Razorbacks needed only two to beat the Crimson Tide and even the series Saturday afternoon at Baum Stadium.
A season-high 5,644 fans saw Trey Killian toss a complete game while striking out seven as Arkansas won 2-1. It was his third straight start in which he allowed only one earned run, but it was his first victory of the season.
He was the tough-luck loser in his last two starts, allowing two earned runs in 15 innings. In those two games, Arkansas' offense produced only one run.
"What you saw today is what we got last weekend from him at Florida and got beat 1-0," Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. "We haven't really backed him up all year."
Killian used an arsenal of mostly fastballs and sliders, as well as a few change ups, to allow four hits and two walks in nine innings of work. It took him 117 pitches to complete the game.
"I think adrenaline took over," Killian said. "I kind of got fatigued but I managed to keep hitting spots with my pitches and luckily they were swinging and missing."
Alabama held a 1-0 lead going into the bottom of the seventh inning and its starting pitcher, Justin Kamplian, had thrown only 65 pitches through six innings.
Jake Wise led off the inning with a 10-pitch at bat. While it resulted in a strikeout, the at bat allowed Arkansas' players to see all of Kamplain's pitches and got his pitch count up, Michael Bernal said.
After a fly out by Blake Baxendale, the Razorbacks hit three consecutive singles, the last of which was an RBI by Bernal that came on the first pitch he saw and tied the game.
"Luckily I was the one who was in that situation to be able to do something," Bernal said. "I wouldn't have been in that situation if the rest of the team hadn't done their job."
After he walked Clark Eagan to load the bases, Kamplain was taken out and replaced by Thomas Burrows, who got the Crimson Tide out of the inning with the score tied at 1-1.
Brian Anderson led off the next inning for Arkansas with a walk and was advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Tyler Spoon. The Crimson Tide elected to intentionally walk Jake Wise to set up the double play with Eric Fisher coming up to bat.
The plan backfired, however, as Fisher hit Burrows' low fast ball to left field on an 0-2 count to knock in the game-winning run.
The only run of the game for Alabama came in the third inning on Ben Moore's bloop single that allowed Chance Vincent to score. Anderson nearly made the running catch on the play, but it fell between him, Baxendale and Eagan.
"The run we gave up probably is a play that can be made," Van Horn said. "The wind kind of affected it."
Saturday was the fifth time Arkansas played a 2-1 game, but it was the first time it had come out on top. The Razorbacks are 3-6 in one-run games this season.
"The 2-1 games have been tough on us," Van Horn said. "We won a 4-3 game last week, but finally to get a 2-1 win is nice. It's almost to the point now where the one-run games don't bother us."
The Razorbacks will have a chance to win their first SEC series of the season Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m.