Big innings, Tide error lift Hogs

By: Brandon Marcello
Published: Friday, March 26, 2010

— Emotions ran high at times, but Zack Cox was cool at the plate to help deliver Arkansas a 9-8 victory against Alabama on Friday.

Cox hit a three-run double to tie the game during a four-run eighth inning, and Monk Kreder delivered the game-deciding run after a hard knock through the legs of Alabama shortstop Josh Rutledge in front of 7,947 at Baum Stadium.

Cox finished with a career-high 6 RBI and Arkansas' players responded to a plea from their coach, Dave Van Horn, after the Hogs struggled at times last weekend in a 1-2 series loss at LSU in the SEC opener.

Arkansas (16-5, 2-2 SEC) found itself behind for the most of the game, and Van Horn jogged out to argue calls with officials several times. Both dugouts even cleared during the seventh inning after Arkansas picked off an Alabama runner. The teams exchanged words, but no physical altercation ensued. The Tide responded by retiring Arkansas' side and Rutledge hit an RBI single to extend the lead to 8-5 in the eighth.

Alabama (16-4, 2-2 SEC) took a 5-0 lead heading into the bottom of the fifth inning, before Arkansas finally got its wheels turning on offense.

Cox belted a three-run bomb to left field, Kreder followed with a double down the third base line and Andy Wilkins busted out of his hitting slump with a two-run homer to tie the game in the fifth inning.

Cox also extended his hitting streak to 21 games, nine short of the school record.

Arkansas will send Brett Eibner (2-2, 3.18 ERA) to the mound for Game 2 on Saturday. First pitch is set for 2:05 p.m. at Baum Stadium. Alabama's Jimmy Nelson (4-0, 1.26 ERA) will start for the Tide.

Read the Saturday edition of theArkansas Democrat-Gazette for more coverage.

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