A flat Alabama baseball team suffered their worst loss of the season, losing to Southern Miss 9-2 on Tuesday night in Hattiesburg. The Tide got out hit 15-7, struck out eight times, and drew only three walks. 'Bama pitchers walked one batter and struck out two Golden Eagles batters.
Mike Oczypok started for the Tide on the mound and was cruising through three innings, having allowed only one base runner. However in the fourth, USM used a lead off walk, three straight singles and a sacrifice fly to score twice. In the top of the fifth, Chandler Avant laced a one out double, followed by a single from Daniel Cucjen. A Keith Holcombe force out scored Avant, cutting the lead to 2-1.
The Eagles matched that run in the bottom of the fifth, and added three more in the sixth, in essence putting the game out of reach for the offensively challenged Tide team. 'Bama loaded the bases with no outs in the seventh on a walk to Chandler Taylor and singles by Georgie Salem and Will Haynie. Avant hit a sacrifice fly to right for the only run the Tide could squeeze out of the threat.
USM poured three more runs across in the bottom of the seventh on four hits, including a solo home run. Oczypok suffered the loss, pitching five innings, allowing eight hits with six runs, five earned. Ray Castillo allowed three runs in 1.1 innings. Zac Rogers threw two-thirds of a scoreless inning, and Tyler Adams added a scoreless frame. Avant and Haynie both had two hits for the Tide, which is a good sign as both are showing signs of breaking out of slumps.
The Tide heads to Baton Rouge for the opening of the SEC season this weekend. Geoffrey Bramblett, Jake Walters and Nick Eicholtz are expected to start on the mound in the three games against LSU.
FRIDAY 7:00 p.m. SEC Network
SATURDAY 6:30 p.m. SEC Network +
SUNDAY 1:00 p.m. SEC Network +
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