Fresh off of a series victory over 8th ranked LSU, the Alabama baseball team traveled to play Birmingham University on Tuesday night and got dominated by a score of 8-0. The offensively challenged Tide came into the game hitting .250 as a team, but the Blazers entered hitting only .221 collectively. The Tide's team ERA is 2.13, while the Blazers sport a 3.65 ERA. The 8-12 home team outplayed the 13-6 Tide team in every aspect.
Mike Oczypok started on the mound for the Tide and quickly got in trouble in the bottom of the second. BU used a controversial bunt base hit to start a four run inning. Griffin Gum bunted to lead off, and although he appeared to be out by a half step, was called safe. Carter Pharis's ground ball was fielded behind the second base bag by Chandler Avant, and with no runner on, would have had an easy play at first. However Avant tried to beat Gum to the second base bag and lost, so instead of two outs and no one on, there was suddenly two on and no outs. The Blazers sandwiched two doubles and a single around three strikeouts to take the insurmountable 4-0 lead over the Tide.
Birmingham added single runs in the third and fourth innings, and two more in the eighth for the final margin. Brock Love, Dylan Durate, Tyler McMurray and Colton Freeman followed Oxczypok on the mound. Love got dinged for one run in 2.1 innings and McMurray got hit for two runs in one inning. Freeman had a perfect inning with two strikeouts in his first action of the season. Oczypok's record fell to 2-2 with the loss, as he was touched for six hits and five runs (four earned) in his third start of the season.
Offensively the Tide had no answer for the four Blazer pitchers, collecting only four hits, and drawing one walk and one hit batter. Chance Vincent had two hits for 'Bama, while Will Haynie had a double and Chandler Taylor a single. The Tide did hit several balls hard, including diving catches in the outfield by left fielder Riley McCowan that robbed Tanner DeVinny and Georgie Salem of extra base hits.
Coming off of a huge series victory in the start of SEC play last weekend, it was disappointing to see the Tide come out lifeless and listless in this game, instead of using the weekend as a springboard to bigger and better things. 'Bama had gotten back into the rankings at number 22 after defeating LSU. The team has the ability to compete with everyone, but does not have a large margin of error to work with. They have to play hard and with focus each and every game, and that didn't seem to be the case last night.
'Bama welcomes Tennessee to Tuscaloosa this weekend for a three game series. Friday's game is at 7:00 p.m. and will be available on SEC Network Plus (Watch ESPN App). Saturday and Sunday's games will both be shown on the SEC Network at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday and 3:00 p.m. on Sunday.
Bama Baseball Fever, Catch it!
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