Alabama fell to 13-19 overall and 2-10 in the SEC after being swept by Ole Miss this weekend in Oxford. The Rebels improved to 20-12 and 6-6 in conference play. The Tide was held to five hits on Friday night and lost 7-2. On Saturday ‘Bama had a 4-1 lead before losing 5-4 on a walk off home run in the bottom of the ninth. Sunday resulted in a 8-2 loss, and in the Tide being swept for the second time of season in SEC play.
Game One: Lost 7-2
With Jake Walters being held out this week with a sore arm, Dylan Duarte slid into the Friday night slot in the pitching rotation. Ole Miss countered with James McArthur, who pitched seven sterling innings in garnering the victory.
‘Bama actually jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. Chandler Avant led off with a walk, advanced on a wild pitch, and stole third base. Kyle Kaufman walked, and when Cobie Vance hit into a double play Avant scored.
Durate was rolling along until the fourth when the Rebels used three doubles, a walk and a single to score four times. Meanwhile, the Tide only were able to notch a Cody Henry second inning single and a Tanner DeVinny single in the fourth.
When Durate gave up a leadoff home run to Nick Fortes in the sixth he was replaced by Mike Oczypok. Rowe touched Oczypok for a home run of his own, making the deficit 6-1. The Rebels got their last run of the game in the eighth. The Tide put a little rally together in the ninth, but could only score one run after Vance singled and later scored.
‘Bama had five hits, drew four walks, left six runners on base while striking out 10 times. The Rebels had nine hits, walked three times, struck out six times and stranded five runners. McArthur got the win, while Durate suffered the loss.
Game Two: Lost 5-4
Nick Eicholtz moved from Sunday starter to Saturday and pitched well through five innings, before running into trouble in the sixth. David Parkinson started for the Rebels.
Chandler Taylor, who had been held out of the starting lineup for the previous two games, got the Tide an early lead with his eighth home run of the season. Taylor’s blast curled just inside the foul pole in right field. Cody Henry delivered an RBI single in the third for a 2-0 advantage, and a Connor Short home run in the fourth pushed the Tide to 3-0 margin.
The Rebels finally scored one in the bottom of the fourth on a ground out following two walks and a single. Taylor just missed another homer in in the sixth, but the ball stayed in the park for a double. After reaching third, Taylor scored on a perfect suicide squeeze bunt by Short.
The first three Ole Miss batters reached base off of Eicholtz in the sixth and he was replaced by Garrett Suchey. All three came around to score to tie the game at four.
The Tide squandered a chance to retake the lead in the seventh after Kyle Kaufman and Cobie advance opened the frame with singles. Clean-up hitter Hunter Alexander successfully sacrificed bunted to move the runners to second and third with one out. An intentional walk loaded the bases, but two strikeouts ended the rally. Gene Wood scorched a one out double in the eighth, but was stranded at third base.
The Rebs Tate Blackmon sent the huge crowd (over 10,000 - while only 8,000 attended the spring football game) home happy with a walk-off home run over the left field wall in the bottom of the ninth.
Alabama collected 10 hits, walked twice, struck out six times, and left 10 on base. The Rebels had eight hits, drew six walks, struck out three times and stranded seven runners.
Game Three: Lost 8-2
Sam Finnerty was called on to start on Sunday against freshman hot shot Ryan Rolison. Rolison was a high draft pick out of high school and turned down over one million dollars to attend Ole Miss.
The Rebels scored twice in the first when they led off with a single and a walk. A ground out scored the first one, and when a fly ball fell in for a double another run scored for a 2-0 lead.
Gene Wood led the Tide third inning with a double and later scored on Hunter Alexander’s single, one of Alexander’s three hits of the game.
Deacon Medders replaced Finnerty after a lead off double in the fourth, and after a couple of walks (one intentional), was able to strand the bases loaded to keep it a 2-1 game. Medders was sharp into the seventh and then ran into trouble with two outs. A single and a home run extended the lead to 5-1. Colby Bortles singled and advanced to second on a balk. Coach Greg Goff called for an intentional walk to Ryan Olenek. When Medders lob came to close to the plate, Olenek reached out and singled to bring in another run.
Logan Carey singled in Alexander in the top of the eighth, and the Tide loaded the bases with one out, but a fly out and strikeout ended the threat. Wood went down with a knee injury swinging at strike three. The extent of Wood’s injury is not known at this time. Two walks and two doubles helped the Rebels to put the game away with three eighth inning runs and the final 8-2 score.
The Tide had 10 hits, drew only two walks, struck out 13 times and left 11 on base. The Rebels had 10 hits, had six walks and struck out five times while leaving eight runners on base.
The Tide hasn't had much success this year, and things look bleak with the remaining schedule, but the players battle and don't give in. The injuries suffered by the pitching staff have severely cut into the mound depth and put some players in situations they may not be ready for.
Bama plays host to Birmingham University on Tuesday night at the Joe at 6 p.m. C.T. The game can be seen on SEC Network Plus. Bama defeated the Blazers earlier this season at Regions Park.