A short handed Alabama Crimson Tide baseball team lost for the first time midweek on Tuesday night when they lost to Troy 8-4. The Tide is now 20-10 overall, 18-3 in out of conference games, and 8-1 in game versus in state schools. Several players were “not available for various reasons” according to coach Brad Bohannon. Most noticeable being starting outfielder Keith Holcombe, and starting second baseman Morgan McCullough. Bohannon also stated that everyone should be available for this weekend’s SEC foe, South Carolina.
Freshman Connor Shamblin started on the mound for the Tide, and had a perfect first inning. In the second, the Trojans used three walks and a grand slam home run to take control of the game with an early 4-0 lead. In his two innings of work, Shamblin allowed one hit, three walks, three strikeouts, and four runs, all earned.
Bama got one run back in the bottom of the second, but as has been the case all year, left more meat on the bone. The first three batters walked, but the Tide was only able to score once, on a sacrifice fly by Daniel Carinci who started in the place of McCullough.
Wil Freeman followed Shamblin on the mound and quickly found himself in trouble. A leadoff walk was followed by an error and an RBI single for a 5-1 deficit. Freeman struck out Cole Prestegard for out one, then gave up back-to-back singles before being replaced by Chase Lee. Lee got a ground out that scored one run, and a pop up to get out of the inning. Freeman lasted 1⁄3 inning, with three hits allowed, one walk, one strikeout, three runs (1 earned) allowed.
In the third, the Tide blew a chance to cut into the lead after the first three batters reached safely, but the team failed to score. Kolby Robinson led off with a routine single, but tried to stretch it into a double and was easily out at second. The next two batters walked, followed by two fly balls to center field that would have been sacrifice flies to score runs had Robinson stayed on first. In the bottom of the fourth, Justin King led off the frame with an opposite field home run to left. That was the last Bama baserunner until John Trousdale entered as a pinch hitter in the seventh and lined a solid single.
Davis Vainer followed Lee on the mound for the Tide and was simply electric. In pitching two innings, Vainer faced seven batters, walking one and striking out six. Four of his six strikeouts were looking. Dylan Smith pitched 1.2 scoreless innings and Deacon Medder finished the last 1.1 innings, allowing one unearned run.
After King’s home run, nine straight Tide batters went down in order and Trojan pitchers were being very economical. Bama had four innings in which they saw 10 or fewer pitches. In the bottom of the ninth, the Tide cut the lead in half when pinch-hitter Gene Wood was hit by a pitch, followed by a huge blast by Trousdale over the visitor’s bullpen in right center field. Joe Breaux then reached on an error but the next two batters went out on three pitches, and the Tide had their first midweek loss, 8-4.
Bama finished with five hits, walked six times, had one hit batter, struck out five times, and stranded eight runners on base. Troy had six hits, drew eight walks, had a hit batter, struck out 14 times, and stranded seven runners on base.
With the eight runners left on base the Tide has now stranded 269 runners in 30 games, and average of right at nine men per game. This has been an ongoing problem. Eight of the teams outs in tonight’s game came on the first pitch. Being aggressive is great, but the Tide is letting teams get them out with anywhere from five to 10 pitches per inning far too often. For most of the season, the pitchers have done a good job of throwing strikes, but the free passes have been increasing over the past several games, running up pitch counts, and leading to big innings for the opposition.
Who Did What ?
- John Trousdale, entered game in 7th inning- 2-2, run scored, Home Run, two RBI
- Justin King 1-3, home run, RBI, Run, BB, stolen base
- Chase Lee 1.2 IP 0 H 0 BB 0 Runs
- Davis Vainer 2 IP 0 H 0 R 1 BB 6 Strikeouts
Three game series with unranked South Carolina at home. Thursday and Friday at 6 p.m., and Saturday at 1 p.m. - weather pending for all. The first two games are scheduled for the SEC Network, and game three will be available on the Watch ESPN App. However the weather looks dicey, particularly on Thursday.
SCHEDULE UPDATE: Thursday night’s game is cancelled and the two teams will play a doubleheader Friday beginning at 1:30 p.m.
#GameofThones night will begin at the second game of the doubleheader at 6 p.m.
Bama Baseball Fever, Catch it
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