The Alabama Crimson Tide surpassed their win total of last season on Wednesday night by going on the road and defeating Troy by a score of 7-3. Bama avenged their only midweek loss of the year after losing to Troy at home on April 2nd. With the victory, Alabama now holds a 28-21 record, 15-1 in midweek, and 22-3 in out of conference games.
Freshman pitcher-designated hitter Tyler Ras got the double dip for the second time this season, starting both on the mound and in the batting order. The Tide used seven pitchers, with no one throwing over two innings. Ras allowed five hits and two runs in his two innings of work. However, with the bat is where the New Jersey native shined on this night, going 4-5 with two doubles.
The Tide got on the board in the first as Brett Auerbach led off the game with a single and scored on a double off the Trojans version of the Green Monster by Tyler Gentry. Troy came right back in the first to take the lead when the first four batters had singles off of Ras. A fly ball and a double play prevented further damage.
Bama tied the game in the fourth when Ras lined a double down the third base line and later scored on a sacrifice fly from Joe Breaux. Ras slid around the tag at the plate, and then had to dive back to touch the plate to score. Casey Cobb pitched the third and fourth innings, and allowed the tying run on a lead-off triple and a ground out in the fourth.
Gentry gave the Tide the lead for good in the fifth when he crushed a three run opposite field home run to right for a 5-3 lead. Bama added to the lead in the seventh with two more runs. T.J. Reeves led off with a single and later scored on a throwing error. A single by Ras scored Morgan McCullough who had drawn one of his three walks on the night.
Cobb was followed on the mound by Garret Rukes, Jacob McNairy, Dylan Smith, Conner Shamblin, and finally Jeremy Randolph. The relief core only allowed two hits in the final five innings of the game. Randolph came on with no outs and two on in the ninth and earned his eighth save of the season, walking one batter to load the bases, and striking out the side. Cobb was the winner, and his record in now 1-1 on the season.
The Tide finished with 12 hits, drew six walks, struck out seven times, and stranded eight runners on base. The Trojans had seven hits, drew four walks (all in the last two innings), struck out seven times, and left eight runners on base.
Players of the Game
The red hot Ras led the way with his 4 for 5 night with two doubles, one run scored and one driven in. Ras has been the DH for the last three games and has nine hits in those contests. Gentry drove in four with his double and home run, and leads the team in both categories with 11 bombs and 37 runs driven in. Auerbach continued his hot hitting by going 2-5. The catcher-third baseman has an eight game hitting streak, and hits in nine of the last 10 games. Over that period he has 20 hits in 39 at bats, and raised his batting average 65 points to .283. Ras is now hitting .308 and was around .190 when his hot streak began.
The Tide still has a lot to play for. The team has a real chance to reach the SEC Tournament for the first time in three years. Bama has three games with Texas A&M and three with Georgia left, as well as one midweek game with Samford left in the season. Bama is battling to finish ahead of South Carolina and Kentucky to be one of the 12 teams to reach Hoover for the tournament. The Tide is 6-18, as is Kentucky, while USCe is 5-19. The ‘Cocks and the ‘Cats play each other this weekend. Alabama has the tie breaker over Carolina by virtue of winning their series early this season. The Tide and Wildcats do not play each other. South Carolina winning two of three, and the Tide winning at least once this weekend is the hoped for result.
What’s Next ?
Well, of course, another ranked SEC opponent. The 15th ranked Texas Aggies come to town this weekend. The games are at 6 p.m. on Friday (SEC Network Plus), 2 p.m. Saturday (SEC Network Plus), and 2 p.m Sunday on the SEC Network.
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