The Crimson Tide baseball team fell to 16-12 overall by losing to Louisiana Monroe by a score of 5-3 on Wednesday afternoon. The loss ended an eight game home stand in which the Tide finished 1-7. The Warhawks improved to 11-14. ULM has been something of a giant killer this season, holding wins over Ole Miss, Oklahoma State, and now Alabama. The Tide travels to College Station this weekend for a three game series.
Freshman left hander Grayson Hitt drew the start on the mound for Bama and seemed to have things under control when he retired the first two batters he faced on a strikeout and ground out. However he walked the next man, then took a ball off his body that ricocheted for a single. The next batter, Danny DeSimone then blasted a long, three run home run to left. DeSImone entered the game batting .190 on the season.
Hitt threw 32 pitches in the first inning and left with two outs in the third after throwing 54 pitches. Will Freeman replaced him and went 3 1⁄3 shut out innings to give the Tide a chance to get in the game.
The bottom of the third was Bama’s best chance. Jim Jarvis led off the inning by getting hit by a pitch, followed by a Peyton Wilson single. William Hamiter hit a ball deep to enter to score Jarvis, and Wilson followed him home on a Zane Denton double. Sam Praytor walked to put two on with one out. However a strikeout and a ground ball ended the threat.
Hunter Ruth followed Freeman on the mound and pitched a scoreless seventh. Coach Brad Bohannon, with several pitchers unavailable with injuries, and a SEC series with Texas A&M coming up, tried to steal an inning with freshman short stop Bryce Eblin. Eblin had pitched one other time this season and did admirable, considering. The freshman from Missouri struck on the first batter he faced but walked the next two, causing Bohannon to replace him with Jacob McNairy, who he had hoped to only have to use in the ninth. McNairy got the first batter on a dribbler to the mound that advanced the two base runners. The next batter, Michale Cervantes got jammed on an inside pitch and looped a soft single over the infield to score both runs and a 5-2 lead.
The Tide made things interesting in the bottom of the ninth. Will Patota pinch hit and led off with a single, before being replace by pinch runner Caden Rose. Jarvis lined a single to put the tying run at the plate with no outs. Wilson grounded to second base and Jarvis was forced out at second. Hamiter just missed tying the game up with a long drive to right that went just foul, but struck out on the next pitch. Zane Denton singled to score Rose and cut the margin to 5-3. Praytor hit a line drive right at center fielder Mason Holt that he snagged to end the game.
Denton finished 3-5 with a double and two runs driven in and Jarvis was 2-3 with a run scored and a hit by pitch. The Tide finished 10-35, drew three walks, struck out six times, and left 10 runners on base. ULM was 9-32 with four walks, six strikeouts, and left six on base. Hitt took the loss and fell to 1-3.
No way around it, this was a bad loss. The Tide is scuffling and needs to make something good happen, and soon. There are still several Tide pitchers that may or may not be available this weekend. Bama travels to College Station to take on the Texas A&M Aggies this weekend. TAM is 19-12 overall and 3-6 in the SEC. The games are at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, 2 p.m. on Saturday, and 1 p.m. on Sunday. All games can be seen on the SEC Network Plus.
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