The suddenly resurgent Alabama Baseball team swept 7th ranked Ole Miss in Oxford this weekend to increase their winning streak to six games. The Tide took game one by a score of 7-4, won an extra inning slugfest in game two 12-10, and brought out the brooms on Sunday winning by a 7-3 final. Bama improved to 21-12 overall and 7-5 in league play while the Rebels fell to 19-12 and 4-8 in the SEC. Bama showed resilience in answering anytime Ole Miss seemed to have them on the ropes.
Game One: Won 7-4
Junior right-hander Garrett McMillian continued in his Friday night role for the Tide, squaring off against Hunter Elliott of the Rebels. The Tide scored once in the top of the first when Jim Jarvis singled, advanced when Tommy Seidl and Zane Denton were both hit by pitches, and scored on a one out ground out by Drew Williamson.
McMillian looked like he might have an early night after the top of the first. Leadoff man Justin Bench reached on an error and the next two men walked. Tim Elko then singled in two runs before a batter had been retired. McMillian bounced back and got a pop out and two strikeouts to limit the damage with Bama down only 2-1.
Jarvis was the catalyst again in the top of the third with a lead off single, followed by a Seidl walk. Two quick outs left them on first and second but Williamson blasted a two run double to put the Tide ahead 3-2. Bama added two more in the 4th, Bryce Eblin doubled to start things, advanced to third on a ground out when Dominic Tamez had a fantastic 14 pitch at bat. Eblin was driven in on another ground out, this one off the bat of Caden Rose. Jarvis then reached on a walk, moved up on a Seidl single, and scored on a single by William Hamiter.
Bama scored two runs for the third straight inning in the 5th. Eblin drove in Williamson who had walked on a fielders choice ground out and Andrew Pinckney scored on a single from Tamez. That ended the scoring for the Tide on the night. McMillian had things well under control allowing only three base runners from the 2nd through the 7th innings. One reached on an infield single, one on a walk, and a Calvin Harris double. However Harris didn't last on base as he was hosed at third base on a perfect throw from Pinckney after a fly out to right field.
Brock Guffey took over on the mound in the 8th inning and had a quick 1-2-3 frame with two strikeouts. Guffey came back out for the 9th and walked Elko to lead off the inning. Kevin Graham followed with a two run home run to tighten things up a bit. Guffey remained in the game long enough to strike out pinch hitter Reagan Burford before Dylan Ray was called out of the pen. Ray used two pitches to get a fly out and ground out to end the game with the Tide on top 7-3.
Bama hit 12-39 in the game, walked eight times, had two hit batters, struck out 11 times, and stranded 15 runners on base. Ole Miss finished just 4-31 with four walks, 10 strikeouts, and four men left on base. Each team committed one error. McMillian recovered from a 40 pitch first inning to finish with 112 pitches over seven innings, and allowed only three hits, three walks, one earned run, and struck out seven batters to improve his record to 3-2 on the season.
Offensively, Jarvis and Hamiter both had 3-5 nights. Jarvis added three runs scored and a walk. Hamiter drove in one and also drew a walk. Tamez was 2-5 with a run driven in and Williamson drove in three with his 1-3 night with two walks.
Game Two: Won 12-10 in 10 innings
Boy oh boy, what a game! The Rebels amassed 15 hits, including six home runs and three doubles, scored 10 runs, and lost 12-10 to this scrappy Alabama team. Jacob McNairy started on the mound for the Tide against John Gaddis of the Rebels. Alabama got on the board in the top of third when Drew Williamson singled and later scored on a two out single from Tommy Seidl. Ole Miss right fielder Calvin Harris made an outstanding diving catch to end the inning off a line drive from William Hamiter that would have scored two runs.
Mississippi answered in the bottom of the third on solo home runs from Peyton Chatagnier and Jacob Gonzalez to take a 2-1 lead. The Tide came back in the top of the third to regain the lead. Bryce Eblin was hit by a pitch to open the inning and moved up on a single by Andrew Pinckney. Williamson added a single of his own to drive in Eblin and Dominic Tamez fouled off seven straight pitches before grounding into a fielders choice to scored Pinckney for a 3-2 lead.
Things went south in the bottom of the fourth after two quick outs. McNairy struck out Kemp Alderman and Harris before disaster struck. Reagan Burford homered, followed by a Hayden Dunhurst double and a Chartagnier single. Gonzalez then drilled his second home run of the game for a 5-3 Rebel lead. McNairy then allowed a double and and RBI single before Jake Leger was finally brought in to pitch. Leger struck out Kevin Graham to end the inning with Ole Miss holding a 7-3 lead.
After a quiet 4th the Tide went to work at the plate in the 6th. Pinckney drove a one out double and Williamson walked. Tamez drove in Williamson with a single and followed Pinckney home on a long double from Jim Jarvis to draw the Tide within one at 7-6. Leger tossed a perfect bottom of the 6th to set the stage for a big Bama 7th inning.
Zane Denton walked with one out to start a rally. Eblin hit what could have been a double play ball, but reached on a boot by third baseman Burford. Pinckney walked to load the bases for Williamson. The big senior from Brewton then laced a 3-2 pitch over the right field wall for a grand slam, giving the Tide a 10-7 lead. Leger worked around a two out walk and two out single in the bottom half to keep the lead.
In the bottom of the 8th Leger struck out the first two hitters looking before allowing a single to Charagnier. Gonzalez was up next and sure enough he smoked his third home run of the game to make the scored 10-9, which brought in Dylan Ray to pitch for Bama. Ray got a fly out to end the 8th. Bama was not able to score in the top of the 9th so they took the one run lead into the bottom half. Ray was touched for a leadoff home run from Tim Elko to tie things up and give Tide fans flashbacks to the Mississippi State series earlier in the year. The Rebels thought they had won the game when Graham sent a ball deep to right, thinking it was a sure home run. They didn't count on Seidl racing to his right and to the wall to make a leaping catch for out one.
Ray then allowed a single and walk to create more stress but struck out the next two batters swinging to send the game to extra innings.
In the top of the 10th the Tide used a huge two out rally to take the lead. Jarvis and Seidl both were out before Hamiter dropped a single over the third baseman’s head to keep the team alive. Zane Denton then hit a home run deep into the night for a 12-10 lead for Bama. Ray made quick work of the Rebels in the 10th on two fly outs to left field and a ground ball to short to end the game.
Alabama hits 12-43 in the game with six walks, one hit batters, eight strikeouts, and eight men left on base. Ole Miss was 15-45 with two walks, 13 strikeouts, and seven men left stranded. Ray improved to 1-2 with the victory. Williamson was the offensive star with his 3-4 night with a walk, a grand slam, five runs driven in, three runs scored, and a walk. Pinckney was also 3-4 with a double, a walk, and three runs scored. Tamez, Jarvis, and Denton drove in two runs apiece.
Game Three: Won 7-3
Sophomore left hander Grayson Hitt drew the start for the Tide against Jack Washburn for Ole Miss. Hitt continued his trend of getting better and better as the season has gone on. Bama took the early lead with one in the first but left the bases loaded. Jim Jarvis led off with a walk and stole second base before going to third on a wild pitch. Two quick outs followed but Zane Denton doubled to plate Jarvis. Drew Williamson was hit by a pitch and Andrew Pinckney walked to load the bases. Bryce Eblin hit a ball deep to left that just missed leaving the park and was caught at the base of the wall.
Bama added two runs in the third when Dominic Tamez doubled in Pinckney and Eblin, With a 3-0 lead Hitt was coasting through the first five innings, allowing only three baserunners. However in the 6th the Rebels long ball struck again. Hitt retired the first two batters before hitting Justin Bench with a pitch. Tim Elko then slammed a two run home run to make the score 3-2 in Bama's favor.
In the top of the 7th Tommy Seidl hit a long home run off the top of the score board to give the Tide a 4-2 cushion. Hitt returned for the bottom of the 7th and allowed a lead off home run to Kemp Alderman that was estimated to have gone 481 feet.
Hitt struck out the next batter and was then replaced by Hunter Hoopes. Hoopes walked the first man he faced in Reagan Burford. Burford attempted to steal and was thrown out on a perfect throw by Tamez. Hoopes then struck out Hayden Dunhurst to end the inning with Bama up 4-3.
Pinckney led off the top of the 8th with an opposite field bomb to right to again give the Tide a little more cushion at 5-3. Hoopes pitched a perfect 8th highlighted by a nice grab on a line drive by Jarvis at shortstop to end the inning. Jarvis then singled to start the 9th and after two outs trotted home on a home run from Denton, his 9th of the year. With the score 7-3 Landon Green took over on the mound in the bottom of the inning for the Tide. Elko led off with a single but a ground out and two strikeouts ended the game and gave the Tide the 7-3 win and the three game sweep of Ole Miss.
Bama hit 9-35 in the game with four walks, two hit batters, seven strikeouts, and eight men left on base. Ole Miss was just 4-29 with three walks, one hit batter, 11 strikeouts, and three men left on base. Hitt improved to 3-0 on the year finishing his 6.1 innings allowing three hits, three runs, two walks, and eight strikeouts. Denton was the offensive star going 2-5 with three RBI and a run scored on his home run. Pinckney was 2-4 with a double, home runs, RBI, walk, and two runs scored. Tamez finished 2-4 with two driven in and a double while Jarvis was also 2-4 with two runs scored and one walk.
In the series the Tide hit 33-117 for a .282 average, walked 18 times, had five hits batters, struck out 26 times, left 31 men on base, and committed one error. Ole Miss hit 23-105 for a .219 average, walked on nine times, had a hit batters, left 14 on bases, and committed three errors.
Who did what?
- Andrew Pinckney 6-12, two doubles, six runs, home run, three walks, one outfield assist
- Jim Jarvis 6-14, three walks, five runs, stolen base, double
- Dominic Tamez 5-14, five RBI, double, run
- Drew Williamson 4-10, eight RBI, four walks, four runs, double, grand slam home run
- Zane Denton 3-14, five RBI, two home runs, double, three runs, HBP
- Tommy Seidl 3-12, two runs, home run, HPB, two RBI, sac bunt, stolen base, three walks, game saving catch in game two
- Garrett McMillian W (3-2) 7 IP- 3 H- 3 BB -7 K -112 pitches-
- Grayson Hitt W (3-0) 6.1 IP -3 H-3 R- 2 BB- 8 K-94 pitches
Fantastic weekend for the surging Tide. To go on the road and sweep the number seven team in the country was an impressive feat, and it was the first in Oxford for Alabama since 1997. The team is starting to come together in all facets of the game. I can not say enough about the resilience that this team shows. They play together and for each other in a way that you don't see very often. The plate approach of the hitters seems to be getting better by the week. The roles on the pitching staff are falling into place behind the starters, who have been outstanding for the most part.
After a home game with Belmont on Tuesday at 3 p.m. (SECN+), the Tide faces a true test against number one Tennessee who is having a historical season. At 29-1 and 12-0 in the SEC the Vols are just steam rolling opponents. Bama travels to Knoxville for a three game set at 5:30 CT on Friday, 5 p.m. on Saturday, and 12 noon on Sunday. All will be available on SEC Network Plus.
RTR Bama Baseball Fever, catch it.