Runs were at a premium in Tuscaloosa this weekend as the Tide hosted the 10th ranked Georgia Bulldogs in a three game set. The teams combined to score only 12 runs in the three contests. UGA won 4-2 on Friday and 3-0 on Saturday before the Tide bounced back to take game three by a score of 3-0. The Bulldogs only scored in two of their 27 innings during the series, but used a four run first in game one and a three run third in game two to take the series. Alabama is now 24-17 overall and 9-9 in the SEC while Georgia is 28-12 and 11-7 in league play. The Tide improved to 5-1 in Sunday SEC games.
Game One- Lost 4-2
Garrett McMillian continued his 1st inning struggles on Friday night. McMillian has struggled the last few games in the opening frame and this week was no different. A lead off single by Ben Anderson was followed by a pop up for out one. Connor Tate then singled, bringing Corey Collins to the plate. On a 3-2 borderline pitch that looked like strike three Collins walked to load the bases. Parks Harber then hit a fly ball to right field that would have been out three but turned into a sacrifice fly and a 1-0 lead. Cole Wagner then hit an opposite field home run just over the fence in left for the 4-0 early lead. McMillian finished the first having thrown 35 pitches and allowing four hits and one walk.
Diminutive right hander Nolan Crisp started the game for the Bulldogs and baffled the Tide hitters over his 5.2 innings pitched. Bama stranded runners on base in each of the first four innings. Meanwhile McMillian founders his groove and pitched through the 6th inning for the Tide. The big right hander finished with 107 pitches over six innings, allowing six hits, one walk, and struck out five batters. Crisp was replaced with two outs in the 6th by Jaden Woods.
Dominic Tamez touched Woods for a long solo home run to start the 7th inning to put the Tide on the board. Bryce Eblin singled and Jim Jarvis walked to give Bama two base runners with no outs. However two strikeouts sandwiched around a fly out left the runners stranded. Hunter Furtado took over in the 7th and had a perfect inning but then walked the first two batters in the 8th. Seldom used freshman Braylon Myers was called on and impressively left the runners stranded on 2nd and 3rd with two ground outs and a strikeout.
William Hamiter lead off the 8th for the Tide with a long solo blast to cut the margin to 4-2. With two outs Tamez singled and Bryce Eblin walked to put the tying runs on base for Bama. Jim Jarvis then just missed a go ahead home run as hit drive to center was hauled in by Anderson just short of the fence. Myers tossed a scoreless 9th, stranding two more Dawg hitters in scoring position. Drew Williamson lined a one out single in the bottom of the 9th but a sharply hit ball by Zane Denton was turned into a first to short double play on a nifty play by Chaney Rogers.
The Tide finished 10-37 in the game with two walks, one hit batter, nine strikeouts, and 11 big men left on base. UGA hit 7-32. drew four walks, struck out eight times. and left seven men on base. Tamez led the Tide with his 3-4 night with his third home run, a run scored, and one driven in. Williamson was 2-5 and Hamiter hit his second home run of the year.
Game Two- Lost 3-0
Unfortunately for the Tide, Georgia ace Jonathan Cannon returned to action on Saturday after missing his last few starts with a forearm issue. The Tide sent Jacob McNairy to the hill to face the future first round pick. Cannon was perfect over five innings while striking out six batters.
McNairy held the Dawgs scoreless over the first two innings before running into trouble in the third. Fernando Gonzalez led off with a double. Ben Anderson tried to sacrifice Gonzalez to third but put down such a beautiful bunt he beat it out for single. Two ground outs followed before McNairy walked Corey Collins. Parks Harber then crushed a base clearing double to right center field for a 3-0 lead. McNairy recovery to pitch scoreless innings in the 4th, 5th, and 6th to keep the Tide within striking distance, finishing allowing seven hits with one walk and five strikeouts, allowing three earned runs.
When Cannon left after five innings he was replaced by Luke Wagner. Dominic Tamez led off the bottom of the 6th with a single to become the Tide’s first base runner of the game but was stranded. Drew Williamson singled for Bama to start the 7th, and advanced to second when the ball was thrown away. William Hamiter walked with one out to bring the tying run to the plate. Owen Diodati walked with two outs to load the bases for Tamez who hit a deep drive to right field that was hauled in to leave the bases loaded.
Jake Leger took over from McNairy in the 7th and was impressive allowing only a single during his outing. Luke Holman pitched a perfect 9th for the Tide, striking out two as he continues to improve week by week. Bama went down in order in the 8th and 9th and took the loss 3-0 for their 5th straight loss.
Bama hit 2-29 on the day, walked twice, struck out seven times and all four runners were stranded. UGA finished 8-35 with one walk, one hit batter, seven strikeouts, and left seven on base. McNairy fell to 4-2 with the loss while Cannon improved to 7-1.
Game Three- Won 3-0
Class of 1978 RHP @rogerpatmyers showing an elite spin rate on his cutter after sitting 92/93 with the heater in the early innings. @AlabamaBSB signee. Great job on the dig by Hunter Hoopes! pic.twitter.com/PQ80S5QXEx— Paul T. Graham (@PaulTGraham) April 24, 2022
Sophomore left hander Grayson Hitt continued to shine for the Tide in his Sunday role, pitching his best game do date in the Crimson and White. Liam Sullivan started for Georgia kept the Tide off the board for the first three innings. Hitt was perfect through 2 2⁄3 innings with five strikeouts before allowing a single to Fernando Gonzalez
Drew Williamson gave Bama their first lead of the weekend with an opposite field solo home run to start the bottom of the 4th. Ben Anderson followed with a single of his own but Gonzalez made the mistake of trying to advance to third on the ball that was fielded by right fielder Andrew Pinckney. They don't say “not on Pinck” for no reason. Pinckney unleashed a rocket to third baseman Zane Denton to easily retire Gonzalez for the third out to end the inning.
In the bottom of the fifth Pinckney showed another part of his impressive game by blasting a home run to left for his 5th home run of the season, scoring Caden Rose in front of him. Rose had reached on a one out single.
Hitt was replaced after six innings in which he allowed only three hits, walked two, hit two, and struck out seven. Brock Guffey took the 7th and was perfect before handing off to closer Dylan Ray in the 8th. Ray walked the first man he faced but a fly out and double play kept the Dawgs off the board. In the top of the 9th Ray struck out the first two batters on six pitches before walking Parks Harber on a 3-2 pitch to extend the game. Pinch hitter Garrett Blaylock drove a 2-1 pitch to deep right center field where Ray’s high school teammate Rose was patrolling. Rose ran, leapt, and crashed into the wall as he hauled in the long drive to end the game with the Tide on the positive side of the 3-0 score.
Alabama hit 7-30 in the game, walked just once, had one hit batter, struck out six times, and left five runners on base. UGA hit only 3-27 with four walks, two hit batters, nine strikeouts, and six men left on base. Pinckney was the clear star of the day, along with Hitt, finishing 3-4 with one run scored, two driven in, his home run and outfield assist. Williamson’s seventh home run drove in the other Tide run in the game. Hitt improved to 4-1 on the year while Ray earned his fifth save.
Over the weekend Alabama finished 19-96 for a .197 average, walked five times, had two hit batters, struck out 22 times, made one error, and left 20 men on base. Georgia was only 18-94 for a .191 average, struck out 24 times, walked nine times, had three hit batters and left 20 men on base.
Who Did What?
*Dominic Tamez 5-9, home run, run, BB, RBI
*Andrew Pinckney 4-10, home run, two RBI, run, outfield assist
*Drew Williamson 4-13, home run, run, RBI
*Grayson Hitt W (4-1) 6 IP -3 H- 2 BB -7 K -0 Runs
*Dylan Ray S (5) 2 IP-0 H-2BB-2 K- 0 Runs
The Tide continues to show resilience, winning for the fifth time in six Sunday SEC contests and for the sixth time over a top 10 team this season. Bama pitchers held Georgia scoreless in 25 of the 27 innings played this weekend, but was only able to win one of the game. The aggregate score for the series was 7-5 in the Dawgs favor. The Tide had a sharp weekend defensively, the only error being when Jim Jarvis got tangled up with a base runner trying to advance to third base in game two. The pitching was outstanding, holding the 10th ranked team in the nation to seven runs, however the offense just couldn't get the big hit when needed to win the series. At 9-9 in league play with 12 conference games left the Tide appears to be in good shape for post season play.
The team’s depth took a hit this weekend with the loss of dependable relief pitcher Hunter Hoopes to a undisclosed injury, as well as the continued absence of left hander Antoine Jean. William Hamiter banged into the wall trying to make a play in Saturday’s game and missed Sunday’s contest with a should injury. In other news star pitcher Connor Prielipp opted out of the rest of the year, basically ending his Alabama career with 28 innings pitched in three years. Prielipp underwent Tommy John surgery last May and has been rehabbing with the team while he waits on the Major League Draft this summer.
Next up the Tide plays at Samford on Tuesday at 6 p.m. before traveling to Columbia, SC to play the South Carolina Gamecocks in a Thursday, Friday, and Saturday series. The games will be at 6 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, and 11 a.m. (all Central Time). The opener and closer will be on the SEC Network while the Friday game will be available on the SEC Network Plus.
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