The Crimson Tide baseball team took a weekend series from the Texas Aggies by winning the final two games. A&M won 3-2 on Friday but the Tide bounced back to take 10-9 and 8-4 wins on Saturday and Sunday to improve to 17-12 overall and 4-5 in the SEC. The Friday loss was Bama’s seventh one run loss of the season. TAMU fell to 16-11 and 4-5 in the SEC.
Game One- Lost 3-2
Garrett McMillian took the mound for the Tide against Nathan Dettmer for the Aggies on Friday night. Neither team could get much working offensively in the game and it turned into a classic Friday night pitching duel.
McMillian struck out four and allowed one single in the first two innings before the Tide took the lead in the bottom of the second. Owen Diodati led off with a single and raced home on a double from Andrew Pinckney. Bama lost a great chance to build on the lead when Pinckney was called out for getting hit by Bryce Eblin’s single while running to third, on a play that he would have easily scored.
In the top of the fourth McMillian walked Dylan Rock to lead off the inning, McMillian’s only walk of the game, and it came back to bite him. Rock scored on a double off the bat of Brett Minnich to tie the game at 1-1. In the sixth McMillian allowed a lead off single to Jack Moss and with one out threw maybe his only bad pitch of his outing, which Minnich lifted over the right field wall for a 3-1 Aggie lead. McMillian finished his night with 6 innings pitched allowing six hits with one walk, nine strikeouts, and three earned runs.
Jake Leger replaced McMillian to start the 7th and allowed a walk and double to begin the frame. With runners on second and third and no outs Hunter Hoopes answered the call to the bullpen and worked out of the jam. Hoopes got at ground ball to short for out one then struck out the next two batters to give the Tide some momentum.
Bama added a run in the bottom of the seventh, and missed on an opportunity to do more. Drew Williamson and Pinckney both drew one out walks to set the table. With two outs Caden Rose hit a ball back to the mound that squirted under pitcher Jacob Palisch’s glove for an error that loaded the bases. Jim Jarvis drew a walk to drive in a run and bring Tommy Seidl to the plate with the bags still jammed. The speedy Seidl hit a ball in the hole that shortstop Kole Kaler made a nice play on and a better throw. Seidl had to slow down just a hair to avoid a nasty collision at first base and after a review was called out, leaving the score at 3-2 in favor of the Aggies.
Hoopes had a perfect 8th inning to hold the score. The Tide had another bases loaded chance in the bottom half that they could not take advantage of. With one out Dominic Tamez singled, then was forced out at second on a ground ball by Diodati. Williamson walked, followed by an infield single by Pinckney to load the bases. A strike out ended the inning. Brock Guffey tossed a scoreless 9th for the Tide, but the offense went down with a ground out and two strikeouts to end the game with the Aggies on the top end of the 3-2 score.
Alabama finished 8-34 with four walks, 11 strikeouts, and nine runners left on base. TA&M hit 8-35 with three walks, 14 strikeouts, one error, and eight men left on base. Pinckney led the Tide with with 2-3 night with a double, a walk, and a run scored. Six players had one hit each and Jarvis drove in the only other run.
Game Two- Won 10-9
The Tide bounced back to take a victory in game two in a wild, up and down, sloppy, exciting, roller coaster ride of a game. Bama scored in only three innings: the 4th, 5th, and 7th, but the 10 tallies were just enough to hold on for the win.
Jacob McNairy remained the game two starter and was on from the beginning. Through three innings the senior right hander had allowed only a harmless single and had struck out four batters. In the 4th the Aggies used a lead off single, a hit batter, and another single to take a 1-0 lead.
Bama bunted their way into the lead in the bottom of the fourth. Tommy Seidl led off with a bunt single and advanced to second on a throwing error on the play. Drew Williamson then laid down a perfect bunt and beat it out for a hit to put runners on the corners. Andrew Pinckney singled in the infield to score Seidl to tie the game. Dominic Tamez then executed a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners to second and third. Bryce Eblin walked to load the bases and Caden Rose laced an RBI single. Jim Jarvis singled in the third run and Eric Foggo hit a sacrifice fly to score the fourth. McNariy tossed a scored fifth with two strikeouts to keep the score at 4-1 in Bama’s favor.
The Tide added three more in the bottom of the fifth. Seidl led off with a walk and advanced on another bunt single from Williamson. Pinckney drove Seidl in on a fielders choice ground ball. Eblin singled and was followed by a two run single from Rose to build the lead to 7-1.
McNairy came back out for the 6th and things fell apart. Dylan Rock led off with a double and scored in front of a home run from Jack Moss to cut the lead to 7-3. An infield single and walk came next followed by a Tide error on a bunt to load the bases. Antoine Jean was summonsed from the bull pen and walked the first batter he faced to force in a run. Jean finally induced a pop out for out one, but a single by Jordan Thompson got under Rose’s glove in center field and suddenly the Aggies had taken the lead at 8-7. Jean struck out the next two batters to apply the tourniquet to the gushing wound.
Jean had a perfect 7th highlighted by a sliding catch by Seidl in left field to end the frame. The Tide added three runs in the bottom half. Williamson led off by reaching on an error and was sacrifice to second by Pinckney. After a pop out for out two Eblin singled to push Williamson home. Rose and Jarvis walked which brought William Hamiter to the plate. Hamiter, the teams regular right fielder and clean up hitter to start the season has been out since the 4th game of the season when he broke his foot. Hamiter bounced a single up the middle to score two runs to give the Tide a lead of 10-8.
Dylan Ray took over on the mound for Bama in the 8th. A lead off double and then a single closed the gap to 10-9. Ray got a ground out and two strikeouts to close the inning. The Tide went out in order in the bottom half and entered the 9th with the one run lead. After surrendering two 9th inning leads in Starkville last weekend the Tide faithful were holding their collective breaths. Ray was touched for lead off single, struck out the next two batters, and then allowed another single. The runners advanced to second and third while Troy Claunch was at the plate but Ray reared back and blew a fastball past Claunch for the strikeout and the Tide win to even the series and to set up the rubber game on Sunday.
Bama hit 11-34 in the game with five walks, eight strikeouts, and left eight men on base. The Aggies hit 12-38 with two walks, 12 strikeouts, one hits batter and stranded six on base. Rose led the way for the Tide going 2-2 with two walks, one run, and three runs driven in. Eblin finished 2-3 with a walk, scored three runs, and drove in one. Williamso, Jarvis, and Pinckney all had two hits and Pinckney and Hamiter both drove in two. Jean improved to 2-1 with the win and Ray claimed his third save of the season.
Game Three- Won 8-4
Grayson Hitt started game three for the Tide on the mound as the team looked to take their first SEC series win of the season. Ryan Targac hit a two run home run for the Aggies in the top of the second for a quick 2-0 lead.
Once again Bama had a big 4th inning to grab the lead. Tommy Seidl led off with a walk and advanced to third on a single by Bryce Eblin. Eblin tried to stretch hit hit into a double and was out at second. Andrew Pinckney walked and stole second to put two runners in scoring position. William Hamiter, starting at DH, blasted a ball into deep center and hobbled into second base with a two run double. Dominic Tamez doubled Hamiter home and Zane Denton singled Tamez across the plate and then Drew Williamson doubled Denton home for the 5-2 lead after four innings.
Hunter Furtado replaced Hitt to start the 5th and pitched three mostly trouble free innings, allowed two hits with one walk and three strikeouts. The Tide added two runs in the bottom of the 7th on RBI’s by Pinckney and Denton. Landon Green took over on the mound in the 8th and allowed one run that scored on a wild pitch. Eblin doubled home the last run for Bama in the bottom of the 8th. Brock Guffey pitched the 9th and although he allowed a solo home run the Tide easily won the game 8-4.
Bama hit 11-36 in the game with nine walks, nine strikeouts, one hit batter, and stranded 14 runners on base. The Tide stole three bases and committed one error. Eblin 4-5 with double and a run driven in, Denton was 3-4 with a double and two RBI while Williamson was 2-4 with a double and a run driven in. TAM finished 9-35 with four walks, eight strikeouts, and eight runners left on base. In the series hit .288, going 30-104, drew 18 walks, struck out 28 times, and stranded 31 runners on base. The Aggies hit 29-108 for a .268 average, walked only nine times, struck out 34 times and left 22 on base.
Who Did What?
*Bryce Eblin 7-12, 2 RBI, 3 runs, double, stolen base
*Drew Williamson 5-11, 3 walks, 3 runs, double, RBI
*William Hamiter 2-5, 4 RBI, double, two walks, run
*Caden Rose 3-6, 3 RBI, run, BB
*Andrew Pinckney 4-11, double, triple, 3 RBI, 4 runs, SB
*Dylan Ray Save (3), 2 IP 4 H 0 BB 5 K
*Hunter Furtado W (3-2) 3 IP 2 H 1 BB 3 K
*Antoine Jean W (2-1) 2 IP 1 H 0 ER 1 BB 1 K
This was a much needed series victory for the Tide after the disappointment of last weekend in Starkville. The team is starting to figure out roles both on the mound and at the plate. The starting pitching remains solid and gives the team a chance to win each time out. The bullpen is falling into place and starting to get contributions from a number of players. The offense got a shot in the arm with Hamiter’s return and also are starting to draw more walks which should lead to increased scoring. Eblin has heated up since coming back from his injury and is now hitting at a .351 clip. Bama is one of six teams in the SEC with a conference record of 4-5. Tennessee is clearly the class of the league at 9-0 and 27-1 overall. Next up is a home game with Samford on Tuesday at 6 p.m. and a weekend trip to Oxford to take on the Ole Miss Rebels. The games will be at 6:30 on Friday, 2 p.m. on Saturday, and 2 p.m. on Sunday. The first two will be shown on SEC Network Plus while the Sunday game will be on the SEC Network.
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