The Crimson Tide baseball team entered the weekend needing wins badly. Bama only managed one win out of three vs 19th ranked LSU this weekend. The Tide saw a golden opportunity slip through their hands on Friday, losing 6-5 before bouncing back with an 8-3 win on Saturday to force the rubber game on Sunday. The Tigers left nothing to chance and boat raced the home team by a margin of 12-3 in the series finale. Alabama fell to 26-22 overall and 10-14 in the SEC while LSU improved to 32-15 and 14-10 in the conference.
Game One: Lost 6-5
The Tide sent Garrett McMillian to the mound in game one, per usual. The Bayou Bengals countered with Ma’Khail Hilliard. Bama jumped out to a quick lead in the bottom of the first. Jim Jarvis led off with a single and then stole second base. Jarvis advanced to third on a fly out and then scampered home on a passed ball by catcher Tyler McManus. The Tide added another in the third when Caden Rose doubled and crossed the plate on a double from Andrew Pinckney.
McMillian got through the first four innings allowing three hits and no runs before disaster struck in the 5th. McManus led off the frame with a long home run to cut the lead in half. After the next two batters went out on a strikeout and a fly ball bad things happened. Dylan Crews worked a walk on a 3-2 pitch. When Crews ventured too far off base on a missed hit and run attempt Tide catcher Dominic Tamez just needed to throw to first baseman Drew Williamson for the easy inning ending pick off. After side stepping the batter Tamez airmailed the ball into right field to allow Crews to advance. Jacob Berry then tied the game with an RBI single, followed by an RBI double from Cade Doughty and a two run home run from Tre’ Morgan. Suddenly the Tide was in a 5-2 hole after four unearned runs crossed the plate in the inning.
Bama fought back in the bottom of the 5th. scoring three runs of their own. Rose led off with single followed by a Jarvis safety. Pinckney lined a single through the hole to score Rose. Riley Cooper was then called in from the bullpen to replace Hilliard and got a fly out for the first out. Tamez singled to score Pinckney and cut the lead to one. After a force out at second Tommy Seidl poked a single through the four hole to tie the game up at 5.
Brock Guffey replaced McMillian to start the 6th and recorded two quick outs on just five pitches. Nine hole hitter Josh Stevenson worked a full count walk and lead off hitter Josh Pearson was hit by a pitch to bring the dangerous Crews to the plate, and he made the Tide pay by lining an RBI single that proved to be the winning run. Bama only managed a single and two walks over the final four innings and never were able to get the tying run across the plate.
Guffey fell to 2-3 with the loss after pitching four innings, allowing four hits, one run, walking two and striking out two. McMillian allowed eight hits over his five innings with one walk and six strikeouts, but only one earned run. The Tide hit 11-37 in the game with two walks, nine strikeouts, and seven runners left on base. The Tigers were 12-37 with three walks, two hit batters, eight strikeouts, and nine left on base. Each team committed one error, with the Tides being more costly. Jarvis was 3-5 with a stolen base and two runs scored, followed by Pinckney at 2-4 with two RBI, a double, and a run scored. Seidl was 2-4 with an RBI while Rose also was 2-4 with a double and two runs scored. Copper got the win to improve to 4-2 and Paul Gervase earned with fifth save of the year.
Game Two: Won 8-3
Senior right hander Jacob McNairy graduated in the morning and pitched a gem in the evening on Saturday for the Tide. In the first McNairy got the first two batters easily before giving a long home run to Dylan Crews to give the Tigers a quick 1-0 lead. Bama answered in the bottom half of the first to take an early 2-1 lead. Jim Jarvis walked to lead off and advanced to second on a passed ball. Andrew Pinckney then singled to score Jarvis. Drew Williamson walked and Dominic Tamez singled to load the bases with one out. At that point the Tigers replaced starting pitcher Blake Money with Grant Taylor. William Hamiter hit a deep fly ball to left that was hauled in at the well, but scored Pinckney with the RBI sacrifice fly. Zane Denton walked to reload the bases with one out and it appeared the Tide was in line for a big inning. A sharply hit ball to shortstop by Owen Diodati turned into an inning ending double play.
Bama added three more in the second. Caden Rose double in front of a walk to Bryce Eblin. Jarvis put down a perfect sacrifice bunt and was safe on a throwing error by Taylor, which scored Rose. Pinckney walked to score Jarvis and then Williamson hit into a fielders choice to score Eblin and give the Tide a comfortable 5-1 lead. Shoddy LSU defense helped the Tide score twice more in the 4th. Shortstop Jordan Thompson dropped a pop up off the bat of Williamson, who ended up at second base. Tamez walked before William Hamiter chopped a single through the right side, and through the legs of right fielder Josh Pearson with Williamson and Tamez both scoring.
McNairy tossed scoreless innings from the 2nd through the 5th and recorded two outs in the fifth before being replaced by Jake Leger with one runner on. Leger threw one pitch to end the inning. In the 7th Leger allowed a lead off single to Cade Doughty and with one out Crews struck again with his second home run of the game and 15th of the season to cut the lead to 7-3. Dylan Ray took over in the 8th and struck out the side on 13 pitches. The Tide added an insurance run in the bottom half when Williamson singled home Eblin, who had walked. Ray closed it out in the 9th, despite walking two, and the home team took the 8-3 win.
The Tide scored finished hitting 7-29, but drew eight walks, struck out nine times, left eight men on base, and had help with three big Tiger errors. LSU hit just 6-33 with five walks, two hit batters, 12 strikeouts, and left 10 on base. McNairy improved to 5-2 with the win in his second consecutive standout start, allowing one run on four hits with three walks and seven strikeouts. Rose and Tamez were both 2-4 with a run scored, Williamson was 1-4, drove in two runs, added a walk, and a run scored. Jarvis and Eblin were both 0-2 but each scored twice. Jarvis had two sacrifice bunts and Eblin walked twice.
Game Three: Lost 12-3
Sophomore left hander Grayson Hitt took his normal Sunday start and things went south right out of the shoot. Gavin Dugas led off, drawing a walk after starting down 0-2 in the count. Josh Pearson grounded into a fielders choice and then scored on a double by Dylan Crews. Jordan Thompson and Drew Bianco had run scoring singles to put the Tide down 3-0 after just a half an inning.
Bama answered with one run in the bottom half. Jim Jarvis led off with a double and scored on a one out double by Drew Williamson. Williamson’s ball just missed leaving the park . For the second game in a row the LSU starter was pulled after just four batters. Jacob Hasty replaced starter Samuel Dutton and tossed four brilliant, scoreless, innings while allowing only two hits with no walks.
Hitt settled down and had scoreless innings in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th innings despite three runners being in scoring position. The Memphis native was working in the 5th and had two outs and one one when he allowed an RBI single to Bianco and a two run home run to Tyler McManus. Freshman Ben Hess was called into pitch for the first time in an SEC game. Hess struck out Collier Cranford to end the inning and then struck out the side in the 6th on 12 pitches. In the 7th the Tigers put up three runs on an RBI fielders choice from Tre’ Morgan and a two out home run from McManus, his second of the game and third of the weekend.
The Tide got a solo home run from Caden Rose in the 7th, his first of the year. Hess remained in the game in the 8th and things went sideways quickly. A double and a walk brought Crews to the plate and the All American chased the big freshman from the mound with his third home run of the series to make the score 12-2. LSU scored three runs in four separate innings in the game. Freshman Luke Holman replaced Hess and didn't allow any more runs over his two innings. Holman allowed three hits, walked one, and struck out three. Eric Foggo came in to pinch hit for the Tide in the bottom of the 9th and hit his fourth home run of the season to make the final score 12-3.
Bama finished 8-34 in the game, had zero walks, struck out six times, and left four men on base. LSU was 15-43 at the plate, had five walks, one hit batters, struck out 15 times and left 10 men on base. Hitt fell to 4-3 with the loss while Hasty improved to 2-0 with the win. Individually the red hot Rose was 2-4 with a double, home run, a run scored and one driven in. Williamson drove in one with his 1-3 game while Foggo’s home run accounted for the only other Tide run.
In the series the Tide hit 26-100 for a .260 average, drew 10 walks, struck out 24 times, left 19 men on base, and committed two errors. The Tigers hit 33-113 for a .292 average, had 13 walks, three hits batters, struck out 35 times, left 29 on base and made four errors.
Who Did What?
- Caden Rose 6-12, three doubles, home run, RBI, four runs scored
- Jim Jarvis 4-11, double, five runs, stolen base, two sac bunts
- Andrew Pinckney 3-12, double, three RBI, two runs, two walks
- Dominic Tamez 3-11, RBI, run, BB, double, RBI
- Jacob McNairy (W 5-2) 5.2 IP 4 H 3 BB 7 K 1 R
Another series that got away from the Tide this weekend. The Friday game was there for the taking, and the team took advantage of their opportunities on Saturday to take the easy win. Sunday was a lackluster day on the mound and at the plate. Time is running out on the season, with only a road trip to Auburn and a home series with Arkansas left in the conference. If the season ended today the Tide would be the 8th seed in the SEC Tournament. Alabama is ahead of Missouri, Mississippi State, and Kentucky right now and is tied with Ole Miss and South Carolina. The Tide has the tie breaker over Ole Miss, but the Gamecocks have the advantage over Bama.
Sluggers Zane Denton and Owen Diodati have been in slumps as have William Hamiter, Tommy Seidl, and Bryce Eblin. Rose had taken over the team lead in batting average at .320 with his hot play as of late. Pinckney, Drew Williamson, Dominic Tamez, and Jim Jarvis, along with Rose have been carrying the team offensively the past few weeks.
Next up is a road trip to Jacksonville State on Tuesday for a 6 p.m. game followed by the trip to Auburn. Those games will be at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, 2 p.m. on Saturday, and 3 p.m. on Sunday. The first and third games will be on the SEC Network while Saturday’s will be available on the SEC Network Plus.
Bama Baseball Fever, Catch it