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Cardiac Crimson Tide Advance to Regional Finals With Thrilling 9th Inning Rally

The Alabama Crimson Tide had another dramatic victory in the Tuscaloosa Regional on Saturday night. The Tide scored four runs in the 9th to defeat Troy 11-8

Syndication: Tuscaloosa News
This is what a superstar looks like, Bama right fielder, Andrew Pinckney
Gary Cosby Jr.-Tuscaloosa News / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Cardiac Kids that are the Alabama Crimson Tide did it again on Saturday night.

One night after a dramatic bottom-ninth walk-off win over Nicholls, the Tide did it again. This time, as the visitor, scoring four times in the top of the 9th to defeat Troy, 11-8.

Bama improved to 42-19 on the year while Troy fell to 40-21. Alabama will play the winner of the Boston College-Troy contest on Sunday night at 8 p.m. The Eagles and the Trojans will square off at 2 p.m. for the right to take on the Tide. Bama would win the Regional with a victory, but a loss would send the two to a Monday if necessary game with the winner advancing to Super Regional play.

This was a wild one folks, buckle up.

The Tide sent senior right hander Garrett McMillian to the mound to face the Trojans junior left hander Logan Ross. Bama was designated the visiting team in the game, but were able to stay in their normal dugout. Alabama had a chance to break out on top in the first but failed to capitalize. Jim Jarvis struck out to start the game, but reached first base on a wild pitch on strike three. With one out Andrew Pinckney walked, and with two outs Dom Tamez also reached on a free pass. A sharply hit ground ball by Colby Shelton ended the threat.

Bama did jump in front in the top of the 2nd inning. Ed Johnson opened the inning with a single but was forced out at second base on a Mac Guscette ground ball. Caden Rose then lined a two run, opposite field home run, his seventh of the year, for the early lead. McMillian cruised through the first two innings in three up-three down fashion on just 20 pitches.

The Trojans had a big inning in the bottom of the 3rd. Kyle Mock lined a single off of first baseman’s Drew Williamson arm to lead the inning off. Shane Lewis followed with a single of his own and before Clay Stearns walked to load the bases. A double play ball plated one run and a Ethan Kavanaugh scored another. With two own Williams Sullivan hit a opposite field, three run home run to put Troy ahead by a score of 5-2.

As has become their norm, the Tide answered back the next half inning. In the top of the 4th Bama scored four to go ahead 6-5. Guscette singled and moved to third on a double by Rose. Jim Jarvis and Tommy Seidl both lined RBI singles to cut the lead to 5-4. The left fielder made a throwing error on Seidl’s hit and Jarvis sped home to tie the game. Pinckney drew another walk and with two outs Tamez bounced a single up the middle to score Seidl for a 6-5 lead. Pinckney attempted to go 1st to 3rd on Tamez’s safety and was tagged out when he slid and came off the bag. After the Tide challenged the call, it was upheld and Pinckney was the second out. Colby Shelton’s singled next, so the play loomed large.

McMillian had a quick 4th inning and came back out to being the 5th. Kole Myers hit a 2-2 pitch into the right field plaza to tie the game. Aidan Moza replaced McMillian had got three quick outs to keep the score tied. The Trojans third pitcher of the game, Kristin Asbury had entered the game in the top of the 4th and got out of a jam in the 4th and had a scoreless 5th inning. Pinckney hit majestic home run to lead off the 6th, clearing the scoreboard and blasting the ball into the law school parking lot. The long ball was Pinckney’s 17th of the year and one of the longest home runs hit in Sewell-Thomas Stadium.

Moza was the victim of some bad luck in the bottom of the 6th. An infield single was followed by a bloop single and another infield single to load the bases. Lewis singled softly to right field and the runners momentarily held up to make sure the ball fell. Pinckney fielded the ball cleanly in right field and fired a strike plate word. Guscette and the umpire seemed to not realize this was a force play at the plate and Guscetted swiped a tag toward the baserunner. Plate umpire Joe Maiden called the runner safe and after a review the call held up and the game was tied. After a strikeout of Clay Stearns, Myers hit a sac fly to centerfield for an RBI and a 8-7 lead.

In the top of the 8th Pinckney punched a one out single up the middle and Williamson was walked. A pop out and strikeout stranded runners on 2nd and 3rd and the Tide still trailed. Moza walked the first batter he faced in the bottom of the 8th and was replaced by Hunter Hoopes. Hoopes got a double play ground ball turned by Johnson and Jarvis and a pop out to end the frame.

Trailing 8-7 and with their backs against the wall, the Tide once again answered. Johnson flew out to deep center field and Bama was down to their final two outs. Will Hodo pinch hit for Guscette and drew a walk on a 3-2 pitch. Noah Manning entered the game for Troy and promptly walked Rose.

With one out Jarvis flew out to deep centerfield and in one of the most important plays of the game, Hodo and Rose both tagged up and advanced to 2nd and 3rd bases, respectively. Seidl, playing with a clearly painful lower body injury, hit a hard ground ball to shortstop Tremayne Cobb, Jr. Cobb fielded the ball and airmailed the throw off of first baseman Sullivan’s glove. Seidl, known as Sarge to teammates for a reason, gave every fiber of his strength and resolve to help force the off target throw. Hodo scored easily and Rose never let up and scored, diving over the plate head first for the lead. William Hamiter replaced Seidl as pinch runner and scored on an opposite field triple by Pinckney. Tamez slapped another single up the middle to allow Pinckney cross the plate for another insurance run.

Carrying an 11-8 lead into the bottom of the 9th, interim head coach Jason Jackson called on his lanky freshman closer, Alton Davis II.

Davis earned a save in Friday’s thriller, over Nicholls and didn't let appearing two nights in a row bother him in the least. Davis struck out the first batter with a 96 mph fast ball, and then got Myers to hit a ground ball to Jarvis at shortstop. The gold glove caliber Jarvis made an uncharacteristic bobble of the ball, but recovered to throw a strike to first base. The umpire made a safe call, and after a review the call was upheld, somehow. Unfazed Davis II forced a ground ball by Ethan Kavanaugh that Johnson at second base and Jarvis turned into a game ending 4-6-3 double play.

The Tide hit 13-41 in the game, walked 10 times, reached on four Trojan errors, struck out seven times, and stranded 13 men on base. Bama counted two doubles, a triple, and two home runs among their hits. Pinckney had another highlight reel game with his 3-4 game with a triple, home run, two RBI, and two runs scored. Rose was 2-3 with a home run, double, two walks, two RBI, and three runs scored. Tamez drove in two runs with his 2-5 night and also drew a walk. On one leg Seidl finished 2-6 with a double, a run scored and a run driven in. Hoopes was the winner and improved to 2-1 with the victory. Davis II earned hit eighth save of the season.

Bama really does seem to be lining up as a team of destiny. The players and staff never panic, never seemed overwhelmed, and are never truly out of a game.

The star may change from game to game, but the effort and cohesiveness never waver. Pinckney is a legitimate superstar and still awes you with another facet of his game every day. Seidl is really the heart and soul with his grittiness, toughness, and unselfishness. A normal person would be laid up in bed with the injury he is playing through. This group is truly a joy to watch and have really become fan favorites.

Up next is another 8 p.m. CT game on Sunday night (ESPN+) against the winner of the Boston College vs. Troy elimination game. Win and the Crimson Tide is Regional Champs. Lose and the two teams will play a winner take all game on Monday at a time to be determined. Jackson will send super senior Jacob McNairy against whoever the opponent is. Jump on the bandwagon and get all your shots, Alabama Baseball Fever is spreading.

Roll Tide


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