By (Elliott Propes)

The new Sewell-Thomas Stadium sold out for the second
consecutive day during the opening series against Maryland. Alabama had an early lead, but a six-run fourth inning from Maryland put the Crimson Tide in a
large hole. Alabama was never able to crawl out of the hole and lost, 9-5.

“When you have a young team you have to stress to them that
after a win, the team is going to come attack you the next day,” coach Mitch
Gaspard said. “I thought on our side that [fourth] inning kind of burned us
right there.”

Sophomore Jake Walters started the game for Alabama and looked good
through the first three innings. He
struck out six batters and only allowed two base runners. When he came out in the
fourth, he lost his control. The first five batters got on base, and two of
them hit a 2-run homer. With 4-1 deficit, Walters was replaced by freshman Dylan Duarte. He gave up another 2-run shot, one of the runners having been on base from Walters’ pitching. Alabama was then down 6-1 after the inning.

“I thought [Walters] was really sharp early and that inning
he fell behind a little bit, and they took advantage of it and out some swings
on it,” Gaspard said. “It’s tough to come back from a six-run inning, but I
thought our guys did a good job offensively to grind back and get back in it.”

Alabama made an effort to come back, scoring four more runs,
but it wasn’t enough. Alabama out-hit the Terrapins 13-8 but left 10
players on base.

“We just couldn’t deliver the big blow,” Gaspard said. “Just
really couldn’t get to where the momentum was on our side.”

Freshman Cobie Vance had himself a night offensively going
4-5 with three singles and a home run. He hit a solo shot near the left-field
foul pole in the fourth inning, resulting in the only home run from the Crimson Tide.
Vance had a stolen base and two RBIs. His big afternoon came right
after fellow freshman, Chandler Taylor, had a homerun on Friday.

“We’ve got two good freshman out there,” Gaspard said. “Both Chandler and
Cobie are going to be forces in this league, and I don’t think it is going to
be in a year. I think it is going to be right now.”

Alabama will be back in action tomorrow for the rubber match
against Maryland at noon.

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Source:: The Crimson White Sports