By (Elliott Propes)

After a rainout on Thursday night, No. 23 Alabama baseball
came out to play Friday night in a light drizzle against No. 21 Houston. The
teams played through it, and the Crimson Tide was edged out in the last inning by the Cougars, 3-1.

“Offensively [Friday], just not enough there,” coach Mitch
Gaspard said. “I mean, we punched out 14 times. A lot of credit to [Andrew] Lantrip, he pitched us well.”

The game was tied 1-1 going into the ninth, until Houston
freshman Joe Davis drove in his second RBI of the night when he lined a double
into the left field gap to score a runner from second. Houston then added an
insurance run off of a sacrifice fly to go up 3-1. Alabama could not
recover in the bottom half of the inning.

Davis had a monster game to add to his monster season
statistics. Davis drove in the first run of the ball game when he launched a
pitch over the left-field fence for a home run, marking his fourth of the year. Davis now
has drove in 20 of Houston’s 75 runs this season and has a .460 batting

“When you get a hot hitter and a good hitter like him, you’re hopeful we don’t present scoring opportunities when he comes up,” Gaspard said.
“We hung a couple and he got them. He’s a good hitter. You have to pitch him
tough. You’ve got to have a good mix.”

The Cougars’ starting pitcher, Andrew Lantrip, came in the
ballgame with a career 2.42 ERA and 16-6 record. Lantrip came into the season
being placed on the 2016 Golden Spikes Watchlist. Friday, he was pitching well
again. Over eight innings, he gave up only one earned run and tied a career-high 13 strikeouts.

“We just got to have more competitive at-bats. Guys were
going down, and I did on the last at-bat, in three-or-four pitch at-bats,” freshman Chandler
Taylor said. “That really gives a pitcher momentum, and you know [when] he gets rolling,
a good guy like that, Lantrip, he’s going to make you look funny.”

Alabama’s pitching staff met the challenge holding the
Cougars to just one run for the first eight innings. junior Geoffrey Bramblett started
and pitched 4.1 innings and only gave up one run. Freshman Kyle Cameron then came in and
pitched 2.2 scoreless innings.

“I thought on the pitching side, we did enough,” Gaspard
said. “They are a good offensive team. They are going to score eventually. So
we’ve got to do more on the offensive end to create more opportunities. Right
now, it’s too many strikeouts night after night.”

Alabama will be back for the two other games in the series
Saturday and Sunday.

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Source:: The Crimson White Sports