Alabama trailed the whole game leading into the ninth. It had plated two in the seventh and one in the eighth, to cut South Carolina’s lead to just one run.
Chandler Taylor lead off the ninth for Alabama. He saw two balls go by him and hit a home run over the right field fence to tie the game at four. Connor Short followed him with a double to right field. He would advance on a single by Gene Wood and would score after Chandler Avant hit into a double play.
However, the No. 7 team in the country wouldn’t go down easy in the bottom of the ninth. Jonah Bride lead off with a four-pitch walk. With the tying run on base, Alabama pitcher Davis Vainer retired the next two batters. With two outs Bride advanced to second by a wild pitch, and was replaced by a pinch runner, Danny Blair. Blair would advance to third on a wild pitch, and would come around to score on a different wild pitch.
The Crimson Tide had only played in one extra inning game all year heading into Saturday’s matchup, and had lost to Jacksonville State. The bottom of the 10th inning started with a leadoff walk from the South Carolina catcher, Hunter Taylor. He would advance to second on a single by LT Tolbert. Justin Row came up for his only plate appearance with the bases loaded and one out. He singled to left for the winning RBI.
“I’m really proud of the way our guys fought and competed against a really good team today,” head coach Greg Goff said. “On the weekends in SEC play, you have to play clean, and I think we had some mental mistakes that cost us the game. Those kind of things are my job to correct.”
Despite the loss, it was one of Alabama’s best hitting performances all year. All nine of the Crimson Tide starters reached base at least once, with eight of the nine recording a hit. Wood, Taylor and Hunter Alexander all recorded a multi-hit game, with each finishing 2-4.
Short’s hit extended his hitting streak to eight games, tying Cobie Vance’s streak earlier in the season.
The Alabama starter, Dylan Duarte, went 5.1 innings in the no decision. He allowed four runs, with two being earned, coming off seven hits and three walks. Davis Vainer finished with the loss for the Crimson Tide. He threw 1.1 innings and allowed two runs off two hits. He also finished with four walks and four wild pitches.
For South Carolina, starter Wil Crowe went 6.1 innings, and allowed two runs. He allowed a total of seven base runners, five hits and two walks, while striking out five. Josh Reagan finished with the win. He went 3.2 innings and allowed three runs off six hits and two walks.
Alabama finishes the weekend series on Sunday, as Nick Eicholtz starts for the Crimson Tide.
Source:: The Crimson White Sports