After being rained out on Saturday, Alabama and Arkansas-Pine Bluff played in a doubleheader on Sunday, with the teams splitting the pair of games.
The Golden Lions took the first game by the final of 8-3, bouncing back from a pair losses to begin the series. Alabama came back to win the second game of the double header, 12-2. Winning the second game gave Alabama the series win 3-1 over Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
Alabama was not sharp in the first game, despite taking a 1-0 advantage in the bottom of the first inning.
“After the first inning we lost our approach, said head coach Greg Goff. “I told them ‘we get punched in the mouth and don’t respond.’ Our offense is good enough to give up some runs and come back. They responded well in the second game”
Brock Love, Alabama’s starting pitcher in game one, was sharp through the first two innings before struggling through the third and fourth innings.
Arkansas-Pine Bluff scored a run in the third inning but exploded on Love in the fourth inning for six runs. Love allowed two 2-run home runs in the inning, all without recording an out.
Love finished with three innings, allowing five earned runs on six hits. He struck out three and walked two.
While Goff stresses his team playing “27 outs” every game, they had to get 29 outs in the first game Sunday, as Pine Bluff left fielder Jordan Knox reached first base twice after striking out on a wild pitch.
“Stuff like that happens,” Goff said. “But we need to stop the ball when our pitchers throw curveballs with two strikes, otherwise they hang them. We saw that today.”
Nathan Sawrie, the starter for the Golden Lions, pitched a complete game. He struck out two, walked three and held Alabama to three runs on five hits. Sawrie threw 106 pitches.
Alabama was able to bounce back in the second game by getting on the board in each of the first three innings and in six of the seven innings. They were aided by a home runs by Cody Henry in the third, Tanner DeVinny in the fifth inning and Alex Webb in the sixth. For freshman Webb, it was his first career collegiate home run.
Logan Carey, had himself a strong game, going a perfect 2-for-2 with two singles and two walks in the second game. He also added a stolen base, his second of the season in as many tries.
On the mound for Alabama in the second game, left-hander Dylan Duarte responded with a strong start. In 6 innings, he struck out eight and walked just one. He held the Golden Lions offense scoreless and allowed just one hit. Duarte threw a season high 72 pitches.
“I think he was pitching really well,” Goff said. “With our big lead, I wanted to give some of our other pitchers get a chance. I wanted to get Nathan (Alstadt) out there. We have to analyze those players for the future as well.”
Devinny caught Duarte and liked what he saw from him.
“I don’t have the right word,” Devinny said. “It makes my job easy. It’s a whole lot more fun putting down whatever finger I want and I know it’s going to be right where I call it.”
The Golden Lions made a threat to cut into the Crimson Tide’s lead in the 7th inning, plating two runs after loading the bases on three straight walks by Nathan Altstadt.
A two-run home run by Hunter Alexander gave the Crimson Tide a 10-run lead, ending the game in the bottom of the 7th inning.
In the fifth inning, Chandler Taylor made a catch running into the right field wall. He was shaken up for a second, but remained in the game. He was removed from the game prior to the end of the 6th inning for precautionary reasons, according to Goff, as Alabama had a commanding lead.
Alabama returns to action on March 13, when the Eastern Illinois Panthers come to town.
Source:: The Crimson White Sports