By (Cody Estremera)

The game was a pitcher’s duel from start to finish. A total of three runs were scored in the extra inning affair between Alabama and the visiting Jacksonville State Gamecocks.

Extra innings started off with a walk by Taylor Hawthorne for the Gamecocks. That one walk would cause problems for Alabama pitcher Davis Vainer. Hawthorne advanced to second on a Vainer balk, causing head coach Greg Goff to replace Vainer for freshman Deacon Medders. Medders would throw two wild pitches, allowing Taylor to score.

For Alabama this was the fourth consecutive loss, following a sweep over the weekend by Oral Roberts.

“It’s just embarrassing,” Goff said. “We are definitely better than what we’ve been playing. This team just needs to regroup and get ready for the weekend.”

The Crimson Tide used eight total pitchers in the 2-1 loss. Vainer finished with the loss after pitching 1.1 innings, allowing one run off one hit and two walks. Garrett Suchey added 2.1 innings allowing just one hit.

However, Goff made some adjustments since the weekend series. Three position players, Logan Carey, Alex Webb and John Trousdale, all made their first career starts. Garret Rukes also made his first start of the season.

The group of freshman hitters would finish with just one base hit finishing, 1-for-8. Goff said that he wanted to get the freshman’s feet wet and that the team’s future is bright with the younger guys on the team.

Rukes in his first start would go 3.2 innings allowing four hits and striking out three throwing 51 pitches. Goff said that he threw well and made some big pitches.

Webb in his first career start put on a show defensively, throwing out two runners and blocking multiple balls that have been getting by the catchers recently. He also would collect his first hit in his Alabama career.

“He did tremendous defensively,” Goff said. “He collected his first hit and filled in a roll.”

Jacksonville State’s pitching staff shut down the Crimson Tide offensively, allowing just one run off six hits, which are both season lows.

“I think offensively we are just at a bad place right now,” Goff said. “. “It doesn’t matter if it is a little league pitcher throwing to us, we just need to get better. We had good preparation yesterday, but we didn’t take the preparation to the game.”

Alabama next plays the University of Louisiana at Monroe for the weekend series. Goff stressed that the team needs to get back to its hitting ways before the series starts.

ULM sits at 4-4 to start its season. Goff said that the Warhawks have some really good arms coming out of the bullpen and they will be ready to play.

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Source:: The Crimson White Sports