TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Following a tough weekend on the road against Texas, Alabama baseball’s losing streak extended to four games in a 7-6 defeat back at home against the UT Martin Skyhawks.
Crimson Tide pitching surrendered four home runs in total, including a pivotal two-run shot in the ninth inning that broke a 5-5 tie.
Hagan Banks started on the mound for Bama and went two innings. It was in the third inning that things began to go south, as reliever Hunter Ruth issued walks to his first two batters. These free passes, to Nate Self and Cameron Brady respectively, would turn into the first runs scored of the game. Not to be deterred, the Tide answered when Andrew Pinckney led off the home half of the inning with a solo homer to straightaway center.
The Tide took what would be its only lead of the game in the fifth, when a Jim Jarvis sac fly RBI was followed by a Drew Williamson RBI single. This made it 3-2
Brayden Gainey, who came out of the bullpen for Alabama and started pitching in the fourth inning, had gone 2.2 innings without incident until the Skyhawks’ Casey Harford and Wil LaFollette went back-to-back and regained the advantage, 4-3. The home team left a runner on third in the bottom of the sixth frame.
In the top of the seventh, Nate Self led off with yet another solo home run, restoring the visitors’ two-run lead. This forced a quick pitching change, as Braylon Myers, who had come on to relieve Gainey, was removed prior to getting an out. Hunter Furtado took his place and retired the side.
In the home half of the seventh, after Drew Williamson was hit by a pitch, Zane Denton sent a ball deep into right field to even the game at five runs apiece. Furtado followed on the defensive side with an incident-free eighth. He then struck out the first Skyhawk batter in the ninth inning; unfortunately, immediately after a walk, Cameron Brady hit the definitive fourth home run of the day for UT Martin.
The defense staved off further damage, but the Tide only plated one run in the ninth, and with a runner on and two out, Owen Diodati grounded out on the first pitch he saw to end the game.
“I think it was pretty obvious early on our energy level wasn’t the same as it had been,” Head Coach Brad Bohannon said. “Our guys showed some good fight… but we didn’t play good enough to win today. We didn’t hit well enough, we didn’t pitch well enough, [and] we certainly couldn’t run the bases well enough, and that’s what happens when you don’t play well in all facets of the game.”
Dominic Tamez led Alabama with three hits on the day, while Pinckney, Williamson, Caden Rose, and Tommy Seidl each had two.
Alabama’s record on the season fell to 5-4 following the game, while UT Martin improved to 3-4. Matt Dickey was the winning pitcher for the Skyhawks, while Hunter Furtado was the losing pitcher for the Tide.
The Tide will look to get back on track this Wednesday versus Troy at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. The game will be broadcasted on the SEC Network +.