TUSCALOOSA, Ala.- The Alabama baseball team won its last game of March, walking off the South Alabama Jaguars on a wild pitch to win its first midweek game in the last four tries. The 5-4 win establishes the Tide’s first winning streak since the Binghamton series in mid-March.
Freshman Ben Hess took the mound, and has been progressively throwing more. He went three innings with four strikeouts. The only runs he surrendered came on a Will Turner dinger in the top of the third inning, which put the Jaguars out in front 2-0.
The Crimson Tide offense, prolific in the previous series against Mississippi State, put up a four-spot in inning number four. First, Drew Williamson scored Andrew Pinckney on a single. On the next at-bat, designated hitter Eric Foggo hit a ball that the Jaguar outfielder lost in the lights, which was ruled a ground rule double. Bryce Eblin, who by his own admission “wasn’t trying to do too much,” then jacked a two-strike pitch over the visitor bullpen for a three-run homer. The Tide ended the inning up 4-2.
In the fifth inning, Hunter Hoopes came to the hill in relief of Hagan Banks, who was in for Hess, after a leadoff walk. Turner scored his second run of the day on an RBI groundout, but Hoopes escaped further damage with a strikeout. He threw 38 pitches across three innings of work.
South Alabama again threatened in the top of the eighth frame. With senior Landon Green on to pitch for the first time since March 6, the Jaguars ambushed him with two big hits. Santi Montiel scored the tying run on an RBI, but teammate Landon Jordan was thrown out with a picture-perfect 7-6-2 relay right behind him.
Jake Leger, who was the day’s winning pitcher, fought off the Jags in the ninth despite a leadoff single. In the bottom half, Jim Jarvis led things off with a double. Zane Denton and Williamson were both intentionally walked to load the bases, and though the next two Tide batters went down, the door was not yet closed on a regulation walk-off.
It came when Jarvis raced home on a wild pitch from Jackson Boyd.
“Elephant in the room-no pun intended-we haven’t been great midweek,” head coach Brad Bohannon said. “[I’m] proud of our guys for doing enough to get a win over a good team.”
“Glad to get a win… excited for a big weekend against Texas A&M.”
Alabama is now 15-11 on the year, with their 2-4 conference mark unaffected by this result. South Alabama, out of Conference USA, now sits at 16-7 overall. The Tide’s next game is Friday at Sewell-Thomas Stadium against Texas A&M, and first pitch is set for 6 p.m. CT.