by: Alex Chasen
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Crimson Tide fight off the series sweep beating the Kentucky Wildcats 4-3 in the third and final game of this weekend’s home series at The Joe.
Alabama couldn’t get any runs across the plate in their first at-bats in the opening two games but the tide turned in the series finale.
Alabama countered Kentucky’s one-earned run in the top of the first with a run of their own in the bottom of the first. Their first-inning run came across the plate off of a Jim Jarvis flyout in foul territory that allowed Colby Shelton to tag up from third.
Alabamas starting pitcher Grayson Hitt did his job today, allowing just five hits and two earned runs in his six innings on the bump.
Hitt discussed what went through his mind coming into today’s game.
“Just keeping it as simple as possible…, we didn’t have the hottest stretch recently, I kind of just needed to get ahead and do my thing…, I didn’t feel too much pressure, I just wanted to go out there and have fun,” Hitt said.
Throughout the majority of the game both teams traded off runs, with Alabama giving which ultimately became the final blow in the bottom of the eighth.
To start off Alabama’s eighth inning at the plate, a good eye by Jim Jarvis earned him a walk followed by a William Hamiter double out to the right field, getting Jarvis into scoring position. Senior second baseman Ed Johnson earned his 2oth RBI on the season hitting the ball to the first baseman but a slip on the throw home allowed Jarvis to slide under the tag to tie the game 3-3. Up next was Andrew Pinckney who looked to continue his strong series at the plate. Pinckney got his second RBI of the game singling out to left to score Hamiter which gave the Tide a 4-3 lead.
Pinckney who had been struggling in Alabama’s previous seven games coming into this series, only getting three hits and two RBIs in that stretch had himself a weekend.
In his 11 at-bats, he had five hits and four RBIs, after the game he discussed if he made any adjustments coming into this weekend.
“Not really physically, just trying to take it a pitch at a time and be as aggressive as I can. I feel like in my bad at-bats its just been letting the good pitches go and swinging at the bad pitches…, just trying to take the mind out of it and just be as aggressive as I can,” Pinckney said.
Alabama had only five hits in this game but they made each one of them count, putting an end to Kentucky’s 17-game winning streak.
The Tide improves their record to 19-6, 2-4 against the SEC while Kentucky wins the series but their record falls to 21-3, 5-1 against the SEC.
The Crimson Tide will look to build upon their series finale win over Kentucky Tuesday night at 6 p.m. CT against the (11-11, 2-3 Conference USA) Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders. This is a home game for the Tide but it will be played at Toyota Field in Huntsville. Following this game, they will be hitting the road to face off against SEC rival Arkansas in next weekend’s series.