by: Alex Chasen
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – After a trouble-free 13-0 win over the Southern Miss Golden Eagles Tuesday night, the (24-10, 4-8 SEC) Alabama Crimson Tide couldn’t say the same in game one of this weekend series against their in-state and conference foe, the (19-13-1, 4-8 SEC) Auburn Tigers, losing 8-4.
The Iron Bowl of baseball started off very poorly for the Tide as a home run by Auburn left fielder Bryson Ware put the first of many Tiger points on the scoreboard, jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning.
Not much went right for Alabama at the plate in this game, just five hits with all four of their runs coming in their final efforts in the bottom of the ninth. Only one of their four runs came off of an RBI while the rest were due to two hit-by-pitches and a walk with the bases loaded that advanced the runners across the plate.
Head Coach Brad Bohannon discussed how it seems in many of their losses this season they always find a spark late in the game.
” I tell the kids all the time you need to treat each at-bat like it’s tied in the ninth because college kids have a higher level of focus late in the game or when the games are tied than they do early and the middle, that’s pretty standard across college baseball and we talk to our kids about it. You also can’t be chasing eight runs in an SEC game,…chasing eight you’re going to lose a bunch, ” Bohannon said.
With the Tide struggling at the plate in this ball game they couldn’t capitalize off of another solid start on the mound by starting pitcher Luke Holman. Holman pitched six and two-thirds innings with six strikeouts and four earned runs.
Coach Bohannon discussed Luke Holman’s impressive starts on the mound against SEC opponents.
” I’m really proud of Luke, I wish he had a better finish, we’re obviously a little light on the mound this weekend and I had no interest in going to the pen early tonight,…he was one 0-2 pitch away from having a great start,…he’s certainly doing a great job. I’m really proud of him, he’s taken a huge step forward in the past six weeks, he’s got a really bright future, he’s doing a great job, ” Bohannon said.
The SEC struggles continue for Alabama as a reoccurring theme seems to be taking shape, dominating the mid-week non-conference opponent followed by struggling in the weekend series verse SEC opponents.
The Auburn Tigers improve their record to (20-13-1, 5-8 SEC) while the Crimson Tide fall to (24-11, 4-9 SEC).
The Crimson Tide continue their eight-game home stand tomorrow evening as they look to tie this series at one game a piece followed by the series finale Sunday afternoon. Saturdays first pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. CT.
Bohannon announced in his post-game press conference that Saturdays scheduled starter Grayson Hitt will be out tomorrow and that he will be out for a little while. He said (0-1, 11.57 era) Garrett McMillan will get the start on the mound for the Tide in game two of this series.