TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama put recent controversy on the back burner to claim a 2-1 victory and series win against No. 5 Vanderbilt.
With the game tied 1-1 in the bottom of the eighth inning, catcher Mac Guscette blasted a solo home run over the left field wall for the game-winning run.
Guscette’s heroics came just one week after he collapsed on the field during the Tide’s 13-11 loss to LSU. The junior was hospitalized after taking a wild pitch to the neck, but was cleared for Thursday’s series opener against the Commodores.
After yet another narrowly-decided game, interim head coach Jacob Jackson spoke on the series victory.
“We’ve been in a ton of those really tight games this year. We always say ‘good teams win most close games’ and we’ve been in a bunch of those that haven’t gone our way, but today we went out and took it and made it happen for us,” Jackson said.
“That’s a really good series win, so I was definitely proud of our guys,” Jackson said.
Alabama’s 2-1 series win against Vanderbilt comes after now-former head coach Brad Bohannon was fired Thursday afternoon in connection with a gambling scandal – the same day as the series opener.
This low-scoring affair was a pitcher’s duel from the first to last pitch, with each side utilizing three pitchers, both giving up six hits and a combined 14 strikeouts.
Alabama starting pitcher Jacob McNairy allowed just four hits with seven strikeouts, holding the fifth-best team in the nation to one earned run.
Reliever Alton Davis II came in to finish the job in the top of the ninth, earning his sixth save of the season.
The Commodores’ one and only run came in the top of the third inning when third baseman Davis Diaz hit an RBI double down the left-field line, allowing Jonathan Vastine to come home.
Vanderbilt falls to (34-13, 17-7 SEC) while the Crimson Tide win their third SEC series of the season and improve to (32-16, 11-13 SEC).
The Crimson Tide head to Riverwalk Stadium in Montgomery, Ala. for a neutral site matchup against the (32-15, 12-10 SBC) Troy University Trojans at 6 p.m. on Tuesday.
Following this mid-week game Alabama heads south for a weekend series against the Texas A&M Aggies which starts their second to last series of the regular season.