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Alabama Baseball Loses To Troy, 8-4

A short handed Alabama Crimson Tide baseball team lost for the first time midweek on Tuesday night when they lost to Troy 8-4. The Tide is now 20-10 overall, 18-3 in out of conference games, and 8-1 in game versus in state schools. Several players were “not available for various reasons” according to coach Brad Bohannon. Most noticeable being starting outfielder Keith Holcombe, and starting second baseman Morgan McCullough. Bohannon also stated that everyone should be available for this weekend’s SEC foe, South Carolina.

Freshman Connor Shamblin started on the mound for the Tide, and had a perfect first inning. In the second, the Trojans used three walks and a grand slam home run to take control of the game with an early 4-0 lead. In his two innings of work, Shamblin allowed one hit, three walks, three strikeouts, and four runs, all earned.

Bama got one run back in the bottom of the second, but as has been the case all year, left more meat on the bone. The first three batters walked, but the Tide was only able to score once, on a sacrifice fly by Daniel Carinci who started in the place of McCullough.

Wil Freeman followed Shamblin on the mound and quickly found himself in trouble. A leadoff walk was followed by an error and an RBI single for a 5-1 deficit. Freeman struck out Cole Prestegard for out one, then gave up back-to-back singles before being replaced by Chase Lee. Lee got a ground out that scored one run, and a pop up to get out of the inning. Freeman lasted 1⁄3 inning, with three hits allowed, one walk, one strikeout, three runs (1 earned) allowed.

In the third, the Tide blew a chance to cut into the lead after the first three batters reached safely, but the team failed to score. Kolby Robinson led off with a routine single, but tried to stretch it into a double and was easily out at second. The next two batters walked, followed by two fly balls to center field that would have been sacrifice flies to score runs had Robinson stayed on first. In the bottom of the fourth, Justin King led off the frame with an opposite field home run to left. That was the last Bama baserunner until John Trousdale entered as a pinch hitter in the seventh and lined a solid single.

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Crimson Tide Softball: Life Without Fouts

No. 3 Crimson Tide suffered their first loss of the season the previous weekend but the biggest loss was news that star freshman pitcher Montana Fouts would be out “indefinitely” due to a minor injury. We are hoping it is just a blister on her pitching hand. With their ace on the shelf, it was time for her teammates to pick her up. The rest of the rotation stepped up in a big way including back-to-back complete games on Friday and Saturday but a bullpen letdown failed them on Sunday.

WEDNESDAY

Alabama 4 Georgia Tech 3

The Yeller Jackets put a scare into the Crimson Tide but all it took was one swing for Alabama to secure their 34th win of the season. Georgia Tech was not playing like an unranked team with a 22-13 record. They were hitting on all cylinders with excellent pitching and timely hitting. Tech took a 2-0 lead while the Tide squandered some opportunities, leaving runners on base in each of the first four innings - three of whom were in scoring position. In the fifth, Bama put runners on second and third with one out. Tech opted to pitch four unhittable balls to slugger Bailey Hemphill in what amounted to an intentional walk. After purposely throwing four bad balls, Claire Jenkins just knew the first pitch she would see was coming right down the middle and she jumped ALL over it stroking a bomb that landed somewhere in Northport for a grand slam. Sarah Cornell (W, 13-0) got the W on 6.1 innings pitched.

* After Wednesday’s game, Alabama had hit five grand slams over a stretch of 11 games, already surpassing the season totals from each of the last three years.

FRIDAY

Alabama 3 Mississippi State 2 (8 innings)

Two nights after a solid outing against Georgia Tech, Sarah Cornell (W, 14-0) was back in the circle and delivered just what the doctor ordered with another big time effort. The junior pitched all 8 innings of the Tide’s first extra innings game of the year. Kaylee Tow coaxed a bases loaded walked in the bottom of the 8th for the walk-off win. Leadoff hitter Tow drove in all three runs on the night, striking a 2-run single in the 4th.

SATURDAY

Alabama 8 Mississippi State 2

The Bama Bomb Squad was back on Saturday. The sellout crowd was entertained early on with Hemphill and Reagan Dykes both hitting 2-run homers in the first inning. Maddie Morgan hit a solo shot in the sixth and the rout was on. Courtney Gettins (W, 5-0) was the workhorse this time in the circle going the full 7 innings and allowing one earned run on 107 pitches.

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Alabama Baseball Swept By Florida

Alabama could do nothing offensively, 16-93 for a .172 batting average, scoring seven runs, or on the mound, 21 runs allowed in 24 innings for a 8.75 ERA, in being swept by the Florida Gators this weekend. The 24th ranked Gators entered the series with an SEC record of 1-5, but quickly got healthy on the Tide. Friday’s game was the only competitive one of the three, with Florida claiming a 3-1 win. Saturday was a 12-3 blowout, and Sunday the Tide fell 6-3.

Game One: Lost 3-1

The Tide fell behind quickly, when Sam Finnerty walked the lead off man in the bottom of the first, followed by two ground balls that scored the run. As is always said, oh, those lead off walks. Bama tied the game in the top of the third when T.J. Reeves reached on a one out bloop single to right, followed by Kobe Morris reaching on a hit by pitch. Kolby Robinson grounded a single up the middle to score Reeves to tie the game.

Finnerty then put up three scoreless frames, even though he walked two more batters. The three walks were surprising since the senior right hander had only walked four batters all season up to this game. FInnerty got in trouble in the top of the fifth on a lead off double and two singles, before being replaced by Casey Cobb. Cobb induced three ground outs to end the inning, with the Gators on top 3-1. Cobb and Chase Lee both pitched two scoreless innings for the Tide.

Meanwhile Florida starter Tommy Mace was mowing down the Tide inning after inning, and pitched a rare complete game with 119 pitches thrown. Bama had three hits on the night, none of which were hard hit, two of the infield variety and one bloop. Mace walked only one and hit one, while striking out seven batters.

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Alabama Baseball Led By Pitching and Holcombe

The Alabama baseball team improved to 5-2 on the season by taking two out of three games from Ball State over the weekend. The teams dodged bad weather to fit the three games in. The Tide won on Friday night 7-1 behind excellent pitching from Sam Finnerty and four runs driven in by Keith Holcombe. Saturday’s game made it to the bottom of the seventh before the rain hit and forced the game to be finished on Sunday morning. Ball State won that game 8-5, and then Bama bounced back to take the series with a 6-0 win on Sunday afternoon. Ball State fell 2-5 in the early stages of the season.

Game One: Won 7-1

In a game scheduled for 3 p.m., then moved to 1 p.m, first pitch eventually happened at 5 p.m. as the staff did their best to dodge the expected bad weather.

Sam Finnerty has established himself as a Friday night stalwart for the Tide over the last two seasons. The senior right hander pitched the best game of his Alabama career. Finnerty was in control from the beginning, retiring the Cardinals on four pitches in the top of the first. The Tide scored all the runs they would need in the bottom of the first. Jeaux Breaux led off by being hit by a pitch, followed by a single by Brett Auerebach. After two straight strikeouts, Keith Holcombe lined an RBI single to score Breaux. Freshman first baseman Drew Williamson then singled in two runs for an early 3-0 lead.

Finnerty gave up a seeing eye single in the second, but the runner was quickly erased on a slick double play started by shortstop Kolby Robinson. Finnerty allowed a bunt single in the third, but the runner couldn't advance. The Tide busted the game open in the fifth when Holcombe drilled a three run bomb into the visitors’ bullpen in right center field for his second long ball of the season.

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Alabama Softball Runs Their Record to 15-0

After a pair of road tournaments in Troy and Tuscon, the Crimson Tide finally returned home to Rhoads Stadium for the opening weekend in the Annual Easton Bama Bash - and what a bash it was.

SCORES

Alabama 11 Missouri State 1 (5 Inn.) - The Tide run-ruled the Bears behind the big bats of Bailey Hemphill, Caroline Hardy, and Merris Schroder each of whom went yard. KB Sides was 3-for-3 with a pair of RBI. Sarah Cornell got her fourth win.

Alabama 1 Minnesota 0 - The Gophers came into the weekend newly ranked at #24 and will most likely drop out of the rankings this week after the Tide took two from them. However, the Minnies did win their other three games in Tuscaloosa. This one was a tight game with two aces going toe-to-toe and no score going into the bottom of the seventh. Claire Jenkins singled, was sacrificed to second, and scored on a two-out single by the number nine hitter Elissa Brown for the walk-off victory. Montana Fouts (5-0) pitched a two-hit shutout and (gasp!) yielded her first two walks of the season.

Alabama 7 Missouri State 5 - This was a wild one. There were rain delays, a bunch of hits, and one big stolen hit. Skylar Wallace hit a rare inside the park home run. Elissa Brown came to play as she took a 2-run home run away from the Bears and also went 3-for-3. Krystal Goodman (3-0) struggled, giving up four earned runs over 5.2 innings but got the win. Sarah Cornell got the save with a scoreless 3-up/3-down seventh.

Alabama 7 Minnesota 2 (5 Inn., weather shortened) - In Saturday’s nightcap, Alabama scored seven runs in the fifth on a two-run single by KB Sides, a three run homer by Bailey Hemphill, and a two RBI dinger from Reagan Dykes. The beginning of the game was delayed an hour and a half, and then hammered the two teams after the fifth inning concluded. Nobody needed the presence of James Spann to realize it wasn’t stopping any time soon. Fouts rang up win number six on seven Ks and one base-on-balls.

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