Alabama Avoids Series Sweep With Walk-Off Win
Alabama (13-8, 1-2) earns its first regular-season win over No. 6 Florida (15-5, 2-1) since March of 2015 after taking down the Gators, 8-7, with a rally in the ninth inning capped off by a Zane Denton walk-off single with the bases loaded to win.
"I think every coach preaches, 'don't play to the scoreboard,' and I think our kids absolutely did that for an entire weekend," Alabama fifth-year head coach Brad Bohannon said post-game.
The Tide just wouldn't go away in Sunday's sweep-saving walk-off win and it continued to show the SEC that Alabama isn't a team to overlook.
"I think we learned a lot too. That when we play really good baseball, we can play with anybody."
While Alabama was tasked with responding to Florida's offensive showcase throughout the series closer, it was the Tide's final response in the ninth inning that proved the team could produce under pressure. Florida took the lead in the eighth with a three-run inning, but Alabama's junior third baseman Zane Denton answered with a solo home run for himself in the same frame.
Alabama redshirt sophomore Andrew Pinckney was hit by a pitch to get a runner on base with one out in the ninth. Despite being hit near his left knee in the at-bat, Pinckney managed to make it to third base on a single hit by sophomore infielder Bryce Eblin and scored the game-tying run on a Jim Jarvis bunt.
With Eblin on second and Jarvis on first, junior transfer Dominic Tamez laid down a base-loading single. Zane Denton played hero in the next at-bat with a single down the first baseline between a Florida defense that featured five infielders, sending Eblin in for the game-winning run.
Denton went 3-for-5 with three RBI in the appearance and junior outfielder Owen Diodati went 2-for-3 with two RBI and a home run in the fourth inning.
Sophomore left-hander Grayson Hitt got the starting nod and threw for 5.0 innings, allowing four runs and collecting four strikeouts. Redshirt freshman RHP Dylan Ray came in for the sixth inning and was pulled in the eighth after 2.1 innings with three strikeouts and two earned runs.
Senior RHP Jacob McNairy, now 4-0 in 2022, finished the game allowing only one run in the eighth inning and closing out Florida's half of the ninth with just eight pitches.
The Crimson Tide has a 6 p.m. mid-week meeting with UAB at Regions Field in Birmingham before heading to Starkville for the series with national champion Missippi State. Game 1 with the Bulldogs is scheduled for Friday at 6 p.m. and can be found on SEC Network+.