Alabama Baseball Falls Short in 3-2 Loss to No. 4 Ole Miss
Alabama baseball came up short against fourth-ranked Ole Miss in a 3-2 loss to the Rebels on Thursday evening at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. Following the series opener, the Crimson Tide is 26-28 on the season and 7-21 in Southeastern Conference play.
“It was a well-played baseball game,” said Alabama head coach Brad Bohannon. “We certainly weren’t perfect, but we played well – we only walked them once and we didn’t hit them; we played really good defense; Joe Breaux made a beautiful catch in left center, and Jett (Manning) made a couple nice plays at short. (Ole Miss) pitched it really well. You don't get many chances against a starter like (Ryan) Rolison, and (Will) Ethridge and (Parker) Caracci were outstanding out of the bullpen. (It was a) well-played game by both sides, and hopefully tomorrow we can swing the bats a little better."
The two teams traded runs early, with the Rebels and Tide each scoring one run apiece in the second and fourth innings. The Rebels added a single tally in the sixth to move in front, 3-2, which would prove to be the difference in the contest.
Ole Miss starter Ryan Rolison (8-4) earned the win with 6.0 innings of two-run baseball. He was followed by a pair of Rebel relievers with Parker Caracci earning his 10th save of the season thanks to 2.0 scoreless frames to close things out.
Alabama starter Sam Finnerty (4-4) was handed the loss despite another strong outing. The junior allowed three runs on eight hits with no walks in 5.2 innings before turning things over to the bullpen. The tandem of sophomore Davis Vainer and freshman Brock Guffey combined for 3.1 scoreless innings to keep the Tide in striking distance.
Ole Miss was first on the board, scoring one in the in top of the second, as three consecutive one-out singles pushed across the game’s first run. Things were evened up in the home half, as junior Chandler Taylor sent a solo shot deep to right and nearly out of the ballpark. The home run was Taylor’s team-leading 13th of the season and came in his first plate appearance back after missing nearly two weeks due to injury.
The Rebels regained the lead with another single tally in the fourth thanks to a leadoff home run to start the frame. Alabama came right back with one of its own in the home half. A leadoff walk to senior Chandler Avant gave UA a baserunner, and a single by freshman Sam Praytor followed by a walk to Taylor loaded the bases for the Crimson Tide. One out later, an infield chopper pushed across the tying run to make it a 2-2 ballgame through four full.
Ole Miss retook the lead in the sixth with one run. A one-out double gave the Rebels a baserunner before a groundout moved him to third. An RBI-single followed, crossing the go-ahead run for Ole Miss to make it a 3-2 game, the eventual final.
Taylor and Praytor led the Tide’s offensive effort, each contributing one RBI each. Taylor went 1-for-3 with his home run, an RBI, one walk and a run scored, while Praytor also finished the evening 1-for-3 with an RBI and a walk.
Alabama will look to even the series tomorrow night at 6 p.m. CT. The Crimson Tide looks to senior Jake Walters, a right-hander, while the Rebels will send redshirt junior Brady Feigl, also a righty, to the mound. Game two of the three-game set can be seen live on SEC Network+. Friday’s matchup will be Alabama’s “Senior Day” honoring the Tide’s six seniors, including: Tyler Adams, Hunter Alexander, Chandler Avant, Cody Henry, Connor Short and Walters.