Alabama Baseball Secures Two Wins over South Carolina in Friday’s Doubleheader
Alabama baseball earned a series win over South Carolina thanks to a pair of victories in Friday’s doubleheader at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. The Crimson Tide first blanked the Gamecocks, 9-0, to start the day before a 4-1 victory in game two of the twinbill to clinch the series. With the two wins, the Tide is now 22-10 overall and 4-7 in Southeastern Conference play.
“This was just a really, really good day for us,” said Alabama head coach Brad Bohannon. “It starts on the mound – Sam (Finnerty) and Brock (Love) were outstanding, and Jeremy (Randolph) did a great job in relief. We played really good defense like we have pretty much all year, and we did a much better job offensively at the plate; we strung some good at-bats together. It was a really good day all the way around for us.”
The series win over South Carolina is the Tide’s first at home since 2007 with Alabama going for the series sweep on Saturday afternoon at The Joe. The Crimson Tide will look to freshman Tyler Ras in the start while the Gamecocks have yet to name a starter. Fans can catch the series finale on SEC Network+.
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Sam Finnerty spun a complete game shutout in game one of Friday’s doubleheader on the way to a 9-0 Alabama win.
Finnerty (5-3) tossed a career-long 9.0 innings, allowing four hits and no walks while striking out five. The senior used only 79 pitches on the way to the Crimson Tide’s first complete game shutout since May 18 of last season when Jake Walters did so on Senior Night against Ole Miss. Finnerty’s start was highlighted by a stretch in the middle of the game that saw him retire 16 straight Gamecock hitters.
The bats also came alive in game one with four players recording multi-hit performances, led by junior Tyler Gentry’s 2-for-4 day that included a grand slam, a team-high four RBI and two runs scored. Fellow juniors Morgan McCullough and Brett Auerbach also contributed a pair of hits in addition to two RBI apiece, with McCullough adding two runs scored.
Alabama piled the runs on early, scoring nine across the first three frames. The Tide began the scoring with a three-spot in the first. Junior Kolby Robinson led the game off with a single and put himself in scoring position on a groundout. The extra base was useful, as a single in the next at-bat from McCullough brought in the game’s first run. A single by Gentry then put two on before Auerbach cleared the bases with a double to left-center, making it a 3-0 game through one.
The Tide posted five runs in the second, highlighted by a grand slam from Gentry. A walk, hit-by-pitch and one more walk loaded the bases for McCullough. The junior sent an RBI-single to right, advancing everyone a station in the process. With the bases still packed, Gentry sent an 0-2 pitch deep to left to double UA’s lead in one swing of the bat. Another ball left the yard in the third, this one from T.J. Reeves, with the freshman’s solo shot making it a 9-0 game, the eventual final.
The Crimson Tide came away with a 4-1 win in game two of the doubleheader thanks to another impressive performance on the mound.
Redshirt junior Brock Love (4-1) provided Alabama with a career-long 6.0 innings of work on the way to the win. Love allowed one run on three hits and a pair of walks while punching out eight across his 93 pitches of work. Jeremy Randolph (5) then took over, tossing the final 3.0 frames for his fifth save in as many chances. The graduate closer issued just two walks and struck out four to help the Tide secure the doubleheader sweep.
Alabama’s offense was powered by the heart of the order with the 3-4-5 hitters combining to go 8-15 with two RBI and three runs scored. McCullough, who hit in the three spot, finished with a team-high tying three hits and led the Tide with two runs scored. Matching him on hits was Drew Williamson. The freshman tallied three hits, including a double, and added a team-leading two RBI to go with a run scored. Gentry, the four-hole hitter, recorded two hits to go with a run scored.
The two teams went scoreless until the fourth when the Tide was able to gain a three-run advantage. McCullough led off the frame with a single and was followed by a Gentry single to put two aboard. The duo moved into scoring position on a wild pitch before a single from Williamson moved everyone up 90 feet, scoring the game’s first run.
Williamson then stole second to better his position before an Auerbach single crossed the second run. A fielder’s choice in the next at-bat brought Williamson in to round out the scoring and make it a 3-0 Alabama lead after four innings of play.
The scoring stalled again until the seventh when a solo home run got the Gamecocks on the board. The Tide came right back with one run of its own in the home half thanks to an RBI-single from Williamson to make it a 4-1 affair. The Gamecocks reached the tying run in the eighth but a huge strikeout from Randolph ended the inning with the bases loaded. Alabama’s closer then sat SC down in order 1-2-3 in the ninth to secure the save and the UA series win.