Alabama Baseball Splits Friday Doubleheader with New Mexico State
Alabama baseball and New Mexico State split the Friday doubleheader at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. The Aggies came away with a 3-0 shutout win in the series opener before the Crimson Tide answered with a 3-1 win in the nightcap of the twinbill. Following the two games on Friday, Alabama sits at 12-3 overall.
“The first six innings of the first game, offensively, I didn’t think that our at-bats were very good, and I didn’t think we were very focused,” said Alabama head coach Brad Bohannon. “Once New Mexico State put up the two runs in the seventh, the last three innings, we competed and focused really well. We just didn’t get enough hits and make enough plays.
“In game two, we competed and played well. Their starter (Kyle Bradish), he could pitch for anybody – Florida, TCU, Texas Tech, you name it. It was a good challenge, and we did a good job of pitch-counting him in the sixth inning. I thought our kids competed well in the second game to help us get the win.”
The Crimson Tide and Aggies will meet to decide the series on Saturday afternoon at The Joe. Alabama will call on junior right-hander Sam Gardner for the start while New Mexico State sends senior left-hander Jonathan Groff to the mound. First pitch in the weekend finale has been moved up to 12 p.m. CT with the game airing live on SEC Network+.
Alabama fell to New Mexico State, 3-0, in the first game of the doubleheader. The loss was the Crimson Tide’s first at home this season.
The two teams were engaged in a pitcher’s duel, with both starters working through 6.0 scoreless innings. Crimson Tide starter Sam Finnerty (2-1) ran into trouble in the top of the seventh. With one down, a hit-by-pitch followed by back-to-back singles crossed the first Aggie run of the day and ended Finnerty’s afternoon. A single in the next at-bat brought across one more to make it a 2-0 affair in favor of NMSU.
The Aggies added a third run in the top of the eighth to take the 3-0 lead. Alabama gave itself a chance in the ninth, with senior Hunter Alexander leading off the frame with a walk. A strike-three call on a close pitch got New Mexico State its first out, but a single from senior Chandler Avant put two on for the Tide. UA had the tying run at the plate twice, but a flyout and a groundout ended the game in favor of the Aggies.
The Crimson Tide used a gutsy performance from starter Jake Walters followed by a scoreless outing from the Tide bullpen in UA’s 3-1 win over New Mexico State in game two of the night.
Walters grinded out 5.1 innings of one-run baseball, allowing four hits and five walks while punching out five. The senior Tide starter was followed by freshman Brock Guffey and sophomore Deacon Medders, with the duo tossing the final 3.2 innings and holding the Aggies scoreless. Medders earned his second save of the season thanks to 3.0 frames. The bullpen’s standout effort marked the seventh game this season that the Tide relievers have not given up a run.
Alabama struck first in game two of the day, putting up two runs in the fourth. A leadoff walk from Alexander followed by a single from junior Chandler Taylor put two on. The Tide was gifted a wild pitch in the next at-bat to move Alexander to third, and another wild pitch one out later put Taylor in scoring position, as well. A third wild pitch in the inning moved both runners up 90 feet, bringing in Alexander for the game’s first run. Keith Holcombe delivered in that same at-bat, singling to center to score Taylor and make it a 2-0 game after four innings of play.
The Aggies cut the lead in the half in the top of the sixth. A pair of one-out doubles in consecutive at-bats brought in one run to make it a 2-1 game. Alabama matched New Mexico State with one tally of its own in the bottom of the seventh.
Sophomore Walker McCleney reached on a fielder’s choice to put a man aboard with one down for UA. A groundout in the next at-bat moved McCleney to second before an RBI-single from senior Cody Henry plated the Tide center fielder to set the score at 3-1. The Aggies would reach runners in both the eighth and ninth innings, but Medders shut the door with a pair of strikeouts in the ninth to secure the Crimson Tide victory and his second save in as many chances.