Alabama Wins Game One With Missouri in Comeback Fashion
Alabama baseball played the first game of the weekend with the Missouri Tigers, and it was a high scoring one. The Crimson Tide were coming off a disappointing weekend in Lexington after losing a double header to Kentucky, but bounced back in a big way winning game one 11-8 over the Tigers. Alabama moves to 9-10 in SEC play and 26-15 overall.
First game starter Tyler Ras took the mound for Alabama, and after two strikeouts, Missouri put together a two-out rally to score four runs in the first inning. Ras did not post any scoreless frames, but he was bailed out by his offense and his bullpen.
"I thought it was kind of fitting that the hitters and the bullpen picked him up today because he's carried us so much," head coach Brad Bohannon said.
Missouri's big first inning did not take Alabama out of the game, however, as Peyton Wilson hit the first pitch he saw over the wall in center to leadoff for the Crimson Tide. Zane Denton followed him up one batter later with a shot over the foul pole in right for another round-tripper cutting into the Tigers' lead.
Missouri responded with a leadoff double and two groundouts to push another run across and make their lead 5-2 in the second. Alabama could not respond despite a hit-by-pitch on Rose and a single from Jarvis in the bottom half. The Tigers continued their work with two outs in the third, rallying for two more runs and making it a five run deficit for the home team.
The Crimson Tide hit another bomb in the third, this one a two-run shot from Sam Praytor that cleared the scoreboard and netting in left for his twelfth of the year. It was a breaking ball that Praytor got every inch of for the morale-boosting moonshot that cut the Tiger lead to three.
"I just saw it out of the hand and put a barrel on it, and it just happened to go over the fence," Praytor said of his home run.
Missouri kept their foot on the gas, though, with another leadoff hit followed by a double to make their total eight runs through four innings.
William Freeman took over for Ras to start the fifth inning for Alabama, and he held Missouri to a scoreless inning for the first time in the game thanks to a savvy double play by Zane Denton at third.
Bama backed up Freeman's scoreless inning with two runs in the fifth thanks to some savvy base running by Wilson and Hamiter and a Denton RBI single. Freeman proceeded to shut down the Tigers in the sixth and seventh as well with three strikeouts in those two innings.
The Alabama bats continued to produce, and they finally broke through to take the lead in the bottom of the sixth. Williamson led off the inning with a double in the gap in left center, and freshman Caden Rose brought him in with a single through the middle. Rose advanced to second on an error, and Jim Jarvis laid down a perfect bunt on the third baseline that was tossed into right field to score Rose and tie the game. Peyton Wilson doubled down the right field line to score Jarvis and give Alabama the lead 9-8 after six innings.
Landon Green came out of the bullpen for the top of the eighth, and he posted a crucial 1-2-3 inning for Alabama on the mound. Alabama added two insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth due to another Praytor RBI and an RBI groundout from Jackson Tate.
"The Viper" Chase Lee came in to close for the Crimson Tide. Lee struck out the first two batters on six pitches, and Andrew Pinckney made a fantastic play up against the right field fence to end the game. Lee earned his fifth save of the season on ten pitches.
"The amount of times that we've gotten down and just kept playing and kept competing just speaks to the culture of our program," Bohannon said.
Alabama wins another battle-back game thanks to a scoreless day from the bullpen and three RBIs from catcher Sam Praytor.
Alabama plays Missouri in game two tomorrow at 2 p.m. CT at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.