Alabama baseball stayed competitive in a shootout in their first game of the NCAA baseball tournament but ultimately fell to the UCF Golden Knights 8-7 on Friday night.

Pitching was the name of the game again for the Tide, a problem that surfaced during Alabama's short stint at the Hoover Met for the SEC baseball Tournament. Greg Farone got the start for Alabama, and he went for four innings, striking out five, but allowing six runs on six hits.

Five Crimson Tide players registered hits on the night, led by star freshman Justin Lebron with four hits and two RBIs. Kade Snell led Alabama in RBIs with three thanks to his three-run home run in the bottom of the first for Alabama.

In the top of the ninth, Alabama walked Zyska, the leadoff batter, allowing a sacrifice by Neri to position him into scoring position at second base. Sundean singled to left center field, and Zyska scored, giving the Knights a one-run lead over Alabama. Alton Davis struck out the next batter, but UCF did the damage, and Alabama needed one run to keep its night alive.

Miller and Petrutz both took a fly out to put two away for Alabama immediately. Lebron singled to first before a Will Hamiter ground-out ended Alabama's night.

The Crimson Tide are not finished yet, however. Alabama will play against Stetson on Saturday, June 1, at 11:00 a.m. in the double-elimination game at the Tallahassee Regional. If Alabama baseball loses to Stetson, their season will be over.

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