Combined Effort on the Mound Leads Alabama to 3-2 Win at UAB
Alabama baseball completed the 2019 series sweep of UAB with a 3-2 win at Regions Field in Birmingham on Tuesday night. Following the midweek victory, the Crimson Tide is now 24-14 on the season.
“I thought everybody who pitched tonight was really good – Tyler Ras; Chase Lee; Garret Rukes; Connor Shamblin; they’re some of the pitchers we're really excited about,” said Alabama head coach Brad Bohannon, “Jeremy (Randolph) left the one ball up and gave up a home run, but he's been outstanding for us. We pitched it really, really well tonight."
Alabama’s pitchers combined for an impressive performance on the mound. The Crimson Tide used five arms to scatter seven UAB hits and allow two earned runs. Garret Rukes (3-0) collected the win with 2.0 scoreless frames, allowing only one hit while striking out one. The redshirt sophomore entered with one on and proceeded to face the minimum, using a 4-3 double play in the seventh to cap off his night. Graduate Jeremy Randolph (6) secured his sixth save of the season, working the final inning.
The Tide’s freshman duo of T.J. Reeves and Drew Williamson each contributed a team-high two hits to go with a run scored and one RBI apiece. Williamson added a double and two walks, finishing 2-for-3 at the dish to highlight the Alabama offense.
Both teams were held off the scoreboard until the fourth. Alabama got up first, pushing across one run to start the scoring. Williamson began the rally with a one-out double and moved to third on a single from junior Brett Auerbach. One out later, a wild pitch brought in Williamson for the Tide’s first run. UAB answered in the home half with one of its own, knotting things up at 1-1 through four full.
Alabama regained the lead in the next inning, scoring one more for the 2-1 advantage after five. Keith Holcombe reached on an error and moved himself to third on the play. The senior came home in the next at-bat when a 6-3 groundout from Reeves gave the Tide their second run of the night.
The Crimson Tide added an insurance run in the ninth with a bases-loaded walk from Williamson to push the lead to two. The extra tally proved the difference with the Blazers recording a solo home run in the ninth to narrow the gap to 3-2. Randolph regrouped after the solo shot, recording the final out on a liner to left to send the Tide home with the midweek victory.
Alabama returns home this weekend to host fifth-ranked Vanderbilt at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. The Crimson Tide and Commodores are set for a 6 p.m. CT first pitch on Friday to open the series. The two teams will then meet for an 8 p.m. contest on Saturday followed by a 1 p.m. start on Sunday afternoon. The bookend games of the series will air on SEC Network+ with the middle contest being broadcast nationally on SEC Network.
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