Doubleheader Split Earns Alabama Baseball the Series Win at Missouri
The Saturday doubleheader between Alabama baseball and Missouri was split as the Tigers won game one, 1-0, before the Crimson Tide bounced back for a 5-1 victory in game two. With a Friday victory already in hand, the Tide earned the series win by day’s end. After the doubleheader, the Crimson Tide is now 20-13 overall and 5-7 in Southeastern Conference play.
“Overall, I’m excited to have won consecutive SEC series against ranked teams,” said Alabama head coach Brad Bohannon. “Now, we have to carry that momentum into our midweek game on Tuesday.”
Game one was for the pitchers, as both team’s starters went deep into the game to keep the opponent off the scoreboard. In the eighth, a Tide miscue allowed Missouri to eventually cross the winning run for 1-0 victory.
Alabama came out on top in the second game, 5-1. The Tide put up three runs in the third before Mizzou answered with one run of its own in the bottom of the sixth. Alabama added two more in the top of the ninth to put the game completely out of reach and get the series win on Saturday.
The victory in game two was the Crimson Tide’s 20th of the season, surpassing last year’s win total (19). The win for the Tide was also its fifth in Southeastern Conference play, matching last season’s final win tally across the 30-game league schedule.
Next up for Alabama is a midweek contest with UAB on Tuesday evening at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. The Crimson Tide and Blazers are set for a 6 p.m. CT first pitch on SEC Network+ to complete the 2018 home-and-home series between the two in-state foes.
The Crimson Tide suffered a 1-0 shutout loss to the Tigers in game one of Saturday’s doubleheader.
“It was a tough loss for us in game one,” said Bohannon of the day’s first game. “(Scott) Plassmeyer was outstanding, and Jake (Walters) matched him for a good part of the game. Credit Missouri for taking advantage of our mistakes in the eighth to get the run they needed for the win.”
The two teams went scoreless until the eighth, when a Tide miscue in the outfield allowed the leadoff hitter for Missouri to reach at second. A sacrifice bunt moved the runner to third and a sac fly brought across the game-winning run.
Alabama starter Jake Walters was brilliant in game one. The senior worked 6.1 scoreless innings of four-hit baseball to keep the Tide even with the Tigers. Walters struck out a season-high 12, including the first eight hitters he faced, and issued only two walks. The 12 punchouts fell one short of matching his career-high mark for a single game and were his most in an SEC start for his career.
Walters was followed by Dylan Duarte (3-1) who suffered his first loss of the season despite not giving up an earned run. Duarte tossed 1.2 innings with a walk and a strikeout to go with his unearned run in the relief effort. Missouri starter Scott Plassmeyer (4-0) earned the win with a complete-game shutout, allowing four hits and striking out seven.
Alabama took down Missouri, 5-1, in game two of Saturday’s twinbill to secure the series win over the Tigers.
“I’m really proud of the way our guys bounced back in game two,” Bohannon added. “We strung together some hits early and added insurance runs late to get the win. (Garret) Rukes, (Kyle) Cameron, (Brock) Guffey and (Deacon) Medders all competed really well and did a good job of keeping the Missouri offense from getting anything going.”
The Crimson Tide used two hits and an error to cross three runs in the third and put the game out of reach early. Missouri answered with one run in the sixth, but the Alabama bullpen was able to limit the damage. The Tide bats added two more insurance runs in the ninth to ensure the series-clinching win in the nightcap.
Redshirt sophomore Kyle Cameron (1-1) got the win, providing the Tide with a career-long 5.0 innings of one-run baseball. The right-hander gave up three hits and a walk while striking out a career-high tying three batters in the effort. Deacon Medders tallied his second save of the weekend and his sixth of the season. The sophomore right-hander shut the door over the final 1.1 innings, allowing a hit and striking out one Tiger batter.
On offense, junior Cobie Vance led the way with a career-high tying four hits as part of his 4-for-5 game that included an RBI, one run and a stolen base. Also contributing a multi-hit effort was Kyle Kaufman, with the junior finishing 2-for-3 with a double, an RBI, one walk and a team-high two runs scored.
The Crimson Tide posted a three-spot in the top of the third to take the decisive lead. Freshman Sam Praytor led off the inning with a walk before a sacrifice bunt moved him to second. A walk in the next at-bat followed by a single by Vance loaded the bases for the Tide. Joe Breaux took advantage of his RBI opportunity, with the junior singling to the shortstop to move everyone up a station and cross the game’s first run.
A sacrifice fly in the next at-bat from senior Chandler Avant scored the man from third to make it a two-run game. The Crimson Tide then executed the double steal in the next at-bat, with each runner taking a base and the throw from the Tiger catcher going into the outfield. The miscue allowed one more to score and make it a 3-0 Alabama advantage early.
Missouri cut into the deficit with one run in the bottom of the sixth. The Tigers recorded a one-out single and moved the runner to second on a groundout before advancing to third with a stolen base. An RBI-single to right-center brought in the Tigers’ lone run, making it a 3-1 game after six full.
The Tide widened the gap in the ninth, adding a pair of insurance runs to make it a 5-1 game. Junior Keith Holcombe led off the inning with a single and moved up to second on an infield groundout. One out later, Kaufman doubled to right to bring in Holcombe and put himself in scoring position. Vance followed with an RBI-single in the next at-bat to bring in Kaufman and give the Tide a four-run lead. Medders then shut the door in the ninth, allowing a leadoff single before a strikeout and a 6-3 double play ended things in the Crimson Tide’s favor.