Late Rally Not Enough for Alabama Baseball in 6-5 Loss to Georgia
Alabama baseball fell short in its comeback effort, as the Crimson Tide suffered a 6-5 loss to Georgia in Sunday’s series finale at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. The loss moves UA to 16-5 overall and 1-2 to start Southeastern Conference play.
“It was a tough day,” said Alabama head coach Brad Bohannon. “We were a swing away from being 3-0 in the league and also a swing away from being 0-3 – that’s SEC baseball for you. The kids competed really well over a three-day period, but we’ve got to play cleaner baseball. I didn’t think the quality of our at-bats were quite to the level that they could’ve been. Three of the six guys that scored today (for Georgia), we walked them, and we had a couple of minor defensive miscues. The kids are competing really hard, there’s just a very small margin of error in SEC baseball.”
In a back and forth game, Alabama evened the score once and was within one run of tying the game on two separate occasions but was unable to complete the comeback. Georgia’s two unearned runs in the eighth would prove the difference after a defensive miscue by the Tide extended the inning before an eventual home run secured the win for the Bulldogs.
Georgia struck first for the third consecutive day, putting up one in the top of the first. The Bulldogs drew a one-out walk and followed with a single and a walk with two down to load the bases. During the next at-bat, a wild pitch bounced over the catcher and to the backstop to bring in the game’s first run, giving UGA the 1-0 lead.
In the fourth, the Tide would even things up at one apiece on the power of a solo home run from junior Chandler Taylor. The homer was Taylor’s team-leading eighth of the season and his fourth over his last five games.
Both teams would score in the fifth, starting with three runs from the Bulldogs in the top half of the inning. A leadoff single and a one out walk put two aboard. Another walk one out later loaded the bases for UGA before a balk brought in the go-ahead run. Following the balk, the batter delivered a single to center to bring in two more and put Georgia in front, 4-1.
The Crimson Tide answered back with a pair of runs in the home half to narrow the gap to one. Alabama’s rally began with a leadoff single from junior Jett Manning. One out later, fellow junior Cobie Vance doubled to right to put two in scoring position for the Tide. A walk to junior Joe Breaux loaded the bases for Hunter Alexander, with the senior being hit by the pitch to cross a run. A walk to Taylor in the next at-bat closed out the inning’s scoring to narrow the gap for the Crimson Tide.
Alabama had chances to even things up in the seventh, loading the bases with no outs. A strikeout and a 6-3 double play ended the threat with the Tide going scoreless. The Bulldogs would extend the lead in the eighth, using an error to reach one before a two-out home run to right pushed the Georgia lead to 6-3.
The Crimson Tide made things interesting up until the final out, scoring two in the ninth. Freshman Sam Praytor singled to lead off the inning before a one-out double from Breaux put both players in scoring position. With two down, Taylor walked to load the bases for UA. Senior Chandler Avant came through in the clutch, singling to left-center for a pair of RBI, putting the Tide within a run. In the next at-bat, junior Keith Holcombe hit a missile on the ground towards first but a clean play by the UGA first baseman led to the putout at the bag and ended things in Georgia’s favor at 6-5.
Avant and Praytor each contributed two hits on the day to lead the Tide. Avant added two RBI while Praytor contributed one run scored. Taylor’s home run was part of his 1-for-3 day that included two RBI, a pair of walks and one run scored. On the hill, sophomore Davis Vainer (2-1) suffered the loss.
The Crimson Tide now begins a series of five games away from Tuscaloosa, the first of which will come on Tuesday. Alabama will head to Birmingham to take on UAB at Regions Field with first pitch set for 6:30 p.m. CT. The game can be seen live on Conference USA Television.