Pair of Ninth-Inning Runs Secures 7-6 Win for Alabama Baseball at Auburn on Saturday
After a 90-minute rain delay, Alabama baseball came away with a 7-6 win early into Sunday morning in a wild contest against Auburn. The victory in game two evened the series up and moved the Crimson Tide’s record to 27-20 overall and 6-17 in Southeastern Conference play.
“Having seen this from both sides, I can confidently say that some really, really weird things happen down here in this series,” said Alabama head coach Brad Bohannon. “I can’t say enough about the two runs by our offense after giving up four runs the inning before. Our kids gave us everything they had tonight. I’m really proud of this group, this is a really good win for us.”
Entering the ninth down by one, the Crimson Tide rallied for two runs to regain the lead that was lost a half inning earlier. The ninth inning rally came with two outs, as a single from senior Joe Breaux tied things up. Breaux then stole second to put himself in scoring position before freshman Tyler Ras delivered a single to left field, scoring Breaux and putting the Tide out front by one. A quick 1-2-3 ninth from junior Deacon Medders locked up the win for Alabama and evened the series at one game apiece.
Medders (1) collected his first save of the season with the clean frame, while graduate Jeremy Randolph (2-2) picked up the win. Three other Crimson Tide arms contributed on the mound on Saturday, highlighted by a standout start from Brock Love. The redshirt junior tossed 5.1 innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits and a walk with six strikeouts.
All nine starters were able to reach base safely on the night with six of those players tallying at least one hit. Ras matched junior Morgan McCullough with a three-hit performance to pace the Tide offense. Both Ras and McCullough contributed one RBI and a run scored with Ras delivering the game-winning hit. Breaux and freshman Drew Williamson tied for the team lead in RBI with two apiece while junior Brett Auerbach and sophomore Tyler Gentry each recorded two runs scored.
In a game that started 1:30 later than expected, Alabama scored first thanks to two runs across the first and second frames for an early 2-0 advantage. In the first, a bases-loaded walk to Williamson pushed across the game’s first run. The second inning saw a fielder’s choice score Ras from third. The freshman led things off with a double, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and came in on the fielder’s choice grounder from Auerbach for the Tide’s second tally.
The Tigers posted their first run in the third to cut the Alabama lead in half, but UA would answer with a pair of runs in the fifth to move the lead to three. McCullough began the rally with a single and was followed by another single, this one from Gentry on a hit-and-run that placed Tide on the corners and forced a pitching change. Auburn’s new arm was greeted with an RBI-double from Williamson, scoring one and putting a pair in scoring position. A groundout in the next at-bat from Breaux allowed Gentry to come home and gave Alabama the 4-1 lead through five. McCullough delivered again in the sixth, singling to right to score one more and set things at 5-1.
The Tigers added one in the home half of the sixth to cut into the lead before erupting for four runs in the bottom of the eighth, forcing a Crimson Tide comeback. The top of the ninth began with a single from McCullough, but he was cut down on a fielder’s choice from Gentry. A groundout by Williamson then moved Gentry into scoring position with two down.
Breaux answered the call with a single back up the chute to bring in the unearned run and keep the Tide alive. The senior center fielder then stole second to move himself closer and one batter later, Ras sent a single to shallow left that forced a throw to the plate. The throw was off target, allowing Breaux to score easily and give Alabama the 7-6 lead.
Medders entered for the ninth, getting three consecutive groundouts to end it in favor of UA. The comeback win was the Crimson Tide’s ninth of the season and marked the first time UA has won this year when trailing going into the final frame. Alabama was previously 0-19 heading into tonight’s game.
Sunday will decide the series between Alabama and Auburn. The Crimson Tide and Tigers will meet for a 3 p.m. CT start at Plainsman Park with the game airing nationally on SEC Network. The Tide will throw left-hander Garret Rukes, a redshirt sophomore, while the hometown Tigers counter with freshman righty Richard Fitts.
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