Alabama Baseball Falls to Southern Miss
The No. 23 Alabama Crimson Tide waited out the weather on Tuesday to play the matchup with the Southern Miss Golden Eagles on what turned out to be a nice, cool night at “The Joe.” Alabama struggled at the plate in the back half of the game, and they lost their fifth game of the year 5-4. They fall to 15-5 (1-2 SEC) with the loss.
“We have got to get better on offense as soon as possible,” a frustrated coach Brad Bohannon said following the loss.
The Golden Eagles had an interesting strategy to stifle Alabama’s bats. They brought out a new pitcher for every inning and ended up having ten different pitchers toe the rubber throughout the game.
“It definitely makes it tougher having a different look every inning,” Bohannon said. “They did a great job managing their pitching.”
Alabama did get a run on the board early thanks to three leadoff walks and an Owen Diodati single with the bases loaded in the second inning. Diodati is now 4-for-4 with 13 RBIs with the bases loaded this season. Alabama could not tack on any more runs in the second after Southern Miss brought in a relief pitcher, stranding three runners on base.
A Peyton Wilson triple that nearly left the park followed by a fundamentally sound sacrifice bunt by Jim Jarvis scored another run for Alabama in the bottom of the fifth to make the lead 2-0.
Bohannon spoke highly of the performance by starting pitcher William Freeman, saying he gave the team a great chance to win. Freeman stifled the Golden Eagles through five innings giving up no runs and only allowing two hits. He came out for the top of the sixth, and Southern Miss finally broke through. Freeman gave up two earned runs to tie the game, and reliever Grayson Hitt threw a wild pitch to allow another giving Southern Miss the lead 3-2.
Alabama fought back offensively in the bottom of the sixth with singles from Drew Williamson and Andrew Pinckney to put runners in scoring position. Will Patota came in to pinch hit for catcher Johnny Hawk, and Patota delivered for the Crimson Tide. He sent a slicing fly ball over the centerfielder’s head scoring Williamson and Pinckney and giving Alabama the lead back 4-3.
Hitt remained on the mound for the seventh, and he allowed the always dangerous leadoff walk. Southern Miss added on a single and then a double down the right field line to score two and give them the lead and our final score, 5-4.
One positive from the Crimson Tide’s loss tonight was the performance from relief pitcher Brock Guffey. Guffey pitched the eighth and ninth innings and allowed no hits to the Golden Eagles. The Alabama bats did not cooperate in the final three innings, however, as they could not make Guffey’s performance a little sweeter.
Despite the loss, Alabama seemed really solid in most aspects of the game. Middle infielders Jim Jarvis and Peyton Wilson made tough plays look routine, and Caden Rose made a nice catch on the warning track in center. If the Crimson Tide can get the bats going consistently, they will become a complete team because their defense is lights out.
Alabama will have its first home SEC series against Ole Miss starting Thursday at 6 p.m. CT with Tyler Ras on the mound.