Alabama Baseball Wins Dramatically
"One thing that's encouraging, that this team has been able to do, is find ways to win games," Alabama Coach Mitch Gaspard said. "Midweek games can get tough at times, but I thought we battled and we did a good job in the ninth inning."
Bennett, who sacrificed himself twice previously on the night, was allowed to swing away in the final inning, knocking a grounder up the middle to bring around Dugas from second. Bennett ended his night 2-for-3 with two RBI and two sac bunts. Dugas also excelled, going 1-for-1 on the night with three runs and a career-high four walks, reaching base all five plate appearances.
Alabama starter Taylor Wolfe had another stellar midweek performance, going 6.0 innings, allowing only two runs on four hits while walking one and striking out eight batters, one shy of his career-high of nine.
Adam Windsor also had a standout night, coming in for 3.0 innings of relief – the longest outing of his career – to earn the win, his first of the year, setting his record at 1-0. South Alabama reliever Jeff Miller (0-3) took the loss for the Jaguars.
Alabama kicked off the scoring in the first thanks to Dugas leading off the game with his 10th double of the season. He moved to third on a Brock Bennett groundout and then came home in the next at-bat on a Jared Reaves sac fly to center, setting the score at 1-0.
USA answered back in the top of the second with an inning that nearly mirrored the Tide's run-producing inning. A leadoff double was followed by an infield grounder that advanced the runner to third. The run would eventually cross on an infield grounder, tying the score even at 1-1.
The Tide added another run of its own in the bottom of the third. Dugas started this inning with a leadoff walk and then made his way around the bags to third in the next two at-bats. He eventually scored on a passed ball during Austen Smith's at-bat, putting the Alabama ahead once again, 2-1.
Alabama added another tally in the fifth. A one-out single to left from Bennett plated James Tullidge from second, making it a 3-1 ballgame.
The Jaguars came back with some runs in the top of the sixth and seventh. The sixth began with a liner to center, and after back-to-back strikeouts, a walk and another single, the runner came around to narrow the gap to one. In the very next inning, USA evened the score at 3-3 on an infield grounder allowed a run to score.
Alabama was not looking to stay all night as they closed it up in the ninth. Only two batters – Dugas and Bennett – were needed to close the door on the Tide's 19th win of the season and 17th at The Joe.
"Good to get the win tonight and get the good feel as you move forward into the weekend against Arkansas."
Alabama returns to action this weekend with its second SEC home series of the year, this time versus the No. 13 Arkansas Razorbacks. The action at Sewell-Thomas Stadium kicks off Friday at 6:30 p.m. CDT. Saturday's game begins at 2:05 p.m. and Sunday's at 1:07 p.m. Sunday's game will be aired by CSS.
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