FSU Completes Win Over Bama, 11-1
Regardless, the 2011 season for Alabama baseball ended with an 11-1 loss to Florida State in the completion of the game on Monday. FSU, the nation's sixth ranked team and the number one seed playing on its own Mike Martin Field at Diwck Howser Stadium, had no trouble with third seed Alabama.
From an 8-1 lead when play was suspended Sunday afternoon, the Seminoles kept Bama bats quiet while adding to the FSU total of 19 hits, the most allowed by the Crimson Tide this year.
Alabama had five hits in the game, with the only run coming off the bat of Taylor Dugas when he hit a solo home run to lead-off the sixth inning. Dugas was 2-for-4 and hit his team-leading eighth home run of the season. Brett Booth, Andrew Miller and Brandt Hendricks also had a hit for the Tide.
Alabama Coach Mitch Gaspard didn't have a difficult time picking out the turning point in the game. It came two nights earlier when Bama let a late lead slip away in a loss to FSU.
Gaspard said, "With our pitching staff, we don't have to depth with our injuries to come through the loser's bracket. It made it really difficult. I thought our guys competed and battled really hard all the way to the end."
Alabama had opened the regional with a win over Central Florida, and then came back to defeat UCF again Saturday to reach the finals against FSU.
Gaspard was magnanimous. "First of all," he said, "we want to congratulate Florida State. They were tremendous over the past couple days."
The Bama coach also expressed appreciation for his team, which had generally been picked to finish fifth of the six teams in the Southeastern Conference Western Division. The Crimson Tide finished with a 35-28 record.
"This was a really good year," Gaspard said. "We went through a lot, had a number of injuries. Our team really improved throughout the course of the year and made a run deep into the regional. I'm really proud of our team."
Alabama had four players selected to the Tallahassee Regional All-Tournament Team. Centerfielder Taylor Dugas and shortstop Jared Reaves were the two position players on the team, while pitchers Nathan Kilcrease and Jonathan Smart were all-tournament selections.
Starting pitcher Adam Windsor took the loss to drop to 3-3 on the year after allowing three runs in the second inning. Officially, Windsor threw only one inning, allowing three earned runs on three hits with two walks. Florida State (45-17) starter Mike McGee got the win to improve to 4-3 on the year, after throwing five innings, allowing one run on three hits. Scott Sitz threw the final four innings of scoreless relief, allowing two hits with two strikeouts to earn his first save of the season.
Florida State scored three times in the second inning off Windsor, who left the game without retiring a batter in the second inning. FSU got an RBI double from shortstop Justin Gonzalez and a RBI single from Taiwan Easterling in the inning.
Alabama's first hit of the game came in the third inning when Dugas singled up the middle off McGee.
The Seminoles added to their lead in the fourth, scoring three times off Brett Whitaker. After a sac fly plated the first run, a double by McGee to the gap in left center field pushed across two more for a 6-0 deficit. The lead reached 8-0 when a sac fly by Rafael Lopez drove in Stuart Tapley and a double to left center by McGee plated Easterling.
Alabama got on the scoreboard when Dugas homered for the eighth time this season, over the right field fence to make the score 8-1. Following the Dugas home run, play was halted at 7:45 p.m. ET and was finally suspended at approximately 9 p.m. ET. When play resumed at noon ET on Monday, FSU pitcher Scott Sitz needed nine pitched to retire the Crimson Tide in order in the seventh.
UA's Trey Pilkington took over on the mound for Josh Rosecrans, who threw 1.2 innings, allowing two runs on four hits. Pilkington lasted 2.0 innings, allowing three runs on eight hits with one strikeout. Tucker Hawley recorded the final three outs for Alabama.
In the seventh inning, FSU designated hitter Mike McGee doubled off the fence in right field, but UA second baseman Josh Sanders made a great relay throw home to cut down Lopez at home. In the eighth inning, FSU's Jayce Boyd hit a two run home run to make the score 10-1, and the final run came across when Sherman Johnson scored from first on a double by Gonzalez.
Alabama Game Notes
*Adam Windsor made his first career start in the NCAA Tournament. It was his fourth start of the year and fifth of his career. Windsor threw one official inning and into the second inning allowing three runs on three hits.
*Brett Whitaker made his first appearance as a pitcher in the NCAA Tournament appearance. He entered the game with the bases loaded and no outs in the second and did not allow a run. Got a line-drive double play and a strikeout.
*Whitaker tied his season-high with two and one-third innings pitched, but allowed three runs on three hits with two walks and two strikeouts.
*With a single in the third inning, Taylor Dugas reached base for the 12th straight game, and reached bases safely in 57-of-63 games this season.
*With two hits against Florida State, Dugas now has 263 hits in his career to rank eighth all-time at Alabama.
*Dugas' sixth inning home run was his second hit of the game and 29th multi-hit outing of the year to tie Jared Reaves for the team lead.
*Trey Pilkington made his second appearance on the mound in the regional, throwing two innings, allowing three run on eight hits with one strikeout.
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