Samford shocks Tide

TUSCALOOSA -- Samford handed the No. 21 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide its worst home shutout loss in 11 years and in the process snapped a 15-game losing streak in an 8-2 upset win at Sewell-Thomas Stadium Wednesday night.

The win was Samford's first over Alabama since beating the Crimson Tide 9-5 here in Tuscaloosa during the 1992 season. Samford won both meetings over Alabama that year and had not won since before Wednesday's shocking result.

Alabama saw its four-game winning streak come to an end, while Samford snapped a four-game losing streak.

The Crimson Tide (31-14) avoided its first home shutout since the 1995 season with a run in the bottom of the eighth inning off Stephen Artz.

Samford starter Frank Allen Yielding and Artz combined on a two-hit shutout through seven innings before to Crimson Tide pushed home a run in the eighth to extend its home scoring streak to 292 consecutive games.

Yielding (2-6), pitching for the first time on more than one month, allowed just one single -- a fourth inning base hit by Adam Pavkovich -- in his five innings of work. Yielding, working on a pitch count, added one walk and four strikeouts while throwing just 57 pitches.

Artz earned his first save of the season with after allowing two runs and five hits in four innings of relief.

"Samford played well and their pitchers did a really good job tonight," Alabama head coach Jim Wells said. "They played well in all three phases of the game and we did not play well in any of the three phases."

Samford (14-31) scored single runs in the second and third innings and added two more runs in the fourth inning to chase Alabama starter Jeffrey Norris.

Justin Klinger singled to lead off the second inning and moved to third on Heath Owen's base hit to right field. Klinger scored from third base when Eric Hollis grounded into a double play to give the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead.

Samford doubled its lead to 2-0 in the top of the third inning. David Henry led off with a double into the right field corner and moved to third on Joe Denson's sacrifice bunt. Henry later scored from third on an error by catcher Bobby Burns, who was called for interference when he attempted to stop a ball with his mask.

The Bulldogs doubled their lead again in the fourth inning to 4-0 and chased Norris in the process. Klinger drilled a solo home run to left center field to extend the lead to 3-0. Owen followed with a double off the left-center field wall to chase Norris.

The UA left hander allowed four earned runs and five hits in 3 1/3 innings, while adding two strikeouts and no walks.

Jared Woodward replaced Norris and allowed a two-out RBI double to Kip Snowden, scoring Owen from third base with the four run lead.

The Bulldogs made it a 5-0 game in the fifth inning, but could not take advantage of a bases loaded one out situation with the middle of the order up against Woodward.

After loading the bases, Samford managed only run as Matt Alling scored from third base on a slow rolling ground ball to third base of the bat of Klinger, who was out at first base. Woodward then struck out Owen to end the inning, stranding two runners in scoring position

Samford put the game out of reach with three unearned runs in the seventh inning to chase Woodward. Adam Pavkovich had one error and Nathan Meiners made two errors to contribute to the three unearned runs.

Klinger capped the inning with a solo home run to center field, his second of the year, as Samford took an 8-0 lead. Klinger had three hits and four RBI in the game and now has six home runs this season to lead Samford.

Owen added three hits and scored one run for the Bulldogs.

Alabama avoided the shutout with single runs in the eighth and ninth innings.

Meiners singled and scored on Bobby Burns one-out base hit in the eighth inning for the first run of the game.

Zac Welch's solo home with two outs in the ninth inning made the final score 8-2, Welch's home run to straight away center field was his fourth of the season.

Alabama travels to Tennessee for a three-game SEC series this weekend at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. The series opener is Friday, May 2 at 7 p.m. (ET). Samford hosts McNeese State, coached by former UA assistant coach Todd Butler, in a three-game series this weekend in Birmingham.

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