Tide Baseball Swept In Opening Series

The Alabama baseball team dropped a 9-4 decision to the Florida Atlantic Owls on Sunday afternoon at Sewell-Thomas Stadium as the Crimson Tide was swept in the season-opening series. With the loss the Crimson Tide falls to 0-3 on the season while FAU improves to 3-0.

Alabama Coach Mitch Gaspard said, "Give a lot of credit to Florida Atlantic. They played tremendously all weekend. They really exposed a lot of areas that we have to get cleared up.

"We just had too many errors at critical times. I thought pitching-wise we had the same sort of problem. We have to make big pitches at the right time."

Bama junior second baseman Kenny Roberts finished the day 1-for-4 with three RBI as he had a three-run home run in the fifth inning. It was the first of his Alabama career and the first round tripper on the year for the Tide. Freshman right fielder Ben Moore tallied a pair of hits and runs on the day, finishing 2-for-3, while senior shortstop Jared Reaves also collected a pair of hits.

Alabama trailed 5-4 heading into the final four innings following Roberts' home run, but could not muster any more runs. FAU added one in the seventh and three more in the eighth to earn the victory and series sweep.

In his first start for UA, freshman lefty Justin Kamplain (0-1) lasted three innings, surrendering four runs (two earned) on four hits while striking out four batters.

R.J. Alvarez (1-0) earned the victory for the Owls, pitching three scoreless innings of relief while allowing just one hit, striking out two and walking one. FAU right fielder Alex Hudak added a pair of home runs and five RBI to power an Owl offense that totaled nine runs and 16 hits on the day.

"The offensive end was the most surprising to me," Gaspard said. "We've been pretty good offensively through the fall and early spring. Our offense just didn't show up today, nor did it show Friday or Saturday. We have a lot of work to do this week."

Florida Atlantic got on the board in the top of the first inning with a two-out, two-run home run by Hudak. The Owls notched two more runs, both unearned, in the second inning to make the score 4-0 before Alabama was able to respond in the third inning.

Moore ripped a one-out double to right field, advanced to third on a fielder's choice and scored on a single by senior center fielder Taylor Dugas, cutting the score to 4-1.

FAU added a run in the top of the fifth to push their lead to 5-1 before the Tide exploded for three runs in the bottom half of the inning.

Moore led off with a single, advanced to second on a balk and then was joined on the base paths by senior infielder James Tullidge who walked. After Dugas struck out to record the first out of the inning, Roberts ripped a three-run home run over the wall in left, recording the first home run of his Alabama career while cutting the score to 5-4.

The Owls tacked on a run in the seventh before adding three more in the eighth on the strength of Hudak's second home run of the day, a three-run shot over the wall in right field.

The series sweep by FAU marked the first time since 2001 that Alabama has been swept by a non-conference opponent for a three-game series.

Alabama will entertain Arkansas Pine-Bluff next weekend in a three-game series at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. First pitch on Friday is set for 6:05 p.m. CST.

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