Huge Comeback Gives Tide Baseball Win

An exciting ninth inning comeback pushed the Alabama baseball team to a 6-5 victory over the Samford Bulldogs on Wednesday night at Sewell Thomas Stadium. The Crimson Tide scored five runs in the ninth inning, with the game-winning run coming on a fielder's choice by Ben Moore that scored pinch-runner Andrew Miller from third base. The Tide improves to 8-9, while the Bulldogs fall to 11-6.

In the bottom of the ninth, Alabama had the bases loaded and no outs, Taylor Dugas was hit by a pitch bringing Brett Booth home making it 5-2 in favor of the Bulldogs. Pinch-hitter Austen Smith walked, bringing Jon Kelton, narrowing the lead to two. A.J. Cole then scored when Jared Reaves reached first on an error. Josh Rosecrans fielder's choice allowed Dugas to score, tying the game 5-5. Moore's fielder's choice brought Miller to the plate, as he beat the throw home from the Samford shortstop, sealing the Tide victory.

"In the ninth inning we had some good fortune. The inning started out with two really good at-bats by Brett Booth and Jon Kelton and before you know it, you have a shot to win it," UA head coach Mitch Gaspard said. "We had some good fortune and some good at-bats with guys really making it happen."

The winning pitcher for Alabama was junior righty Chazz Otwell (1-0), who came in to relieve Jay Shaw in the top of the eighth. Otwell, who was making just his second appearance of the season, earned his first career victory after throwing 2.0 innings, allowing one run on two hits with two strikeouts.

"The game got away from us early with them scoring three in the first, but I thought our bullpen did a really good job," Gaspard said. "Chazz Otwell and Jay Shaw did a really good job at keeping us in the game." The loss goes to Samford relief pitcher Lex Rutledge (0-1), who allowed five earned runs, all coming in the ninth inning. Dugas was 1-for-3, to extend his hitting streak to nine games, was hit by a pitch twice and added a pair of RBIs. Dugas has now reached base safely in all 17 games this season, to extend his current streak to 29 games. Austen Smith had a pinch-hit RBI walk in the ninth, and Jared Reaves and Ben Moore were 1-for-4 with an RBI. "That is a really good Samford team. We saw a lot of good arms tonight from them and they are very physical offensively. Being able to spring back-to-back wins these last two nights was really good for us. It was really what we needed to get some momentum to move into Arkansas this weekend," Gaspard said. The Bulldogs got on the board early when Brandon Miller hit a two-run home run to right field, which also brought in Zeth Stone, who walked to open the game. After a double from Phillip Ervin, C.K. Irby had an RBI single to left field to drive in Ervin, making the score 3-0. Alabama reached base for the first time in the bottom of the third on an error from the second baseman Zeth Stone, putting Booth on first. Booth then advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored on a single to right field by Dugas. In the top of the sixth, a double to left field from Ervin was followed by another double from Irby, for the fourth Samford run of the game, and Ervin homered to left field in the top of the eighth giving Samford a 5-1 lead. The Crimson Tide will head to Arkansas this weekend for the first SEC series of the season. Friday night's first pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. (CST), from Baum Stadium. Alabama is scheduled to start junior right-hander Charley Sullivan (2-2, 3.38), and the Razorbacks probable starting pitcher is junior righty, DJ Baxendale (5-0, 2.45) Saturday's match-up will begin at 3:05 p.m. (CST) and will be broadcasted live on CSS. First pitch for Sunday's game will be at 1:05 p.m. (CST)

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