Alabama Baseball Splits A Pair

Longtime Alabama baseball fans had their memories tested at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. Had it really been 29 years since David Magadan recorded the 64th and final double of his magnificent Crimson Tide career? And when was the last time Bama lost to Mississippi Valley State?

After weather forced postponement of Tuesday's game, Alabama and the Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils played a Wednesday doubleheader.

In the first game, Bama senior center fielder Taylor Dugas slugged a fourth inning double to set the Alabama record of 65, breaking Magadan's old mark. Dugas, who set the Alabama record for career triples earlier this season, went 3-for-4 with one run and one RBI to pace the Tide's 13-hit attack as the Crimson Tide was a 8-0 winner.

Things were not so good for Alabama in the second game as the Delta Devils took an 8-3 decision. Both games were seven-inning affairs.

Alabama is now 14-24 on the season and Mississippi Valley State is 9-29.

Alabama Coach Mitch Gaspard said, "I thought that in the first game we had a really good start from Case Nixon. We got good pitching out of the bullpen with Ian Gardeck and Jay Shaw, and had a good clean game as well.

"As for game two, I give a lot of credit to Mississippi Valley State. They outplayed us in every way possible."

Alabama will host the Vanderbilt Commodores in a three-game Southeastern Conference series set to begin Friday at 6:35 p.m. CDT.

In the opener, sophomore right-handed pitcher Case Nixon (1-1) earned the first victory of his UA career, pitching five scoreless innings, allowing just two hits while striking out two. Trey Lacy (1-8) took the loss for the Delta Devils.

For Bama, freshman Ben Moore totaled a 2-for-4, two run, two RBI day at the plate, while senior James Tullidge added two runs on two hits, including his fourth career double.

The Crimson Tide plated two runs in the first inning, opening the game with four consecutive singles, to take an early 2-0 lead. Reaves and Moore collected Alabama's two RBI in the inning, scoring Dugas and Gregory, respectively, to get the Tide on the board.

From there Alabama added a run in the third on Jon Kelton's RBI single and a run in the fourth on Dugas' record-setting 65th career double. James Tullidge led off the fourth inning with a ground-rule double before Dugas brought him home with a ground-rule RBI double of his own to make the score 4-0 and break Magadan's 29-year record.

The Tide then notched three more in the fifth courtesy of two Delta Devils errors to push the advantage to 7-0. With the bases loaded and two outs, Dugas ripped a sharp grounder that squirted under the glove of the MVSU first baseman, allowing Cameron Carlisle, who opened the inning with a walk to score from third. A poor relay throw by the Delta Devils right fielder allowed Booth and Tullidge to score.

Moore added a solo home run in the sixth, his second of the year, to make it 8-0 and end the scoring.

Ian Gardeck and Jay Shaw combined to pitch a scoreless sixth and seventh innings in relief.

In the nightcap, the Tide mustered just three runs on four hits after totaling eight runs on 13 hits in game one. Freshman pitcher Cary Baxter (0-2), making his first career start for Alabama, took the loss allowing two runs on two hits while striking out two and walking three in three innings. David Lostra (3-7) earned the victory for the Delta Devils, allowing just one run on two hits in six innings.

"They swung the bats really well and we were sloppy defensively and didn't play well," Gaspard said. "But that takes nothing away from them. They had a very good win. Up and down there wasn't a lot of offense and there was some poor pitching here and there."

Alabama scored the game's first run as designated hitter Cameron Carlisle got the marker without benefit of any offense. Carlisle walked to open the inning, moved to second on a wild pitch, to third on a passed ball, and home on a wild pitch.

The Delta Devils responded by plating a run in the third and then another in the fourth to take a 2-1 lead, before exploding for six runs in the fifth. MVSU sent seven batters to the plate, taking advantage of a bases-loaded, no-out error by the Tide to plate the first run of the inning before scoring five more on a single and a pair of fielder's choice to run the score to 8-1.

Alabama threatened in the bottom of the seventh, loading the bases to start the inning, but were only able to muster two runs. A sacrifice fly by Taylor Dugas scored the first run of the inning before a bases-loaded walk by Jared Reaves plated the second run. From there, though, Ben Moore struck out swinging and Carlisle popped up to second to end the game.

And for those trying to remember how long it had been since Mississippi Valley State had beaten Alabama? Trick question. It was the Delta Devils first win ever over Bama after 16 consecutive losses to the Crimson Tide.

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