Alabama Baseball Boots One Away

Alabama's furious comeback in the late stages fell short, as four errors proved too much for the Crimson Tide overcome as they suffered a 7-6 loss to the Tennessee Volunteers on Saturday night from Sewell-Thomas Stadium. The Crimson Tide falls to 10-9 overall and 1-1 in the SEC, and the Volunteers move to 10-8 and 1-1 in conference play.

"Tonight we played really hard and with a lot of energy," Alabama Coach Mitch Gaspard said. "However, in the end we had too many mistakes and gave up some freebees by walking a few guys and gave up too many runs in the game, by throwing a few balls away allowing them to stretch their lead."

Trailing 7-3, the Crimson Tide put together a rally in the eighth for their most explosive inning of the game. Moore led off with a stand-up double and Booth followed in the next at-bat with a single to drive him in. Smith's double down the left field line put runners on second and third for Overstreet, whose groundout drove in Booth. Cameron Carlisle capped off the inning when his RBI single to center on the first pitch he saw to cut the deficit to 7-6, but it would not be enough as the Tide went scoreless in the ninth.

"Our guys did a good job of coming back in the end and making the game competitive and giving us a chance, but overall we played extremely hard and just made too many mistakes. A big part of their offense are walks and getting lead offs on so they can get the run game going."

Keaton Haack (0-1) was charged with the loss in his 1.1 innings of work. Haack allowed two runs (one earned), but committed two errors to allow additional base runners. Trevor Betancourt (2-1) got the win for Tennessee after allowing one run on two hits in 2.1 innings of relief of UT starter Aaron Quillen. Drake Owenby recorded the final four outs of the game for the Vols to record his first save of the season.

Sophomore south paw Jon Keller registered a no-decision in his fifth start of the year, where he went for five innings and gave up three runs (two earned) on four hits and three walks.

Freshman center fielder Georgie Salem was 2-for-3 with two singles, a walk, two stolen bases and a run batted in. Senior left fielder Andrew Miller had his strongest performance of the year, going 3-for-4 with a double, two singles and two runs scored. Sophomore right fielder Ben Moore continued his solid play, pitching in a double, a single, a run scored, a run batted in and his team leading ninth stolen base of the year. Moore has not been caught stealing in his nine attempts this season.

After loading the bases against Keller, Tennessee's Ethan Bennett opened the scoring for the game with an RBI single. Brett Booth's throw on Bennett's steal was errant, allowing Tennessee's Parker Wormsley to score from third to put the Volunteers up 2-0 after two.

Alabama cut the lead to 2-1 in the third, as Miller opened the inning with a double to set up a Salem RBI single. The Tide loaded the bases in the fifth following singles by Miller and Cameron Carlisle and a walk by Salem. Kenny Roberts and Moore came up with clutch batting, as a sacrifice fly and single, respectively, scored a runner each to put Alabama ahead, 3-2.

A single and double by the Volunteers to start the sixth inning chased Keller in favor of Haack. A single from the first batter Haack faced allowed Tennessee to knot the game up at 3-3. A throwing error by Haack allowed a Taylor Smart to reach and Pierce Bily came all the way around from second to score after the throw got away from UA first baseman Austen Smith, for a 4-3 UT lead. The Volunteers extended the lead to 5-3 when Booth's throw to catch Tennessee's A.J. Simcox stealing at third was off target, allowing another run to score.

Tennessee padded their lead in the eighth, despite only coming up with one hit. A walk and a hit by pitch by Alabama's Justin Kamplain coupled with a double steal set up runners at second and third For Simcox. Simcox delivered a two-run double to right-center to score both runners to make the score 7-3, a deficit the Tide was unable to recover from.

The Alabama Crimson Tide finishes up its series with Tennessee on Sunday at 1:05 p.m. CT. The Tide will trot out sophomore RHP Spencer Turnbull (0-1, 5.30) to the mound, and the Volunteers with counter with freshman LHP Andy Cox (1-1, 5.62).

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