Alabama Takes Rubber Game From Georgia

HOOVER – Geoffrey Bramblett tossed seven innings and struck out a career-high tying nine batters as Alabama baseball cruised to a 5-2 game and series victory over Georgia on Sunday afternoon at the Hoover Met. The victory gave Bama the series, 2-1. With the win, the Crimson Tide improves to 18-16 overall and 6-9 in SEC play.

“I thought Bramblett did a super job in clutch situations today,” said Alabama Coach Mitch Gaspard. “We needed to win the series and Geoffrey gave us a really good start. He commanded the strike zone with his fastball, and he had his other pitches working for him. He put together a lot of quality pitches to help get us the win.”

Bramblett came through once again on Sunday, limiting the Bulldogs to just two earned runs to claim his team-leading fifth victory of the season. The sophomore used strikeouts to record eight of his final nine outs of the day on his way to tying his career high for punchouts with nine. Alabama has now claimed victories in six of his nine series-ending starts, with the righty claiming the win in five of those games.

Mikey White started off the Crimson Tide scoring for the day, knocking an inside-the-park home run to center field to put Alabama ahead 1-0. The homer was White’s fourth of the season and the Tide’s first inside-the-park homer since 2010.

The Bulldogs would use the third to set the game even with one run in the visitor’s half of the inning. Alabama would not sit by idly, loading the bases with one out thanks to a walk, single and then a hit-by-pitch. With three on, Cody Henry placed the ball in front of the pitcher with a swinging bunt, leaving no play for the defense and giving Alabama the lead once again at 2-1.

After a Georgia pitching change, the new Bulldog arm balked on his first pitch to advance the runners and bring a second run across. In that same at-bat, J.C. Wilhite singled through the right side to score one and leave Alabama with runners on the corners. Will Haynie stepped in and sent a sacrifice fly to deep center to plate one more and round out the four-run inning, sending Alabama to the fourth with a 5-1 lead.

Bramblett took the lead and ran with it, allowing just one batter over the minimum across the next three innings until the seventh. In his final frame, the Bulldogs loaded the bases after a double, single and hit-by-pitch. A balk by Bramblett allowed one run to score, but the Tide starter regrouped and struck out the final three batters including the final two looking.

Freshman Jake Walters followed up Bramblett to ensure the win for Alabama. The reliever tossed 2.0 innings and struck out two on his way to his first career save.

The Alabama offense was led by White, with the junior recording a 2-for-3 day that included the inside-the-park home run. White also added a double, an RBI and two runs scored by day’s end. Cody Henry also provided a spark for the Tide, as the freshman finished the day 2-for-2 with an RBI, a run scored and two walks to reach base safely in every plate appearance.

“Mikey White got the inside-the-park home run and that got us going today,” Gaspard added. “Then, were able to mount a big inning in the third to get four runs to help us regain the lead. We were able to hold on and maintain it after that, and overall it was a good day for us.”


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