“I thought we competed all night and our guys were toe-to-toe with them to the end,” said Alabama Coach Mitch Gaspard. “You’re going to always see good arms when you play Vanderbilt, but you have got to find a way to grind out a little more than them on the offensive end. We matched their pitching tonight, but we gave up one more run than they did, and that’s how they got the win.”
In a game that featured just six hits and three runs overall, Vanderbilt would come out on top thanks to a complete-game performance from Fulmer. The righty allowed one earned run and struck out a career-high tying 14 batters. Not to be overlooked was the pitching performance by the two Alabama arms.
Senior Taylor Guilbeau tossed six innings on the night and allowed just two runs while striking out three. The southpaw was cruising at one point, retiring 12 straight before running into trouble in the sixth. Guilbeau was immediately followed by Ray Castillo, with the junior reliever tossing three innings of work and using the strikeout to record seven of the final nine outs of the game.
Alabama kicked off the game’s scoring, using a two-out single and walk to put a pair on for Kyle Overstreet. A single up the middle from the third baseman brought across the game’s first run and gave the Crimson Tide the early 1-0 lead. Both pitchers would continue their dominance until Vanderbilt came to bat in the sixth.
The Commodores drew of back-to-back two-out walks – the first two issued by Guilbeau – to put runners on in the sixth. Vanderbilt would capitalize on the free passes, using a double to the gap in the next at-bat to score the tying and go-ahead runs for the 2-1 lead.
“I thought we pitched really well,” Gaspard added. “Taylor had a good, solid start again except for the hiccup in the sixth. He was able to wiggle out of that jam, and then Ray came in and gave us a good effort to keep them off the board. I thought our approach was good, we just didn’t have many opportunities.”
Alabama and Vanderbilt will meet up for game two of the series tomorrow evening with the game once again starting at 7 p.m. CT inside the Hoover Met. The Crimson Tide is slotted to throw freshman right-hander Jake Walters while the Commodores send redshirt junior lefty Philip Pfeifer to the hill.