Alabama’s baseball team picked up an extra outfielder this spring when Keith Holcombe, a linebacker for the Crimson Tide football team, joined the Bama baseball team of Coach Mitch Gaspard.
That addition proved helpful Friday night at Sewell-Thomas Stadium when Keith Holcombe delivered a hit up the middle to bring in the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning. With runners on the corners and the man from third on the move, Holcombe knocked a ball back up the middle to plate the winning run and walk it off, 2-1, for the Crimson Tide over North Dakota.
Alabama improved to 4-1.
The Crimson Tide entered the bottom of the ninth tied at 1-1 with North Dakota. Chandler Taylor reached on an error and Cody Henry was hit by a pitch. A wild pitch put Taylor on third. One out later, Holcombe came to bat. With a 1-0 count, Taylor broke for the plate. The left-handed hitting Holcombe saw Taylor break and got the bat on the ball, sending it up the middle and ending the game.
Junior starter Geoffrey Bramblett kept things close to allow the Tide an opportunity in the ninth. The third-year man worked 8 innings of one-run baseball, allowing four hits and walking two while striking out six. Junior college transfer Matt Foster entered in the ninth and struck out two of the three batters he faced in a 1-2-3 inning to earn his first win at Alabama.
The teams return to the diamond at 2 p.m. CST Saturday for game two of the series. The Crimson Tide sends sophomore right-hander Jake Walters to the mound, while the Fighting Hawks counter with senior right-hander Brett DeGange’.