For the first time this season in Southeastern Conference baseball play, Alabama did not win its series. After winning two of three from both LSU in Baton Rouge and Tennessee in Tuscaloosa, the Crimson Tide was defeated Saturday in the rubber game against Georgia in Athens.
Alabama won the first game of the series, but was beaten in the second game and fell to the Bulldogs by 12-4 on Saturday.
Alabama is now 16-11 overall and 5-4 in SEC play.
The Crimson Tide will return home for a pair of games with Alcorn State on Tuesday and Wednesday, both games starting at 6:30 p.m. CDT and being televised by SECN+.
“Give credit to Georgia today,” said Alabama Coach Mitch Gaspard. “They really swung the bats well. They hit us in the mouth in a hurry, and then the big inning there in the fourth where we broke down all over the field. We didn’t defend in that inning, and they took advantage. We just weren’t clean in any area today, and in this league you’re going to get buried when that happens.”
Georgia took an early 2-0 lead after one full inning, starting with a leadoff home run on the game’s first pitch. The Bulldogs then used a double and a two-out single to score the second tally.
Alabama bounced back in the top of the second, to tie it at 2-2. A leadoff single from Will Haynie was followed one batter later by a one-out double from Sam Finnerty to put two in scoring position. Daniel Cucjen crossed the first runner with an infield groundout, and was followed by Hunter Webb, who doubled off the left field wall.
The Bulldogs added single runs in the bottom of the second and third innings before putting the game out of reach with a seven-run fourth inning. Three consecutive singles to start the fourth scored the first run and ended Alabama starter Nick Eicholtz’ (1-1) day. A new Tide arm entered to record one out, but then a single, double and single followed to score three more. A two-out walk put two on and then a single to center scored one and put runners on the corners. An error on an infield grounder that would have ended the inning allowed the frame’s seventh and final run to cross.
Georgia added one more in the sixth, using a two-out single to right to set the score at 12-2. Alabama went scoreless until the eighth when the Crimson Tide collected a pair of runs. A two-out walk by Connor Short and a single from Cody Henry placed two on for the Tide. Chance Vincent brought both runners home with his double to center to make it a 12-4 game, but UA would get no closer.
“I thought we did a nice job in the first couple of innings of driving the ball the other way, but from there their left-hander settled and found his breaking ball,” Gaspard added. “They had the big inning there in the fourth, and that kind of took the wind out of our sails some. It was one of those tough days at the office where they caught a lot of breaks, and we didn’t do a whole lot on our end to make any for ourselves.”
Alabama’s offensive effort was highlighted by 2-for-4 efforts from Finnerty and Cobie Vance. Both of Vance’s hits were doubles, while Finnerty doubled and added a run scored in his first start in right field.