Alabama is facing a trip to Texas A&M to take on the nation’s third-ranked Aggies this weekend, but it could hardly be more daunting for the Crimson Tide than its normal midweek non-conference games. After beating Troy on Tuesday, Bama fell back into its midweek doldrums with an 8-2 loss to South Alabama Wednesday in Sewell-Thomas Stadium.
Alabama will have to play with more intensity this weekend than was evident against the Jaguars. A handful of hits coupled with indifferent defense, including allowing a double steal, led to South Alabama putting the game away with a five-run fourth inning.
Alabama fell to 23-15 for the year. The Crimson Tide is 8-7 in Southeastern Conference games and will be taking on Texas A&M in College Station in a three-game series beginning Friday. The Aggies are 30-7 overall and lead the Southeastern Conference West Division with a 10-5 record.
“I thought the game got away from us there in the fourth when they ran up the five spot,” said Alabama Coach Mitch Gaspard of the loss to USA. “They put some good at-bats together along with the double steal, and we broke down in a couple spots. On the offensive end, we just didn’t generate enough. We had a few opportunities there and we just didn’t put enough good swings on it to pressure their defense.”
Alabama struck first to take a 1-0 lead after three, but it was over after the a five-run fourth by South Alabama.
In the third inning, the Tide got three singles from Hunter Webb, Georgie Salem, and Chandler Avant to score one run.
South Alabama loaded the bases in the fourth, and then had three singles and a wild pitch to account for the big inning. The Jaguars added two in the fifth and one in the seventh to make it an 8-1 game after seven.
Alabama added a run in the eighth as Avant doubled for his third hit of the game. Chance Vincent’s single scored Avant with the second and final Bama run.
Avant extended his hitting streak to seven games. Salem has now hit safely in 10 consecutive games.