The story never grows old. Alabama pitchers get the job done. And it’s always a better story when the Crimson Tide hitters get into the act. That was the situation Friday night as Alabama opened its series at Sewell-Thomas Stadium with a 6-2 win over Auburn.
Alabama starting pitcher Geoffrey Bramblett and reliever Matt Foster held a very potent Auburn offense in check and the Tide’s Will Haynie provided a memorable home run blast as Bama put the game away down the stretch.
But, as so often has been the case for Alabama this year in both wins and losses, the pitching was the critical factor.
Bramblett (4-3) provided the Crimson Tide with another standout start, working 5 2/3 innings and allowing two runs, with only one earned, to earn his fourth win of the season and his first since March 25. The righty allowed three hits and two walks while striking out seven.
Foster relieved Bramblett with two outs in the sixth, striking out the only batter he faced in the sixth on three pitches. Foster worked 3 1/3 innings, allowing just one hit while striking out a season-high seven batters to get his second save of the year.
The Tide duo combined for14 strikeouts – a season-high mark in a nine-inning SEC game – while limiting the Tigers to only four hits. The four hits tied for Alabama’s fewest hits allowed in a game, matching the March 6 contest against Brown.
“We’ve run through some of the top offenses in the league and our pitchers have been really consistent as far as getting good quality starts, while the bullpen guys have been solid,” said Alabama Coach Mitch Gaspard. “You’re going to run into a game here and there where it may not go your way, but I think these guys are going to keep us right there as they have. Our pitchers have done a really solid job, both the starters and out of the bullpen.”
Alabama improved to 26-20 overall and 11-1 in SEC games. Auburn fell to 20-25, including a 7-15 conference record.
Crimson Tide starter Geoffrey Bramblett and reliever Matt Foster limited a potent Auburn offense as Alabama baseball claimed the 6-2 win over the Tigers on Friday evening at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. With the win, UA moves to 26-20 overall and 11-11 in SEC action.
The series resumes at 6 p.m. CDT Saturday. The SEC Network will televise the game. Alabama will start sophomore right-hander Jake Walters, while Auburn will go with senior right-hander Justin Camp.
Alabama went up to stay in the third inning Friday night, putting up three runs in the third inning. Georgie Salem led off with a single and then stole second. After Cody Henry walked, Chandler Taylor singled to right to bring home Salem and put runners on the corners. A wild pitch moved Taylor to second. Chance Vincent singled to left to score Henry. Sam Finnerty grounded into a double play, but Taylor scored the third run on the play.
Auburn narrowed the gap with a pair of runs in the top of the fifth. A leadoff double followed by another double two outs later scored the Tigers first run. The next batter was hit by a pitch before an infield single led to a throwing error, allowing the second AU run.
After Foster got Bama out of the jam, Will Haynie got one of the runs back in the sixth with a long home run to left, making it 4-2 going to the seventh.
The Tide half of the seventh began with a Codie Vance single. An out later, Henry doubled down the left field line to score Vance. Taylor’s single brought home the final run of the game.
Eight of the nine Crimson Tide starters reached base on the night, seven starters collecting at least one hit. The effort at the plate was led by Vance, Taylor, and Haynie, who all had two hits in the contest. Taylor had two runs batted in.