Alabama had already given new coach Greg Goff a victory in his first game leading Crimson Tide baseball on Friday. And Bama had clinched the series with another victory on Saturday. But that didn’t salve the wounds of losing on Sunday to Presbyterian College. In a back-and-forth contest, Alabama came up short in a 4-3 decision to the Blue Hose.
Next up for Alabama is Southern Miss in Sewell-Thomas Stadium beginning at 6 p.m. CST Tuesday.
“I thought Presbyterian came out today and the guy on the mound (Hayden Deal) did a really good job early on,” said Goff. “It was a great game and a great series. We had two one-run games, and I feel good that we won the series at home the first weekend. Hopefully we can learn from today.”
Making his first career start, sophomore Dylan Duarte provided a solid outing. The lefty worked five innings allowing two earned runs on three hits with no walks and four strikeouts. Duarte retired the first 12 batters he faced before finally surrendering a hit to lead off the fifth. Junior college transfer Garret Suchey (0-1) entered the game in the sixth inning and suffered the loss. The right-hander tossed three innings allowing two earned runs on five hits with no walks and a pair of strikeouts.
The offense was highlighted by sophomores Kyle Kaufman and Gene Wood, who led the Tide in with two hits each. Kaufman finished the day 2-for-3 with a RBI, while Wood went 2-for4 with a run scored. Chandler Taylor once again contributed a home run, finishing 1-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored to go with a walk. He has three homers after three games.
Alabama struck first, putting up one run in the bottom of the second thanks to Taylor’s solo shot to lead off the inning. The homer was the Crimson Tide’s fifth homer of the weekend and Taylor’s third in the last two games.
The Tide added another in the fourth to move to the lead to 2-0. Cody Henry reached with one out after sending a double to right field. In the next at-bat, Connor Short singled to right field and later advanced to second after the lead runner was caught in a rundown at third. With a runner in scoring position and two outs, Kaufman delivered a single to left field to plate Short and score the Tide’s second run of the game.
Presbyterian answered with three runs in the fifth and sixth to move ahead 3-2. A pair of singles to lead off the fifth placed runners on first and second before a sacrifice bunt advanced both runners into scoring position. With one down, a groundout to second scored Presbyterian’s first run of the day. A single to left field in the next at-bat plated another run for the Blue Hose and tied the game at two apiece, ending Duarte’s day.
In the next inning, the Blue Hose scored one more to take a 3-2 lead. A one-out single, followed by a stolen base and a throwing error placed a runner on third. A single to right field in the following at-bat allowed the go-ahead run to cross for Presbyterian, giving the Blue Hose the one-run advantage.
Alabama evened things up an inning later, plating one in the seventh to make it a 3-3 game. Wood led off with a single and eventually crossed to score on Hunter Alexander’s fielder’s choice. Presbyterian regained the lead in the eighth, using a solo home run to go up 4-3, which would be the difference in the game.