Through nine innings at Sewell-Thomas Stadium Tuesday night, both Alabama and Jacksonville State had one run each. But any semblance of a pitchers’ duel ended in the 10th when the Crimson Tide bullpen gave up a Pee Wee baseball type run to allow the Gamecocks to take a 2-1 victory.
In attempting to intentionally walk a batter with a man on third base, Alabama relief pitcher Deacon Medders threw the ball over the head of the catcher, allowing the go-ahead run for Jacksonville State – Taylor Hawthorne, who had walked -- to score what proved to be the winning run.
After Hawthorne was walked by losing pitcher Davis Vainer to open the 10th inning, he moved to second on a balk. That brought on Medders, who threw a wild pitch to allow Hawthorne to move to third before the wild pitch on the intentional walk situation.
It was the fourth straight loss for the Tide dropped the record to 3-5.
First-year Alabama Coach Greg Goss said, “We’ve got to continue to play hard and things will start to go our way. Our guys are better than we’re playing right now.”
Alabama will resume play Friday, the start of a three-game series at Sewell-Thomas Stadium against the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks.
Bama drew first blood Tuesday with Chandler Avant leading off the inning with his second hit. Gene Wood sacrificed him to second and Cobie Vance drove him home with a single down the right field line.
The Gamecocks answered in the fifth with a similar scenario – single by Chase Robinson, sacrifice bunt, RBI single by Nolan Greckel.
Alabama starter Garret Rukes tossed 3 2/3 innings of scoreless baseball, allowing four hits while striking out three in his first career start. The Crimson Tide then turned it over to its bullpen, using seven pitchers to combine for nine strikeouts, highlighted by 2 1/3 innings from Garrett Suchey, who struck out three. Bama pitchers stranded 12 baserunners.
On offense, Alabama was led by Avant, who finished 3-for-4 with a run scored. Vance was 2-4 with the RBI. Vance has hit safely in all eight Bama games this year.