Hunter Alexander drove in three runs, including the game winner in the bottom of the ninth, and Brock Love retired 13 consecutive batters in relief as Alabama took a 4-3 win over Louisiana-Monroe Friday night at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.
In a 3-3 game, Alabama got a ninth-inning leadoff single from Kyle Kaufman. A sacrifice bunt moved pinch runner Connor Wright to second. Alexander followed with his game-winning hit.
The Crimson Tide got a standout relief performance from sophomore Brock Love, who worked a career-high tying 4 1/3 innings to earn his first career win and even his record at 1-1. Love retired all 13 batters he faced, 10 of them on a career-high 10 strikeouts. He entered the game in the fifth inning with Bama trailing 3-0.
“I really was proud of our players tonight,” said Alabama Coach Greg Goff. “When your No. 1 guy doesn’t throw very well early, and gives up some runs; in instances like that, most teams would quit. Tonight, our guys persevered and were relentless in the dugout. Our hitters adjusted as the game went along, and I’m just really proud to have a good team win against a tough Louisiana-Monroe team.”
Alabama is now 4-5.
Second game of the weekend series will begin at 2 p.m. CST Saturday. Both teams will pitch junior right-handers, Jake Walters for Alabama, Keegan Curtis for ULM.
ULM scored its three runs in the first two innings.
Alabama tied the game with a three-run seventh inning. Kaufman got a one-out single, followed by a double from Cody Henry to put runners at second and third. Alexander’s double to right-center scored both runners. One out later, Connor Short doubled to left-center to score Alexander with the tying run.
The Alabama offense received multi-hit games from Kaufman and Alexander. Kaufman finished 2-for-3 finished with a run scored, while Alexander closed out his night at 2-for-4 with a double, a run scored, and three RBI.