Alabama Athletics

Alabama baseball takes the series against Arkansas-Pine Bluff

Cody Henry was Alabama’s leading hitter in Sunday doubleheader

Alabama managed only 3 runs in a nine-inning first game of a doubleheader against Arkansas-Pine Bluff Sunday, but came back in the second game with what Crimson Tide Coach Greg Goff expects.

“It doesn’t matter where we are in the lineup, I feel like we have a chance to score,” Goff said after Bama had split the two games Sunday. After falling 8-3 in the first game, the Tide bats came alive for 12 runs and a 12-2 win in the seven-inning second game.

Alabama won the Friday game to take the series and is now 9-6 on the season.

One good place to be in the lineup is where Cody Henry is hitting. Henry was 3-6 on the day with a double, a home run, an RBI, and two runs scores. Tanner DeVinney was also hitting with a 2-4 day that included a home run and a team-high four runs batted in.

Goff said, “I'm glad our guys responded (after the game-one loss). That's what I walked away with tonight – that our guys responded after we didn't play well (in the first game). Arkansas-Pine Bluff just beat us. They hit two bombs, and (starting pitcher Nathan Sawrie) competed, mixed his pitches and got us out. I don't want to take it away from them that they got us game one, but overall I'm pleased with the way we competed this weekend."

Next up for Alabama is a pair of midweek contests, first against Eastern Illinois on Tuesday followed by in-state foe Samford on Wednesday. Both games are scheduled for a 6 p.m. CDT start at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.

Here are UofA recaps of the two Sunday games:

GAME ONE
Alabama fell, 8-3, to Arkansas Pine-Bluff in game one of Saturday's doubleheader as a six-run fourth inning by the Golden Lions proved to be the difference.

After evening the game at one apiece in the third inning, the Golden Lions rallied for six in the fourth inning to gain a decisive advantage. The Crimson Tide would add one in the seventh and ninth innings, but the deficit proved to be too large to overcome.

Alabama kicked off the scoring in the first, taking an early 1-0 lead. Chandler Avant led off the frame with a double down the line in left. One out later, he came across to score the game's first run thanks to a Cobie Vance groundout to put the Tide ahead, 1-0.

Pine Bluff answered with seven runs across the third and fourth innings to take the lead. A two-out rally in the third inning resulted in Pine Bluff striking for their first run of the day. The Golden Lions used a pair of singles followed by a double to score one and even the game up after three.

The scoring continued for UAPB, as the Golden Lions rallied for six in the fourth inning to take the decisive advantage. The run-scoring sequence began with a leadoff single before Josh Williams homered to give Pine Bluff the 3-1 lead. A walk in the next at-bat put one on for Dontrell Brown, who sent a roundtripper to left to extend the Golden Lions' advantage.

A single followed by a double allowed another run to cross for Pine Bluff to make it a 6-1 game. After a wild pitch advanced a runner to third, an error allowed one more run to cross and moved the Pine Bluff advantage to 7-1.

Alabama plated one in the seventh to narrow the gap. Vance led off the inning with a double to center, collecting his second hit of the day. One out later, Chandler Taylor singled to right to score Vance and trim the deficit to 7-2. The Golden Lions answered back in the next half inning, scoring one in the top of the eighth to widen the gap. The Tide added one run in the ninth to make it an 8-3 game thanks to a pair of walks and an error, but would come no closer.

Vance led the Crimson Tide in hitting, finishing 2-for-3 with one RBI, a walk and two runs scored. Avant, Taylor, and Henry each contributed one hit apiece, with Taylor adding an RBI to the team totals.

GAME TWO
The Alabama offense collected a season-high 15 hits leading to 12 runs as the Crimson Tide claimed the series victory over Arkansas-Pine Bluff with a 12-2 win in seven innings in the second game of Sunday's doubleheader.

The offense for UA was highlighted by Hunter Alexander's 3-for-4 game which included a double, one RBI, and a run scored. Also adding multiple RBI was DeVinny, who finished with a team-leading four as part of his 2-for-3 day, and Alex Webb, who collected three thanks to a three-run home run.

The Crimson Tide received a strong outing from starter Dylan Duarte (1-0), who recorded career-highs in both strikeouts and innings pitched, striking out eight across 6.0 innings of work on his way to his first win of the season. The sophomore tossed 72 pitches while facing the minimum number of batters, and limited the Golden Lions' offense to one hit and a walk over his six scoreless frames. Duarte retired the final 13 batters he faced in order before handing the ball over to the bullpen.

Alabama struck first in game two, plating a pair across the first two innings to grab an early 2-0 lead. Avant led off the game with a single down to left before stealing second and using a throwing error by the catcher to move to third. After a Logan Carey walk placed runners on the corners, a fielder's choice by Vance crossed the game's first run to give the Tide a 1-0 lead. In the second, Henry sent a 2-1 pitch over the fence in right-center to move the advantage to 2-0.

The third saw the Tide add three more runs to pad its lead. Carey drew a walk to begin the inning before Vance reached on an error to put two on. One out later, Taylor drew a walk to load the bases for DeVinny, who lined a single to right to score two and move the lead to 4-0. After a Henry walk, Connor Short sent a sacrifice fly to deep left to score the inning's third run and widen the margin to 5-0.

A pair of three-run innings in the fifth and sixth helped the Tide extend the lead to 11-0. Taylor led off the fifth with a single before DeVinny collected his third homer of the season with a two-run shot to right. Henry continued the hot hitting in the inning with a double to right and then advanced to third on a wild pitch. Short used the next at-bat to collect his second RBI of the game, sending a sac fly to center.

In the sixth, Alexander started things with a single down the left field line and advanced to second on a balk. In the next at-bat, Walker McCleney drew a walk to put two on for Webb. In a pinch-hit role, Webb notched his first career home run with a three-run shot to deep right to push the Tide's advantage to 11-0.

UAPB struck for two in the top of the seventh to make it an 11-2 game, but the Tide responded in the next half inning, scoring one to claim the 10-run mercy rule victory. With one down, Gene Wood ripped a double to the gap to put a runner in scoring position. One out later, Alexander delivered a double to cross Wood and clinch the win.


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