It’s no secret that Coach Greg Goff’s Alabama baseball team is a little thin in the pitching ranks with some recent injuries. Still, almost everyone in the Crimson Tide camp was confident as Bama went to the ninth inning with a six-run lead against UAB Tuesday evening in Sewell-Thomas Stadium.
But Alabama pitching – which had been very good for eight innings -- broke down and the Tide had to hold on for its 6-4 win.
The victory improves the Crimson Tide to 14-19 overall and 12-9 in non-conference matchups. Alabama’s win also completed the series sweep of the Blazers for the 2017 schedule.
The Crimson Tide received a strong outing from its starter Zac Rogers. In his first career start, the junior tossed four innings of hitless and scoreless baseball, issuing two walks while striking out a career-high four batters. Rogers was followed by Garrett Suchey (2-4) who earned his second win of the season with three innings of scoreless relief. Suchey allowed three hits and did not walk a batter while also striking out four. Davis Vainer and Sonny Potter each followed in relief, before Mike Oczypok collected his first career save in the top of the ninth by recording the final two outs.
Offensively, Alabama was led by Cobie Vance, who finished 3-for-4 with a double and pair of runs scored. Cody Henry and Connor Short each contributed two-RBI nights, with Henry finishing 1-for-2 with a run and a walk, while Short contributed a 1-for-3 night that included one double.
Next up for Alabama is a three-game series with the Texas A&M Aggies from Thursday through Saturday to continue the Tide’s five-game home stretch. The Crimson Tide and Aggies will meet at 6 p.m. CDT on both Thursday and Friday before wrapping up the series on Saturday at 2 p.m.