Stuart McNair

Alabama has lost nine consecutive one-run baseball games

Coach Greg Goff’s first Alabama team has had its share of heart-breakers

Close only counts in horseshoes and … well, you know. But it doesn’t even count in the final score in horseshoes; and certainly close does not count in baseball. There is a winner and there is a loser.
Those keeping up with it know that Alabama baseball this year is mostly a loser. The Crimson Tide has a losing record, 15-29, and a decidedly losing record in Southeastern Conference games, 2-19. The Tide has lost each of its seven SEC series, being swept five times and losing two games to one in the other two. Alabama has been swept in its last four SEC series.
And one thing that stands out in the Alabama results of its 44 games is that the Crimson Tide has a record of 3-12 in its games decided by one run – the games that were close.
Alabama’s three one-run wins came against Presbyterian (4-3 in the first game of the season), Louisiana-Monroe (4-3), and Arkansas-Pine Bluff 6-5). Early in the season Bama also lost one-run games to Presbyterian (3-4), Oral Roberts 4-5), and Jacksonville State (1-2 in 10 innings).
The Crimson Tide has lost nine consecutive one-run games, all but one of them to SEC opponents. Those losses came to South Carolina (5-6 in 10 innings), Auburn (3-4 in a game that did not count in SEC standings), Troy (11-12), Ole Miss (4-5), Texas A&M (2-3), Mississippi State in all three games (5-6, 3-4, and 12-13 in 13 innings), and most recently to LSU (3-4 in 11 innings).
The one-run losses include an 0-4 record in extra inning games.
What’s the reason? Alabama’s team batting average is .271, compared to opponents’ .266 and the Tide has scored two more runs than the opposition.
Alabama’s pitching staff has an earned run average of 4.40, opponents 4.66. But Bama’s three usual weekend starters are Jake Walters (4-4 with a 3.99 ERA), Dylan Duarte (2-5 and 5.23), and Nick Eicholtz (1-2, 5.91).  Bama has seven saves, opponents 12.
Fielding has Alabama with a 97.2 per cent, opponents 97.5 with the Tide having made 47 errors, opponents 42.
We’ve all heard, “Close, but no cigar.”

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