Alabama had won only two Southeastern Conference baseball games before going to Auburn for the start of a doubleheader Saturday. Now the Crimson Tide has won four SEC games. Bama had won only three of 15 one-run games before taking on the fourth-ranked Tigers for two games Saturday. Now that record in one-run games is 5-17.
In an unexpected performance, Alabama – the last place team in the SEC – defeated Auburn – the No. 1 team in the conference – in two games Saturday, 4-3 in the opener and 7-6 in the nightcap.
Davis Vainer picked up a save in both Bama wins and Chandler Taylor had a pair of home runs for the Tide in the first game victory.
Alabama, which has won its first SEC series of the season, will go for the sweep on Sunday when the Tide and Tigers play at 4 p.m. CDT. SEC Network will televise the game. Alabama will call on senior Nick Eicholtz, a right-hander, while Auburn counters with freshman righty Davis Daniel.
Alabama is now 17-29 on the year and 4-19 in conference play.
In the first game, Alabama received a strong pitching performance from the trio of Jake Walters, Garrett Suchey, and Davis Vainer for the victory. Walters (5-4) earned the win with five innings of one-run baseball, allowing five hits, walking four, and striking out one. He was followed by Suchey, who tossed 3 2/3 innings and allowed two runs on three hits before exiting with two down in the ninth. Vainer collected his fourth save of the season, striking out the final batter of game one to strand the tying run at first base.
Chandler Taylor highlighted the Alabama offense, tying his season high for hits with a 3-for-4 day that included two home runs – both solo shots – two RBI, two runs scored and one walk. The multi-homer game was the second of Taylor’s career, with the sophomore also accomplishing the feat on Feb. 18 of this season against Presbyterian. Also contributing a multi-hit effort was Alex Webb, who finished 2-for-3 to extend his hitting streak to six games.
Alabama baseball held off a late rally from fourth-ranked Auburn to claim the 7-6 win in game two of Saturday’s doubleheader at Plainsman Park.
Alabama jumped out to an early 2-0 advantage but Auburn matched with a two-run fourth. The Tide and Tigers each plated one in the sixth before UA put up two in both the seventh and eighth innings. Auburn would rally for two in the bottom of the eighth and one in the ninth with the tying and winning runs on base, but Davis Vainer shut the door for his fifth save of the season and his second of the day. Getting the win for Alabama was Zac Rogers (2-1), who worked one inning of scoreless relief.
Seven of the nine Alabama starters recorded at least one hit with seven also recording at least one run scored. The Tide offense was paced by Kyle Kaufman, who finished 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored. Kaufman’s bases loaded single in the eighth plated both of his RBI and would prove the difference.