Tide wins wild third game

TUSCALOOSA -- The University of Alabama scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to cap a wild comeback en route to a 12-11 win over the University of New Orleans in the final game of a three-game series at Sewell-Thomas Field on Sunday afternoon.

Zac Welch's infield single that caromed off the chest of UNO second baseman Austin Wasseramnn, scored pinch-runner Aaron Tennyson and Allen Rice to give Alabama the improbable win over UNO. Welch finished the game with two hits and three RBI.

Alabama entered the bottom of the ninth trailing 11-9. Evan Bush started the rally with a one-out walk and advanced to second on an error by shortstop Mike Rohde. After Greg Paiml struck out, Rice walked to load the bases and Carlos Sosa was hit by a Brandon Barthel pitch, forcing home Bush from third base. Welch then hit a hard grounder of the chest of Wasserman to score Tennyson from third and Rice from second base for the win.

The Crimson Tide (2-1) came within one out of losing its first non-conference home series under Jim Wells, but extended the streak to 26 consecutive non-SEC series wins with the zany comeback against the Privateers.

Rice was key cog in the Tide offense on Sunday, collecting a career high four hits and four RBI in the win. The Helena, Ala., native collected a two-run single in the fourth inning and added RBI singles in the sixth and eighth innings for the Crimson Tide. He also scored two runs, including the game winner in the ninth.

Sosa was also a major contributor in the win as he reached base six times and collected two hits and a career-high four RBI.

UNO (2-3) made a comeback of its own, scoring seven runs in the top of the seventh inning to take a 10-7. Mike Forbes stroked a two-run home run to right field to start the rally and third baseman Jay Yaconetti capped the inning with a grand slam into left center field.

The Privateers did not have an extra base hit in the first two games of the series, but collected five on Sunday, including three doubles and two home runs.

Alabama led 5-1 after four innings and 7-3 after six innings before UNO took the lead.

The Crimson Tide cut the lead to 10-9 in the bottom of the eighth inning on a RBI single by Rice and when Sosa reached on a Wasserman error at second base.

UNO added a run in the ninth when Joe Pietro scored on a wild pitch to give the Privateers an 11-9 lead.

Allen Ponder (1-0), the last of seven Alabama pitchers was credited with the win. He struck out the only batter he faced, but did uncork a wild pitch that allowed an inherited runner to score.

UNO Brandon Barthel (0-1) was the losing pitcher as he allowed three unearned runs in the final 1 1/3 innings.

The two combined to use 12 pitchers in a game that lasted nearly four hours.

Nick Richardson added two hits in his first career start for Alabama and Bush collected two doubles in the Tide's 14-hit attack.

UNO managed only eight hits, including two each by Forbes and Kody Valverde.

The teams also combined for four errors, 16 walks six hit batters and stranded 22 total base runners.

bama returns to action on Wednesday, Feb. 19 as they travel to Jacksonville to face the Jax State Gamecocks in a 6:30 p.m. from Rudy Abbott Field.

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