Tide Rallies Past South Alabama

Statistics about ties and lead changes is usually reserved for the sport of basketball. But the Alabama baseball team trailed three times Wednesday night, and three times they came back, finally finishing off a quality South Alabama squad with a two-run eighth inning to take a 9-8 win at Sewell-Thomas Stadium Wednesday night.

Senior Allen Rice provided the fatal blow with a one-out, two-run triple in the bottom of the eighth following a Cale Iorg double and Matt Grooms walk to set the table.

Once the Tide got the lead in the eighth, hard-throwing David Robertson entered the game as Alabama's fifth pitcher of the night and threw a perfect ninth inning to record his fourth save of the year.

The win improved the Crimson Tide to 30-13 on the season, while South Alabama dropped to 26-18. It was Alabama's 18th come-from-behind win this season and the 10th come-from-behind victory in the sixth inning or later.

"We try to stress not continuing to fall into that pattern of falling behind, but South Alabama looked pretty good swinging the bats to me," Alabama Coach Jim Wells said. "That's going to happen sometimes in mid-week games. Going into this weekend we'd like to solve that."

Alabama, at 11-7 in Southeastern Conference play, hosts Georgia (21-18 overall, 6-11 SEC) in a three-game series beginning Friday night. Alabama leads the SEC Western division and stands alone in second in the overall SEC race. Georgia is ahead of only Kentucky both in the Eastern division race and in the overall standings.

Trey Shields started the game for Alabama and gave up four runs on five hits in three innings of work. Brent Carter pitched three scoreless middle innings, allowing three hits and issuing one walk.

Matt Downs entered in the seventh and allowed three base runners who all scored on two hits and a walk. He was not able to record an out. Jordan Davis allowed two hits in two innings yielding one run.

Iorg homered with two men on base in the fourth inning and finished the game two-of-three from the plate with a sacrifice bunt. He also recorded another rangy defensive gem to take away a hit.

The series with Georgia opens Friday, April 29 at 6:36 p.m. The game will be televised by the Alabama Cable Network.

GAME NOTES:

*Alabama picked up its 30th win of the 2005 season with a 9-8 come-from-behind win over South Alabama at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. The 30 wins surpass the Crimson Tide's win total of last season. Alabama was 29-26 last year.

*Alabama also recorded its 18th come-from-behind win of the season with the win over South Alabama. Of the 18 comeback wins, 10 have come in the sixth inning or later, including tonight's win over the Jags. Senior DH Allen Rice (2-for-4, 3B, 2 RBI) drove in the tying and winning runs with a two-run triple in the bottom of the eighth inning for the win.

*South Alabama scored two runs in the top of the first inning on David Freese's two-run home run. Alabama has now trailed in 31 of 43 games this season.

*Alabama senior LF Gabe Scott (2-for-5, 2B) singled in his first at-bat and has now reached base safely in 32 consecutive games, dating back to Feb. 18. Scott has hit safely in 29 of his last 30 games for the Tide, dating back to Feb. 25.

*Freshman SS Cale Iorg (2-for-3, 2B, HR, 3 RBI) gave Alabama a 6-4 lead with a three-run home run down the left field line with two outs in the fourth inning. Iorg has three home runs this season. Iorg doubled to lead off the eighth inning and scored the tying run on Rice's two-run triple that gave the Tide a 9-8 win.

*The Knoxville, Tenn., native extended his hitting streak to season-best 10 games with that three-run home run. During the streak, Iorg is batting .395 (15-for-38) with 11 runs scored, five doubles, two home runs and eight RBI.

*Senior LHP Brent Carter pitched three scoreless innings out of the pen for Alabama. He allowed three hits, walked one and struck out four batters.

*In his last three relief appearances, Carter has nine scoreless innings out of the bullpen.

*Carter has made six relief appearances this season and worked 11 1/3 innings and allowed nine hits and one earned run, with three walks and 13 strikeouts.

*He has not allowed a run in five of his six relief outings this season.

*With four strikeouts, Carter now has 282 career strikeouts at Alabama. He needs seven strikeouts to tie Lance Cormier's (1999-2002) all-time record of 289 career strikeouts.

*Junior RHP Matt Downs allowed three runs and two hits and did not record an out in the seventh inning. Downs issued a leadoff walk and then consecutive base hits, before leaving the game. Junior RHP Jordan Davis replaced Downs and allowed all three inherited runners to score. Davis was also charged with one run and two hits in the inning as the Jags took an 8-7 lead. Davis was the winning pitcher as UA scored two runs in the eighth inning.

*Freshman RHP David Robertson earned his fourth save of the year with a scoreless ninth inning. He had two strikeouts in the inning. Robertson has four of the Tide's seven saves this season and the only save in SEC play.

*Alabama has hit 24 home runs in 15 games in the month of April. Bama has homered in 13 of 15 games this month.

*Alabama made three errors in the win over South Alabama.


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