Bama Comebacks Keep Coming

The bunch with more lives than Morris the Cat have done it again. Allen Rice's two-out RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning drove in the winning run for the No. 12 Alabama baseball team, giving the Crimson Tide a 5-4 win over in-state rival UAB on Wednesday night at "The Joe".

"This team never dies" said Rice, the senior designated hitter. "We never say we're done because we know this is a nine inning game."

Alabama loaded the bases for Rice in the bottom of the ninth inning and he drilled a 2-2 pitch into center field, which fell under the glove of UAB center fielder Clint Toomey, allowing pinch runner Michael McCallister to reach home safely, giving the Tide its 21st come-from-behind victory of the year.

Alabama (33-14) left 16 base runners in the win, including 10 in scoring position. Rice's single was the only hit by the Crimson Tide with the bases loaded in the game. Bama was 1-for-6 and struck out four times with the bases loaded.

UAB (28-17) took an early 1-0 lead when third baseman Zac Ward homered off Tide pitcher Casey Kebodeaux in the top of the first inning. With the 1-0 deficit, Alabama has trailed in 37 of 47 games this season.

Bama tied the game in the bottom of the second when catcher Chris Kirkland singled up the middle to score second baseman Rocky Scelfo. The Tide loaded the bases with two outs and left the bases loaded when Gabe Scott took a called third strike.

UAB answered with two runs in the top of the third. After two walks issued by Kebodeaux, junior right-hander Trey Shields was called to the mound in relief.

After a passed ball was charged to Kirkland to move both runners into scoring position, Ward singled to right field to score Ryan Metcalf with the first run of the inning. Nathan McCorkle then hit into a bizarre double play as Clint Toomey scored an unearned run to give UAB the two-run lead.

The Blazers went up 4-1 in the top of the fifth inning when left fielder Dan Stucky singled up the middle, scoring catcher Ben McCullars.

The Crimson Tide would score one run in each of the last four innings, starting in the bottom of the sixth, when Emeel Salem grounded out to UAB pitcher Heath Tapscott to bring home shortstop Cale Iorg.

In the seventh, Evan Bush reached home on a wild pitch thrown by Blazer relief pitcher Eric Roberts.

Alabama tied the game at 4-4 in the top of the eighth when Bush singled to score Gabe Scott, who got the Tide's first extra base hit with a double on the previous at-bat.

The Crimson Tide then loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth, making way for Rice's game winning hit that would give Bama its 34th victory of the year.

Brent Carter (6-2) was the winning pitcher for Alabama, while Adam Price (4-4) took the loss for UAB.

Alabama hits the road this weekend in SEC play to take on the Miss. State Bulldogs in a three-game series at Polk-Dement Stadium at Dudy Noble Field in Starkville. The series opener is set for Friday, April 6 at 6:30 p.m. The Saturday game is also set for 6:30 p.m. as MSU will hold graduation exercises on Saturday morning at Humphrey Coliseum. The series concludes with a 1:30 p.m. game on Mother's Day.


*Alabama scored single runs in each of the last four innings to post a 5-4 win over UAB on Wednesday, its 21st come-from-behind win of the season. The Crimson Tide's last four games have been come-from-behind wins.

*Senior DH Allen Rice (2-for-5, RBI) plated the winning run in the bottom the ninth inning with a bases-loaded single that dropped in front of center fielder Clint Toomey to score pinch-runner Michael McCallister with the winning run.

*Rice has hit safely in 15 of his last 17 games and reached base safely in 19 of his last 20 games.

*Alabama was 4-for-16 with runners in scoring position in the win over UAB.

*The Crimson Tide stranded a season-high 16 base runners in the nine-inning game and left the bases loaded three times. *The 16 runners left on base are the most by Alabama in a nine-inning game since the Tide left a school record 18 base runners in a 7-6 win over Arkansas in the 1995 SEC Western Division Tournament in Starkville, Miss.

*Alabama was 1-for-6 in the game with the bases loaded and struck out four times.

*Junior 3B Evan Bush went 3-for-3 in the game and drove in the tying run with a two-out base hit to right field in the eight inning. Bush also walked twice in the win over UAB and reached base all five times in the game.

*Bush has reached base safely in 19 straight games.

*Gabe Scott (1-for-5, R, 2B) has reached base safely in 36 consecutive games, dating back to Feb. 25.

*Senior RHP Brent Carter earned his sixth win of the season with 2 1/3 scoreless innings out of the pen. He entered the game in the seventh inning with no outs and stranded the bases loaded as UAB could not increase its 4-2 lead.

*Carter worked 2 1/3 innings and allowed one infield hit. He also added four strikeouts and walked one batter.

*With the four strikeouts, Carter now has 288 career strikeouts at Alabama. He needs one strikeout to tie Lance Cormier's (1999-2002) school record of 289 career strikeouts.

*Junior RHP Trey Shields had his best outing of the season on the mound as he worked a season high 4 2/3 innings and added a season best six strikeouts. Overall, Shields allowed one run and three hits and did not walk a batter.

*Freshman RHP Casey Kebodeaux made his second start of the season on the mound in Wednesday's game against UAB. His only other start of the season was Feb. 24 in a 7-1 loss at UAB in Birmingham.

*Kebodeaux lasted two-plus innings and allowed three runs (2 ER) on one hit, but walked four and hit one batter.

*In his two starts against the Blazers this season, Kebodeaux worked six innings and allowed eight runs (3 ER) and five hits, with seven walks, three strikeouts and one hit batter.

*UAB third baseman Zac Ward hit his fourth home run of the season in the top of the first inning to give the Blazers a 1-0 lead. With the home run, Alabama has now trailed in 37 of 47 games this season.

*Alabama finishes with a 20-6 (.769) non-conference record. The last time the Crimson Tide won 20 non-conference games was 2002 when UA posted 23-2 (.920).

*Alabama wrapped up a nine-game home stand on Wednesday night and posted a 7-2 (.778) record in those nine games.

*Alabama was 7-0 in Wednesday games this season and has won eight in-a-row dating back to last year.

BamaMag Top Stories