Tide completes sweep of SE Louisiana

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Senior centerfielder Scott McClanahan collected an RBI single and scored two runs and senior catcher Jeremy Brown homered for the fourth straight game as the University of Alabama defeated Southeastern Louisiana 7-6 Sunday afternoon at Sewell-Thomas Stadium, completing the three-game weekend sweep of the Lions.

McClanahan's RBI single capped a three-run fourth inning to give Alabama a 6-4 lead. He also walked and scored in the first and third innings.

Brown's one-out solo home run in the fifth inning proved to be the winning run. The Hueytown, Ala., native has homered in four straight games, totaling five home runs. He leads Alabama with six home runs and 18 RBI.

Alabama's bullpen combination of Eric Mennen and Taylor Tankersley allowed just two runs and four hits over the final 5 1/3 innings for the Crimson Tide win. Mennen (1-0) earned his first career win, allowing two runs on three hits over 2 2/3 innings. Tankerlsey notched his first save with 2 2/3 shutout innings. He retired the final seven batters he faced.

After staging its improbable comeback on Saturday, Alabama wasted little time on Sunday, scoring two runs in the first inning on just one hit. McClanahan drew a lead off walk and moved to third when Peter Stonard's fly ball was dropped by left fielder Robert Larsen for a two-base error.

Stonard was playing his first game for Alabama since Feb. 26, after sitting out the last six games for disciplinary reasons.

McClanahan scored on a wild pitch by Chris O'Brien and Stonard made it a 2-0 game when he scored on Brent Boyd's single up the middle.

Southeastern Louisiana (10-7) took a 3-2 lead in the top of the third inning on a three-run home run by third baseman Anthony Krajancic. It was his fourth home run of the season for the Lions. He also leads the team with 18 RBI.

The inning started when Brandon Atkins drew a lead off walk and took second on Russell Taylor's one-out bloop single to right. After a fly out by Matt Rogelstad, Krajancic drilled a 1-1 pitch from Shane Sanders, his former junior college teammate at Wallace State Community College in Hancevile,. over the wall in left-center field.

Alabama (16-2) tied the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the third inning. McClanahan walked and took third on Stonard's single up the middle. Boyd reached on a fielder's choice, as Stonard was put out at second base, scoring McClanahan from third base.

SLU regained the lead with an unearned run off Sanders in the fourth inning. Justin Casas singled and moved to second on a throwing error by Sanders on a failed pickoff attempt. Joey Duhe blooped a single to left-center, scoring Casas as SLU took a 4-3 lead.

Alabama added three runs in the bottom of the inning to take a 6-4 lead. Beau Hearod doubled to center and moved to third on Carlos Sosa's single to right field. After Grant Redding lined out, Zac Welch reached on a fielder's choice, scoring Hearod from third base.

Adam Pavkovich drew a two-out walk and McClanahan followed with an RBI single to center, scoring Welch from second base. Russell Taylor's throw from center field got past Krajancic and into the third base dugout, allowing Pavkovich to score from third with a 6-3 lead.

Brown's solo home run with one out in the fifth extended UA's lead to 7-4. Brown has homered in four straight games for Alabama, totaling five home runs. He leads UA with six home runs and 18 RBI this year.

The Lions cut the lead to 7-6 in the top of the seventh inning on Rhett Buras' two-run home run off Eric Mennen. Krajancic reached with a one out single to center on scored on Buras' third home run of the year and second in as many games.

Alabama managed only seven hits and no player had more than one hit. SLU tallied only nine hits, led by Krajancic's three hits. In addition to his home run, he added two doubles and one single. Buras added two hits for the Lions.

The Crimson Tide surpassed the 1,000,000 mark in all-time attendance on Sunday afternoon. In 351 home dates since he stadium was constructed in 1991, Alabama has drawn 1,004,076 fans. Almost 96 percent of that figure has come since Jim Wells became head coach in 1995. The Crimson Tide has set single-season attendance every year under Wells.

Alabama will host two midweek games this week at Sewell-Thomas Stadium before opening Southeastern Conference play next week. Alabama will play Mississippi Valley State on Tuesday and Birmingham Southern on Wednesday. Both games begin at 6:30 p.m. The 2002 SEC opener is Friday, March 15against the Tennessee Volunteers here in Tuscaloosa.

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