Tide edges JSU, 11-10

JACKSONVILLE,. Ala. -- The University of Alabama baseball team scored six runs in the top of the seventh inning, capping a wild rally as the No. 3 Crimson Tide beat Jacksonville State University, 11-10, Wednesday night before an overflow crowd of 2,112 fans at Rudy Abbott Field.

Walk-on catcher John Marshall, starting behind the plate Wednesday night in place of Jeremy Brown, who was battling a stomach virus, tied the UA single-game record with two sacrifice flies, including the game-winner in the six-run seventh inning.

Alabama (35-7) took the lead for good in the seventh inning, scoring six times off three JSU pitchers. Boyd drew a bases loaded walk to force home Pavkovich and chase starter Jesse Corn from the game. Corn left with 10-6 lead, but his bullpen could not hold the four-run cushion, saddling him with a no decision.

Gabe Scott greeted reliever Lucas McCollum with a two-run bloop double to right, scoring Stonard and Brown to cut the lead to 10-8. Chad White's ground out scored Boyd to trim the lead to 10-9. A wild pitch from reliever C.R. Plamer plated Scott with the tying run.

Rice then followed with a sacrifice fly to left field to score Rice, who advanced to third on a wild pitch and a throwing error by Suereth. Marshall followed with his second sacrifice fly of the game, scoring Rice with the first lead of the game for Alabama at 11-10.

McCollum (2-6) was charged with the loss, allowing two runs on one hit in one-third of an inning.

Alabama won its 33rd consecutive game when scoring 10 or more runs, despite being out-hit by Jax State 16-9. The Crimson Tide also benefitted from seven walks, two hit batters and three Gamecock errors.

The Gamecocks tried to put the game out of reach with four runs off Brent Carter in the fifth inning to take an 9-3 lead. Travis Suereth led off with a single and moved to third on Scott Smith's double down the left field line. Pinch-hitter Clint Carroll followed with a seeing-eye, ground ball double that just skipped over the first base bag, scoring Suereth and Smith to give JSU a 7-3 lead.

Ruckdeschel followed with a base hit and Burns reach on a bunt single to score Carroll from third base.

Eric Mennen came on to pitch, replacing Carter, and promptly balked the two JSU runners into scoring position. With the infield drawn in, Comer grounded out to short, scoring Ruckdeschel with the 9-3 JSU lead. Without the balk, Comer's ground ball would have certainly been an inning-ending double play.

Carter worked 3 1/3 innings and allowed four runs on six hits, adding four strikeouts before leaving with two runners on base.

Mennen (2-0), the third of four UA pitchers, earned the win in relief, allowing one earned run and two hits in two innings of work. Brian Reed pitched the final 2 1/3 innings for his eighth save. Reed allowed only one hit and added three strikeouts.

Alabama loaded the bases in the sixth inning with no outs, but managed only two runs on sacrifice flies by Rice and Marshall. The two runs cut the JSU lead to 9-5.

JSU added a run in the bottom of the sixth when Suereth doubled and scored on a ground ball double play to make it a 10-5 game only to see Alabama make its comeback.

Alabama scored an unearned run in the top of the first inning to take a 1-0 lead, but left two runners on scoring position. Scott McClanahan drew a lead off walk and scored when JSU right fielder Taylor Talbot dropped a pop up off the bat of Brent Boyd.

Jacksonville State (16-25) scored two runs on three hits in the bottom of the first inning to take a 2-1 lead. Heath Comer led off the inning with a double down the left field line and moved to third on Andrew Tarver's deep fly ball to center field.

Comer then scored on Evan Conley's infield hit that struck UA pitcher Jared Woodward and rolled to shortstop Adam Pavkovich. After a walk and fly out, Scott Smith laced a two-out single to right to score Conley with the go-ahead run.

JSU collected four straight hits to open the second inning and build a 4-1 lead to knock out Woodward after just one inning of work. Matt Ruckdeschel, B.J. Burns, Comer and Tarver all singled to open the frame. Burns reached on a bunt single and Comer on an infield base hit, aided by Allen Rice's throwing error from third base.

Tarver's RBI single chased Woodward, who turned in the shortest outing of the season by an Alabama starter. Woodward allowed five runs (all earned) on seven hits in his one-plus inning of work. Five of the 11 JSU batters he faced scored.

The Crimson Tide cut the lead to 5-2 in the third inning, but again stranded two more base runners. McClanahan reached on a double when Ruckdeschel lost the ball in the lights in left field. Peter Stonard singled to right with one out to score McClanahan.

Alabama scored another run in the fifth inning to cut the lead to 5-3. McClanahan led off with a double to left field, his second double of the game. McClanahan moved to third when Pavkovich popped out to Talbot, who made a diving catch in right field. Stonard then grounded out to second, scoring McClanahan from third base.

McClanahan and Boyd two hits each for Alabama, while Marshall, Stonard and Scott added two RBI each. McClanahan also scored three times for Alabama and added two doubles to give Alabama at least one double in 11 straight games.

Comer, one of six JSU hitters with two or more hits, paced the Gamecocks with three hits.

The Crimson Tide returns home this weekend to host arch-rival Auburn in a three-game Southeastern Conference series at the Joe. Friday's series opener begins at 6:37 p.m. and will be televised live by Comcast Sports South. The Saturday game will be at 3:07 p.m. and be televised live by FOX Sports Net South. The series finale is Sunday at 2 p.m.


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