Win Number 487 for Wells

Everyone in shouting distance knew it was gone the moment it left Kody Valverde's bat, over the left field scoreboard to break a 5-5 tie in the seventh inning, but no one at Sewell-Thomas Stadium Tuesday night was sure if the two-run blast would hold up two more innings.

Box Score

"We ran our best two (relief pitchers) out there and they wore them out," Alabama Coach Jim Wells said.

Birmingham-Southern (2-4) had four base runners after Valverde's homer, but only mustered a single run, leaving Alabama (9-3) with a 7-6 win and tying Wells with Dr. Barry Shollenberger as the all-time winningest coach in Alabama baseball history with 487 wins.

Valverde shook Wells' hand after the game, congratulating him on the milestone win. Wells responded, "Thanks for hitting that home run. We needed it."

"It's a longevity type deal," Wells said. "I'm glad I was fortunate enough to stay around. We've had a lot of good players and a lot of good games.

"When you think about it you think about Dustan Mohr, Joe Carusso, Chris Eilers, Chris Moeller and Dax Norris. And all those guys who racked up 50 and 56 wins."

It's no surprise Valverde keyed Alabama's ninth win of the season. The senior catcher from Baton Rouge is now batting .375 (15 for 40) after three walks and the home run Tuesday.

"They looked like watermelon seeds last year," Valverde said, "now they're starting to look more like watermelons."

Alabama sent four pitchers to the mound Tuesday night, and all four allowed at least one run. Miers Quigley started for the Tide but only went two and one third innings giving up three hits, a walk, a hit batsman and a wild pitch. His reliever, Jake McCarter, gave up another run off two hits in two and two thirds.

Josh Copeland, one of Alabama's best relievers, allowed three runs off two hits and a walk and David Robertson gave up four hits and a run working two outs in the eighth and the ninth inning. Alabama had four errors, however, and only three of the six BSC runs were earned.

"It was a different kind of game for us in that we usually rely on pitching," Wells said. "We were hanging on at the end. It was good to win this one because it would have been easy to lose."

Wells will go win number 488 Friday night when the Tide hosts Appalachian State in the first of a three-game series. The games on Friday, Saturday and Sunday are scheduled to begin at 6:30, 4 p.m. and 2 p.m. respectively.

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