Tide Defeats UAB 2-1

University of Alabama sophomore right-hander Casey Kebodeaux redeemed himself Wednesday night at Regions Park in Hoover.

Box Score:

The Mandeville, La., native pitched the best game of his collegiate career, holding UAB to one run and five hits through eight innings as the Crimson Tide snapped a six-game losing streak in one-run affairs with a 2-1 win in front of 1,742 fans.

"This means a lot to me," Kebodeaux said after the 94-pitch gem. "Hopefully, I earned some respect back from my teammates and coaches after tonight's game."

Kebodeaux had been roughed up for 11 runs and 11 hits in two innings in his last two starts against Tennessee and Ole Miss, allowed a first-inning run and then blanked the Blazers over the final 7 2/3 innings for his third win of the season.

"The story of the game tonight was Casey Kebodeaux," Alabama head coach Jim Wells said. "He pitched very well. That was really it tonight, there was not much else to the game."

Alabama (19-12) managed just enough offense to give Kebodeaux (3-2) his first win on the mound since March 3.

The Crimson Tide scored single runs in the second and eighth innings without a hit.

After UAB (15-16) had taken the 1-0 lead in the first inning on Phil Bell's one-out triple and a subsequent wild pitch, Alabama tied the game with a bases-loaded walk in the second inning.

UAB starter Kyle Roberson hit sophomore right fielder Kent Matthes to open the inning and then walked three straight batters to force in the tying run. Freshman second baseman Brandon May and catcher Jared Avchen walked to load the bases and senior Brandon Belcher's bases-loaded walk evened the game at 1-1.

The Crimson Tide left the bases loaded when senior shortstop Greg Paiml struck out and senior center fielder Emeel Salem grounded out to end the inning.

Alabama stranded 14 base runners in the win, including at least two runners in four different innings.

The Crimson Tide finally broke through with the go-ahead run in the eighth inning, again without a hit, to take a 2-1 lead.

Sophomore catcher Ryan Rhoden was hit by pitch to open the inning and then the Tide manufactured the run with a pair of sacrifice bunts.

Sophomore second baseman Jeff Texada laid down the first bunt of the inning to move Rhoden into scoring position. Belcher reached on an error by second baseman Allen Aubin, the Crimson Tide plated the go-ahead run when Paiml executed the safety squeeze to score Rhoden from third base and give UA a 2-1 lead.

James Oliver (1-2), the seventh of eight UAB pitchers in the game, took the loss. Sophomore right-hander Tommy Hunter retired all three batters he faced in the ninth inning, with two strikeouts, to earn his fourth save of the season.

Alabama stays on the road this weekend with a three-game series at No. 1 Vanderbilt beginning Friday, April 6 at 7:05 p.m. (CDT) from Hawkins Field in Nashville.

GAME NOTES:

*Alabama senior center fielder Emeel Salem (Mountain Brook) drew first-inning walk Wednesday to extend his on-base streak to 43 consecutive games, dating back to the 2006 season. Salem is seven games away from tying Jeremy Brown's school record of 50 consecutive games on base.

*Senior shortstop Greg Paiml (Hoover) recorded his 26th career sacrifice bunt and moves to within two of the Alabama all-time record.

*Alabama snapped a six-game losing streak in one-run games with the 2-1 win over UAB.

*Alabama extends its series winning streak to five game over UAB, matching its longest streak in series history.


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