Samford Drops Bama... Again

The few hundred who showed up on time at Sewell-Thomas Stadium Wednesday night were treated – no, tricked – to a first-inning horror show that proved too much for Alabama to overcome against Samford.

Box Score:

Samford (21-20) won the game 5-2, beating the Crimson Tide (23-19) for the second time this season. Alabama took a 4-3 extra-inning loss to the Bulldogs on Samford's campus March 14.

"We just don't score runs," Alabama Head Coach Jim Wells said. "You'd figure that we would be able to score a little bit. In the middle of the week you're going to give up three or four runs, and you've got to be ready to score five or six."

Samford sent nine men to the plate and scored three runs in the first off Bama starter Casey Kebodeaux (3-4). Kebodeaux worked three innings, giving up three runs on five hits, with two walks and four strikeouts in the loss.

Bulldog starter Trent Hill threw a nine-pitch inning to retire Bama's side of the first in order. A University of Alabama police officer provided the highlight of the night when he snagged a foul ball that was heading for the Bama bullpen just over from right field out of mid-air.

Samford's Michael Marseco hit a solid double to left field to lead off the game, followed by a bunt single for Bear Burnett and an run-scoring poke to right field for three-hole hitter Parker Gargis. Samford could have inflicted more first-inning damage, but left the bases loaded after the first three men scored.

Hill (3-4), who was one of four Samford pitchers, picked up the win with just two innings of work. He gave up a run on two hits and walked two batters.

A frustrated Wells said Tuesday that he wasn't standing pat while his team struggles continued into the second half of the Southeastern Conference season last weekend, and he was true to his word Wednesday night. Freshmen Elvin Vargas and Del Howell started in left and right field respectively, and each picked up two hits.

Freshman third baseman Jake Smith, who batted down in the seven-hole for just the third time this season, was 0 for 2, but picked up a sacrifice fly RBI in the second inning to drive in Vargas for Bama's first run. Catcher Kyle Moore hit ninth and had his second career home run, a solo shot in the fourth, for Bama's second and final run of the evening.

Leadoff man Emeel Salem failed to reach base for just the second time this season. He was 0 for 5 on the night.

Patrick Kelly pitched for the first time since March 7, entering with two out in the fifth inning, and retiring the first five batters faced. Kelly issued a one-out walk in the seventh, however, and it came around to score after another walk and a Tripp Swann RBI single which gave Samford a 5-2 lead.

"He did well for a guy that hasn't pitched a lot," Wells said. "That was nice to see. We're going to need him down the stretch."

Marseco gave Samford a 4-2 lead in the fourth inning with a single that drove in eighth-place hitter Josh Morgan, who had singled and advanced to second on a grounder. Marseco had two hits, an RBI and a run scored. He also suffered a nasty collision in centerfield with second baseman Gargis in the fifth inning, but remained in the game.

Alabama hosts South Carolina in a three-game series at The Joe this weekend.


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