Avila Slams Tide to Win

With one swing of Alex Avila's bat, the Alabama baseball team took a giant leap forward in its Southeastern Conference and NCAA tournament hopes.

Box Score:

Avila's fifth inning grand slam propelled the Tide to a 4-3 win over Mississippi State Thursday night in game one of the three game regular season series finale.

Alabama sophomore starter Tommy Hunter (7-4) endured in a 144-pitch complete game performance, holding Mississippi State to three runs on five hits. Hunter struck out six and walked one in his second complete game performance of the season.

Alabama improved to 30-23 overall and 14-14 in Southeastern Conference play. The Bulldogs fell to 32-17 and 14-12.

Despite the loss, MSU did clinch a berth in next week's Southeastern Conference Tournament at Region's Park in Hoover. The Bulldogs qualified thanks to losses by both LSU (at Vanderbilt) and Kentucky (home to Auburn).

Chad Crosswhite (7-3) worked into the fifth inning and was lifted after the grand slam. John Lalor worked 4 2/3 innings of two-hit shutout relief. Ricky Bowen recorded the final out in the ninth inning.

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