Matthes Homers As Tide Beats Jax
Matthes, junior third baseman Brandon May and senior center fielder Alex Kubal all homered for Alabama, which has hit 103 home runs this season.
Matthes slugged his 26th home run in the first inning to pull within one home run of the UA single-season home run record set by Doug Duke in 1986. Duke hit 27 home runs for the Tide that season. May added a game-tying homer in the fourth and Kubal's sixth inning shot put the Tide up by four runs.
Head, a junior from Stockbridge, Ga., earned his first career win for the Tide. The junior lefty, making his first appearance since April 7, worked 4 1/3 innings and allowed one run on three hits with five strikeouts. He surrendered a two-out, solo home run to Andrew Edge in the seventh inning.
Head replaced UA starter Casey Kebodeaux with two outs in the fifth inning after Kebodeaux suffered a hamstring injury on the mound.
Jacksonville State (28-19) took advantage of two walks and two wild pitches in the first inning to grab an early 2-0 lead.
The Crimson Tide answered immediately when Matthes slammed his 26th home run to left field to tie the game at 2-2.
Edge's seventh home run of the season gave the Gamecocks a 3-2 lead in the second inning only to see May tie the game at 3-3 with his 12th home run of the season in the fourth inning.
The Crimson Tide took advantage of pair of errors to scored three runs in the fifth inning to take a 6-3 lead. Freshman left fielder Taylor Dugas singled and moved to second when sophomore shortstop Josh Rutledge reached when JSU second baseman dropped a pop up in shallow right field. Wilson reached on an infield hit to load the bases.
Dugas scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch from right-hander Tanner Freshour to give the Tide a 4-3 lead. Matthes followed with a sacrifice fly to score Rutledge and Wilson scored on a throwing error by right fielder Kyle Bluestein to give the Tide a 6-3 lead.
Kubal's fourth home run of the season and second in as many games put the Tide up 7-3 in the sixth inning.
Edge's eighth home run of the season and second of the game cut the lead to 7-4 in the seventh inning.
The Crimson Tide scored its final run in the eighth inning when Kubal drew a one-out walk, moved to second on Dugas' single to left and scored from second base on Rutledge's infield ground out to make the final 8-4.
Alabama closes out the regular season with a three-game series at Auburn, beginning Thursday at 6 p.m. CDT. The game will be televised regionally by Comcast Sports South (CSS).
*Alabama (36-15, 17-9 SEC) has now won eight straight games, its longest winning streak since the 2006 season.
*Senior right fielder Kent Matthes (Orlando, Fla.) hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the first inning, his 26th home run of the season to move him to within one home run of the Alabama single-season record. Doug Duke holds the record with 27 home runs in 1986.
*Matthes and Middle Tennessee State center fielder Bryce Brentz share the national lead with 26 home runs. Brentz hit his 26th home run of the season on Tuesday at home against Tennessee.
*Alabama hit three home runs on Tuesday and has seven home runs in the last two games. Alabama has hit 103 home runs this season to lead the SEC. Auburn is second with 100 home runs, but was held without a home run in its win over Georgia Southern on Tuesday.
*Sophomore second baseman Ross Wilson (Hoover) extended his hitting streak to a season-high 11 games.
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