Alabama Loses Slugfest To SC
The 35 combined runs are the most in an SEC game since Alabama beat Vanderbilt 22-13 on May 8, 1999 in Tuscaloosa.
The two teams also combined for nine home runs in the slugfest, including a season-high five home runs by the Crimson Tide. Senior third baseman Jake Smith, junior shortstop Josh Rutledge, junior DH David Kindred and sophomore centerfielder Taylor Dugas accounted for the Tide's round trippers. South Carolina's four home runs were recorded by Jackie Bradley, Jr., Brady Thomas, Kyle Enders and Evan Marzilli.
South Carolina (34-10, 16-5 SEC) posted season highs for runs (20) and hits (25) and set the Carolina Stadium with 25 hits on Sunday. The Gamecocks put the leadoff man on base in seven of the eight innings and scored in seven of the eight innings.
Alabama (28-17, 9-12 SEC) used eight pitchers in the loss and every pitcher yielded at least one run and two hits in the game. No pitcher worked more than 1 2/3 innings.
"It was a bad bullpen day for us and good offensive day for them," Alabama head coach Mitch Gaspard said. "I thought our position players had another good day at the plate and competed hard in all three games."
Jones and Kindred had three hits apiece to pace the Crimson Tide offense. Jones was 3-for-5 with three runs scored, one home run and two RBI, while Kindred was 3-for-5 with three runs scored, one home run and three RBI.
Dugas, Rutledge, Smith, senior second baseman Cal Tinsley and junior catcher Brock Bennett each had two hits for the Crimson Tide.
Alabama held an 8-4 lead in the fourth inning on a pair of two-out home runs by Rutledge and Kindred. Rutledge hit a 2-0 pitch over the center field wall to give the Tide a 6-4 lead. After Jones walked on a 12-pitch plate appearance, Kindred lined a two-run homer over the left field wall to give Alabama an 8-4 lead.
South Carolina scored 11 runs over the next two innings to blow the game open.
The Gamecocks took a 10-8 lead with by scoring six runs in the fourth inning, capped by Thomas' three-run, pinch-hit home run. Thomas had the walk-off home run in USC's 9-7 win in the 11th inning on Friday night. South Carolina added five more runs in the fifth to take a 15-8 lead. Ender stoked a two-run homer in the inning for the Gamecocks.
Alabama scored three times in the seventh when Dugas lined a three-run home run to left field to cut the lead to 15-11. South Carolina immediately answered with two runs in the bottom of the frame on Marzilli's two-run homer to make it 17-11.
Smith's RBI single provided the Tide with another run in the eighth but the Gamecocks tacked on three more runs in the bottom of the inning for a 20-12 lead.
Jones hit his team-leading 13th home run in the ninth inning for Alabama to make the final 20-15.
*Alabama and South Carolina combined for 35 runs in the series finale. The most combined runs in an SEC game since Alabama beat Vanderbilt 22-13 on May 8, 1999 in Tuscaloosa.
*Alabama hit a season high five home runs in the loss at South Carolina. The previous high was three home runs against
Stony Brook (March 13), LSU (April 17) and Mississippi Valley State (April 27). The five home runs were the most in an SEC game since the Tide hit five in a loss to LSU on April 12, 2009 in Tuscaloosa. The five home runs were the most in an SEC road game since hitting five at Mississippi on March 22, 2009.
*The Crimson Tide had seven players with multi-hit games on Sunday. Junior DH David Kindred and senior first baseman Clay Jones UA with three hits, while sophomore centerfielder Taylor Dugas, junior shortstop Josh Rutledge, senior third baseman Jake Smith, senior second baseman Cal Tinsley and junior catcher Brock Bennett all had two hits.
*Kindred went 3-for-5 with three runs scored, one home run and three RBI. The three hits were a season-high for the Tuscaloosa native. He hit a two-run home run in the fourth inning to give the Tide an 8-4 lead.
*Jones went 3-for-5 with three runs scored, one home run and two RBI on Sunday. He hit his team-leading 13th home run in the ninth inning.
*Dugas was 2-for-6 with two runs scored, one home run and three RBI. He hit a three-run home run in the seventh inning. It was his first home run of the season and his first home run in 331 at-bats dating back to last season. Prior to Sunday his last home run came against Georgia on March 14, 2009.
*Rutledge was 2-for-5 with two runs scored, one home run and two RBI. He hit his sixth home run of the season in the fourth inning to give the Tide a 6-4 lead. The Cullman, Ala., native has hit safely in all 21 games away from Tuscaloosa this season, including a 19-game road hitting streak. Rutledge leads Alabama with 24 multi-hit games this season.
*Smith was 2-for-5 with one run scored, one home run and two RBI on Sunday. He hit his sixth home run of the season in the second inning. The Shannon, Ala., native extended his career-high hitting streak to 15 games.
*Tinsley went 2-for-4 and scored two runs in the series finale at South Carolina. He is 4-for-8 in the two games he has started at second base in place of junior Ross Wilson, who suffered a hairline fracture in his left hand on Friday night.
*Bennett was 2-for-3 with one run scored and one RBI for the Tide.
*Junior catcher Chris Smelley pinch-hit in the ninth inning and received a standing ovation from the Gamecock crowd. Smelley played quarterback at South Carolina in 2007 and 2008.
*The three-game series drew a Carolina Stadium record 24,202 fans. The previous record was 23,220 set May 14-16, 2009 when South Carolina hosted Georgia. In its last six SEC road games at LSU, Alabama has played in front of 58,593 fans, an average of 9,766 per game. Alabama and LSU set the three-game series attendance record with 34,389 fans at Alex Box Stadium April 16-18.
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