The win Sunday was the second time this weekend Alabama overcame a five-run deficit to win. Alabama trailed 5-0 in the fourth inning in the series opener before surviving a two-hour rain delay to win 8-7 in its last at-bat.
"We knew we did not have to score six runs in one inning, we were trying to get one run an inning," Alabama coach Jim Wells said. With 27 outs in baseball, we figured we could get six runs, but more importantly, we had to stop them. And after two or three innings we got the feeling we would stop them. Then we had our one big inning. We did not put a lot of offensive pressure on them.
Alabama managed just four hits and an Adam Pavkovich solo home run -- in the fourth inning off Georgia starter Mickey Westpahl -- prior to the decisive fifth inning. Pavkovich's solo home run was his sixth of the season, matching his home run total of last year.
After Charlie Lyons popped out to right field on the first pitch, Alabama then put the next eight batters on base to take the lead.
Freshman third baseman Evan Bush drew a one-out walk and advanced to third base on freshman left fielder Brandon Avalos' double to left-center field. Senior centerfielder Travis Garner followed with infield single up the middle, scoring Bush and chasing Avalos to third. Sophomore second baseman Allen Rice, who was the hitting star on Friday and Saturday, walked to load the bases.
Sophomore right-hander Sean Ruthven, who started the series opener and held Alabama to one base hit in four innings, replaced Westphal with the Bulldogs leading 5-2.
Ruthven walked Pavkovich to force home Avalos to cut the lead to 5-3. Senior right fielder Beau Hearod reached on a fielder's choice, allowing Garner to score from third base to cut the lead to 5-4.
Senior designated hitter Al Hecklinski bounced a single between shortstop and third base, scoring Rice with the tying run from third base. Freshman Zac Welch the singled up the middle, chasing Hecklinski to third base.
Center fielder Jon Armitage's throw to third base was late and Welch moved up to second base on the play. Georgia third baseman Lee Mitchell in an attempt to throw out Welch at second sailed the ball into right field, allowing Hecklinski to score and advance Welch to third. Ruthven then ended the inning with a strikeout of Lyons.
After Welch's run-scoring single in the fifth, Ruthven and right-hander Brett Benefield did not allow another Alabama base runner, retiring the last 10 hitters in order.
Ruthven (2-2) was charged with the loss, allowing two runs and two hits in two innings of relief work.
Georgia sent 10 men to the plate in the top of the first inning and knocked out UA starter Jeffrey Norris just five batters into the frame.
After retiring the first batter of the game on a ground out, Norris did not record another out as he turned in the shortest outing of his three-year career. The left-hander allowed four earned runs and four hits in one-third of an inning.
With one out, Justin Holmes singled to center field and then moved to second on a wild pitch. David Coffey followed with an RBI double down the right field line to give Georgia a 1-0 lead. Lee Mitchell then followed with a towering two-run home run over the left field scoreboard, giving the Bulldogs a 3-0 lead. Marshall Szabo followed with a double down the left field line to chase Norris.
Allen Ponder entered the game and hit Jason Jacobs to put runners at first and second base. After a strikeout of Justin McClain, Jon Armitage singled to right center scoring Szabo from second base. Josh Smith reached on an error by third baseman Evan Bush, allowing Jacobs to score the fifth run of the inning.
Ponder (2-1) earned the win with 5 2/3 strong innings of relief, allowing one unearned run and two hits, with two walks and five strikeouts.
Ponder issued a leadoff walk to Josh Smith in the seventh inning and then turned the game over to senior closer Brian Reed, who notched his fifth save of the season. Reed got out of the seventh inning with a double play started by Rice at second base.
With the win in the series finale, Alabama has now swept its last three home SEC series, dating back to last season. Dating back to the 2001 season, Alabama has swept six of its last seven SEC home series.
The series finale also marked the end to a16-game home stand for Alabama, who plays its next five away from home. The Crimson Tide will travel to Birmingham on Wednesday night to face the Samford Bulldogs in a 6 p.m. game a Joe Lee Griffin Field. From there Alabama moves to Gainesville, Fla., to face the Florida Gators in the three-game SEC series next weekend.