Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Alabama baseball goes 2-1 at the Frisco Classic, suffering its first loss of the 2024 season

Courtesy of UA Athletics

On Friday, the Alabama Crimson Tide baseball team embarked on a three-game tournament in Frisco, Texas. The Frisco Classic saw the Alabama Crimson Tide of the Southeastern Conference, Indiana Hoosiers of the Big Ten, Arizona Wildcats of the Pac-12 and Dallas Baptist Patriots of Conference USA all face off in a three-day weekend series style of games. 

No. 16 Alabama 12, No. 20 Indiana 0 

The Crimson Tide opened the Frisco Classic on Friday afternoon versus the Indiana Hoosiers throwing out right-hander Ben Hess to make the start.  

Alabama struck first, scoring five runs in the top of the first inning to get the game going. Outfielder Ian Petrutz got it started with a single into center field, bringing in third baseman Gage Miller. On a double to left-center field, first baseman Will Hodo cashed in Petrutz and outfielder TJ McCants to extend the lead. Catcher Mac Guscette kept the line moving with his single into left-center, bringing home designated hitter Mason Swinney and Hodo to cap the inning at 5-0.  

The top of the fourth saw Alabama add seven more runs to its lead, almost guaranteeing the win to the Crimson Tide. 

Petrutz got the Crimson Tide rally going in the fourth with a double down the right-field line that caused both McCants and Miller to cross the plate. With Hodo and Petrutz on base, outfielder Evan Sleight got a hold of one, sending it over the right-field wall; Sleight’s three-run shot put the Crimson Tide ahead seven. In a sacrifice fly, Miller popped out to left, bringing in Guscette. To close out the Crimson Tide offense, second baseman Bryce Eblin scored unearned on a wild pitch, cementing Alabama’s lead at 12-0.  

On the mound, Hess was on top of his game; in his five innings on the mound, the junior allowed just a single hit while also fanning 10, surrendering only one free pass. Hess’ strong outing saw him secure his third win on the season, moving to 3-0.  

“Tonight starts with the guy on the mound. [Hess] was unbelievable today, the stuff was real. He attacked the strike zone a bunch and it seemed like he was ahead of everybody. That’s a good offense in Indiana, and he did a great job of shutting them down,” head coach Rob Vaughn said.  

Righty Coulson Buchanan worked the final two innings for Alabama, keeping the shutout alive. Buchanan did not allow a hit as he and Hess combined to work for a one-hit shutout, seeing Alabama take the game 12-0 in seven innings.  

No. 16 Alabama 7, Arizona 6 

Right-hander Aidan Moza got the start for the Crimson Tide in the second game of the Frisco Classic.  

Working an effective first three innings, Moza ran into trouble in the fourth when the Wildcats jumped ahead, striking for four runs from the righty. Shortstop Mason White with his two-run home run got Arizona on the board first. Later in the inning with two outs, Wildcat catcher Blake McDonald became the second batter of the inning to take Moza over the wall in center field. McDonald’s two-run jack caused Arizona to jump to a 4-0 lead.  

The Crimson Tide responded in the top of the fifth, drawing within one. Eblin got the Alabama offense going with a two-run home run down the right-field line. Miller also was able to cash in an RBI, pulling Alabama close at 4-3.  

Alabama clawed its way back to tie the game in the top of the sixth with a solo home run from Hodo. Staying back on the off-speed pitch, Hodo turned it over the center-field wall for his second of the season and tied the game at 4.

Putting the Crimson Tide in front 5-4 in the top of the seventh, Miller scored on a fielding error by Wildcat third baseman Richie Morales. Arizona bounced back in the bottom half of the inning, taking the lead back with a sacrifice fly and an RBI single off southpaw Alton Davis II to make it 6-5.  

The deciding factor in the game came from Guscette, who reached on a scoring error from Morales at third, allowing Sleight and Swinney to score and giving Alabama the 7-6 advantage.  

Holding onto the lead in the bottom of the eighth and ninth, the Crimson Tide took Game 2 of the Frico Classic, defeating Arizona 7-6.  

“When we give up runs, we answer. Whether that’s one, four, six runs, always answering, that’s just what winning baseball looks like. Our guys played a really professional ball game tonight,” Vaughn said.  

Dallas Baptist 7, No. 16 Alabama 5 

Southpaw Greg Farone started Game 3 of the classic for the Crimson Tide versus the Patriots. Farone worked an efficient first inning, but a double steal in the top of the second inning saw Dallas Baptist get on the board first to take a 1-0 lead. 

In the bottom half of the inning, Sleight answered with a solo home run to tie the game at 1. Later in the inning, McCants gave the Crimson Tide the lead with his RBI single through the left side, bringing home shortstop Justin Lebron and Guscette, making it 3-1 Alabama.  

In the bottom of the fourth, Lebron extended the Alabama lead to 5-2 with a two-run home run. The freshman continued his hot streak by ripping one over the left-field wall to continue his impressive first year in Tuscaloosa.  

The Patriots responded with home runs in the tops of the fifth and sixth innings to tie the game. Patriot catcher Grant Jay crushed one over the left-field wall, and third baseman Chayton Krauss had a two-run jack to his name to tie the game at 5.  

Now in extra innings, the Patriots stuck for two runs in the top of the 12th to put them over the top against the Crimson Tide. Jay launched a solo home run over the left-center field wall to give Dallas Baptist the one-run advantage. Krauss, later in the inning, singled through the left side to bring home a run, making it 7-5 in favor of DBU. Alabama brought the winning run to the plate in the bottom half with runners on first and second; however, the Crimson Tide was not able to complete the comeback.   

“We competed; we just weren’t good enough to win tonight. We didn’t deserve to win today, [Dallas Baptist] deserved it. They got big swings in big spots, they capitalized on some of our mistakes, and sometimes that happens,” Vaughn said.  

Alabama fell to the Patriots 7-5, suffering its first defeat of the 2024 campaign. In the Frisco Classic, Alabama went 2-1 with wins over Indiana and Arizona but faltered at the final hurdle, losing to the Patriots in extra innings.  

The Crimson Tide will look to bounce back on Tuesday as Alabama hosts the Jacksonville State Gamecocks with a first pitch of 4 p.m. CT.  

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