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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 bounces back, defeating the Troy Trojans in a back-and-forth game

Courtesy of UA Athletics
Infielder Justin Lebron (1) throws the ball against Troy at Sewell Thomas Stadium in Tuscaloosa, AL on Wednesday, Mar 6, 2024.

Wednesday afternoon saw the Troy Trojans make the three-hour drive to Tuscaloosa to face off against the Alabama Crimson Tide. These two ball clubs previously met in the Tuscaloosa regional in the 2023 NCAA baseball playoffs, where the Crimson Tide would go onto the super-regional. In this matchup, Alabama defeated the Trojans again 8-7 at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.  

“I didn’t think that was one of our better games we’ve played,” head coach Rob Vaughn said. “That weekend took a lot out of us emotionally.” 

Left-hander Zane Adams got the nod for the Crimson Tide to start, making his third start so far in his freshman campaign. Despite giving up a two-out single and a walk, Adams was able to retire the side, getting out of trouble.  

Alabama got on the board first in the bottom of the second inning. Right-fielder Evan Sleight scored on an error by Trojan second baseman Ethan Kavanagh, who threw the ball into right field, allowing Sleight to score.  

The top of the third saw the Trojans tie the game with a pop-up to the Alabama shortstop Justin Lebron, causing Trojan third baseman Aidan Gilroy to tag up and score. Originally, Gilroy was called out at the plate for leaving third base early, but after the Trojans challenged the play, it was overturned, tying the game at 1-all.  

Pushing back in the bottom of the third, Alabama saw itself get back in front due to more errors from the Trojan defense. Troy first baseman Will Butcher made a great leaping catch, robbing an extra base hit from Alabama first baseman Kade Snell, but Butcher threw the ball away, allowing McCants to score and make it 2-1 in favor of the Crimson Tide. 

The Crimson Tide extended its lead in the bottom of the fourth, thanks to a sacrifice fly from Alabama third baseman Gage Miller. Miller was able to bring Lebron, who got the inning started for the Crimson Tide with a free pass, home to make it a 3-1 ball game.  

Running into some trouble in the top of the fifth, Adams exited the game, leaving runners on first and second with one out. Righty Tyler Fay replaced Adams. Fay couldn’t hold the lead as an RBI single from Trojan designated hitter Bryan Brooks brought home two runs and Troy tied the game at 3-all.  

Troy got its first lead of the evening coming in the top of the sixth inning. The Trojans found themselves in the lead when left fielder Peyton Watts took Fay over the over the right-field wall with only one out down in the inning, giving Troy the 4-3 advantage.  

Snell bagged his first hit of the season, and it turned out to be a big one, sending a line drive in between the first and second basemen. Two runs scored, putting Alabama back ahead 5-4.  

“I kind of saw it the whole way, and thank God for Mason. Mason took some really hard pitches to take and gave me that opportunity, and I saw a ball where I can do some damage,” Snell said after his first hit of the season.  

Despite Alabama pushing ahead, the Trojans could not be denied. In the top of the seventh, Bryan ripped a single into center field, bringing home the tying run. Later in the inning, catcher Blake Sutton brought home the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly into center field to give Troy the lead once again, at 6-5.  

Not going down without a fight, Alabama struck back in the bottom of the seventh inning, putting up three runs and taking the lead back. Second baseman Bryce Eblin got the scoring started in the inning with a double into center field, bringing home Lebron.  

Pinch hitter Will Portera popped up to second base which brought in Eblin to give the Crimson Tide the lead again. To cap off the inning, Miller got a hold of one, launching it into the playground in left field to give Alabama an 8-6 lead.  

“I just tried to read how the pitchers were going to pitch me, and understand my zone and the umpire’s zone,” Eblin said after his strong hitting performance.  

Troy tried to answer back with a run of its own in the top of the eighth to make it a one-run game. However, it was not enough as Alabama held on to take the nail-biter against the Trojans with a final score of 8-7. 

The Crimson Tide returns to “The Joe” for a weekend series against the Lipscomb Bisons, getting underway Friday at 6 p.m. CT.  

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