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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 swept at the hands of the Georgia Bulldogs in Athens

Courtesy of UA Athletics
Alabama baseball player TJ McCants (44) safe at second against Georgia at Sanford Stadium in Athens, GA on Saturday, Mar 23, 2024.

On Friday evening, the Crimson Tide made the journey to Foley Field in Athens, Georgia, for its first road trip on the SEC calendar. Alabama looked to build on the momentum from its opening-weekend win over the Tennessee Volunteers, but the Crimson Tide was unsuccessful, getting swept by the Georgia Bulldogs.  

Game 1 — Georgia 9, Alabama 5 

Alabama’s offense jumped on the board in the first inning to take the lead. With third baseman Gage Miller on base, right fielder Evan Sleight doubled into center field to give the Crimson Tide the early 1-0 lead.  

Crimson Tide ace Ben Hess toed the slab in Game 1 of the doubleheader. Running into trouble fast, Hess surrendered four runs in the bottom of the first off two home runs, giving the lead right back to the Bulldogs. First baseman Corey Collins tied the game for Georgia with a solo shot into center field, and designated hitter Dylan Goldstein sent one over the right-field wall for a three-run jack. 

Scraping its way back into the game, Alabama tacked on a run in the third when left fielder Ian Petrutz singled, scoring Miller. In the fourth inning, Alabama pulled ahead for a slim lead from a triple from Miller into center field, bringing home first baseman Will Hodo and second baseman Bryce Eblin. Center fielder TJ McCants contributed as well, with a single into center, cashing in Miller. The Crimson Tide found itself with a 5-4 lead heading into the bottom half.  

Bulldog center fielder Charlie Condon wasted no time and took Hess deep to tie the game at 5 all. Condon sent Hess’ pitch over the center-field wall, tying the game until the ninth inning.  

Now facing right-hander Aidan Moza in the bottom of the ninth, Georgia shortstop Kolby Branch walked it off with a grand slam to take Game 1 of the series against Alabama.  

“We did some good things,” Alabama head coach Rob Vaughn said. “We just weren’t quite consistent enough. I also have to do a better job on my end of putting our guys in the right spot to win.” 

Game 2 — Georgia 6, Alabama 5 

The Crimson Tide jumped to another quick 1-0 lead in the first inning when Miller led off the game with a solo shot into center field.  

Looking to bounce back and take a game in the doubleheader, Alabama sent out southpaw Greg Farone to start and settle the ship in Game 2.  

In the top of the second inning, shortstop Justin Lebron extended their lead with a solo home run of his own into right field, putting Alabama ahead 2-0.  

In the top of the third, Miller expanded Alabama’s lead to 3, this time with a solo shot into left field. However, in the bottom half of the inning, the Bulldogs clawed back to tie the game with a pair of home runs. Condon homered to right with a two-run shot, and he was followed by third baseman Slate Alford with a solo shot, going back-to-back off the New York native Farone to tie the game at 3. 

In the seventh inning, pinch hitter Kade Snell pulled Alabama ahead with a solo home run. Despite Snell’s go-ahead shot, Georgia answered back in the bottom half of the inning to take the lead. Haunting the Crimson Tide, Condon went deep once again with a two-run blast over the center-field wall, making it 5-4.  

Georgia tacked on another run in the eighth, and Alabama added one in the ninth but was unable to make a difference as Georgia secured the series win and the sweep of the doubleheader at 6-5.  

“This was two college baseball games that were just really good battles,” Vaughn said. “At the end of the day, when you come on the road you really have to go take it from the other team.” 

Game 3 — Georgia 10, Alabama 5 

Right-hander Hagan Banks started Game 3 for the Crimson Tide, but worked only one inning. In that one inning, Georgia swiped the lead with a home run from Collins over the right-field wall to quickly give the Bulldogs the advantage.  

Alabama found itself on the board in the top of the second inning when Hodo doubled into right field to bring home Snell and tie the game at 1.  

However, Georgia gradually pulled out of reach from the Crimson Tide by scoring one run in the bottom of the second, two in the third, two in the fourth, and three in the sixth to make it a 9-1 ball game.  

Alabama attempted to come back with Snell’s three-run jack into right field in the tip of the seventh, and catcher Mac Guscette’s sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth to bring home Lebron, but the Crimson Tide fell to the Bulldogs in Game 3 with a final score of 10-5.  

Vaughn said the game was just a series of missed opportunities.  

“We had some good at-bats,” Vaughn said. “We got aboard in every inning and moved guys into scoring position in eight of the nine innings. We had 11 hits and walked eight times. On paper, with our offense, that should equate to some crooked numbers, but we just weren’t efficient early, and that cost us in the end.” 

The Crimson Tide faced the reality of being swept in its first SEC road series of the 2024 season. However, the first two games were close: a walk-off in Game 1 and losing by 1 in Game 2.  

The Crimson Tide return to the diamond against Belmont on Tuesday in Huntsville, Alabama, with first pitch slated for 6 p.m. CT. Its next SEC series begins Thursday when the South Carolina Gamecocks make the trip to Sewell-Thomas Stadium for a three-game set.  

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