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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 falls in Lexington, swept by Kentucky Wildcats 

Courtesy of UA Athletics
Alabama baseball player Zane Adams (20) pitches the ball against Kentucky at Kentucky Proud Park in Lexington, KY on Sunday, Apr 7, 2024.

Over the weekend No. 11 Alabama baseball made the flight to Lexington, Kentucky, to face off against the No. 12 Kentucky Wildcats in an SEC conference series. However, it did not go in favor of the boys from Alabama, who were swept at the hands of the Wildcats.  

Game 1: Kentucky 6, Alabama 2 

To get the series going for Alabama, the ace of the staff, right-hander Ben Hess got the start in Game 1. Hess was solid through four innings but ran into trouble in the fifth, and by the bottom of the sixth inning his afternoon was over. In that period Hess surrendered four hits and five earned runs.  

On the offensive side of the ball, the Crimson Tide was shut out until the top of the fifth inning, when second baseman Max Grant placed down a sacrifice bunt that scored first baseman Will Hodo to tie the game at 1.  

In the bottom half, the Wildcats took the lead by scoring three runs. An RBI double down the right-field line supported by a single into center field scored two and put Kentucky in a 4-1 lead.  

In the bottom of the sixth inning, the Wildcats put the game on ice with a two-run home run over the left-field wall, extending Kentucky’s lead into a 6-1 game.  

In the top of the seventh, Alabama took back a run with a double into left-center field from catcher Mac Guscette, bringing around Hodo to cross the plate and cutting the deficit to 4.  

Despite the late run, the Crimson Tide did not have a comeback in store in Game 1, dropping the opening game of the series by a final of 6-2 despite outhitting the Wildcats with seven hits to their five.  

“All in all, [Kentucky] just did the little things that they needed to do better than we did tonight. We can pout about it, we can be mad about it, and I can sit here and yell about it, or we can acknowledge it and try to grow from it. We need to come out and try to be a little bit better version of who we are tomorrow,” head coach Rob Vaughn said after Game 1.  

Game 2: Kentucky 7, Alabama 0 

Now in the hunt to even the series, Vaughn sent out southpaw Greg Farone for the Crimson Tide in Game 2.  

After a scoreless top half of the first, Kentucky took advantage by striking first in the bottom half. A sacrifice fly into center field brought in the game’s first run, giving the Wildcats the quick advantage.  

Later in the bottom of the third, with Alabama still not on the board, Kentucky extended its lead with a two-run jack over the fence in right field to make it a 3-0 ballgame.  

After five innings of work, Farone handed the ball over to right-hander Pierce George. In his five innings, Farone limited the Wildcats to only three runs along with three hits.  

Once again, Kentucky pulled away in the bottom of the sixth by scoring four runs off an RBI single, an RBI double and a two-run home run into right field, putting Alabama in a 7-0 hole with just nine outs left to make something happen.  

“[Dominic Niman] did a really good job of attacking us,” Vaughn said. “Every pitch was competitive, he was around the zone, and he was mixing pitches well. He just did a good job overall. I thought the longer the game went and the more we didn’t have stuff going our way, the more we started pressing. We have to do a good job of regrouping and coming out tomorrow as a better version of ourselves.” 

The Crimson Tide did not amount to any more runs as the team fell 7-0 to the Wildcats in Game 2 and dropped its second straight road series in SEC play.  

Game 3: Kentucky 10, Alabama 1 

Having dropped the series to the Wildcats, the Crimson Tide attempted on Sunday afternoon to fend off the sweep. First-year lefty Zane Adams got the start in the series finale for Alabama but did not last long. Adams remained in the game for only two innings after giving up five hits and three earned runs.  

In the bottom of the second, Adams was responsible for the Wildcats’ early 3-0 lead. An RBI double into left-center field, a groundout RBI and a single up the middle bringing in one left the Crimson Tide in an early hole one again.  

Alabama got itself on the board, however, when third baseman Gage Miller grounded out to the second baseman, bringing in Guscette to pull the Crimson Tide closer at 3-1. Despite the run, the bottom of the inning saw Kentucky add on with a two-run blast over the left-field wall to make it a 5-1 lead, and a lead the Wildcats did not look back on.  

After the Wildcats scored 5 in the bottom of the seventh from a three-run home run and two RBIs, they nailed the coffin shut on Alabama in the series. After dropping Game 3 by a final of 10-1, the Crimson Tide is now winless on the road in SEC play (0-6); being swept by the Georgia Bulldogs and now Kentucky Wildcats.  

“At the end of the day, [Kentucky] was better for three games in all three phases,” Vaughn said. “They pitched the ball better, they put together better at-bats, and they played better defense. It was a tough weekend, and we have to decide how we’ll deal with this adversity. I trust this group, and I believe in this group. I think we’ll be able to use this to move forward. The process will begin on Tuesday when we get a chance to come back out and face a good South Alabama team.” 

Alabama will regroup on Tuesday in its midweek matchup against South Alabama before hosting the Arkansas Razorbacks at “The Joe” for another weekend of SEC conference play.  

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