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 drops first SEC series at home to the No. 1 Texas A&M Aggies

CW / Jennifer Stroud
Alabama baseball player TJ McCants (#44) runs the bases against Texas A&M on Apr. 19 at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.

Due to weather complications and a rainout on Thursday, No. 18 Alabama baseball hosting the Texas A&M Aggies had to get underway a day late. For the second straight weekend in a row, Sewell-Thomas Stadium hosted the No. 1 team in the nation. Alabama lost its first SEC series at home this season, in a series where the Crimson Tide dropped two out of three.  

Game 1 Texas A&M 10, Alabama 5 

Starting Game 1 of the series and Game 1 of Friday’s doubleheader, southpaw Greg Farone got the start for the Crimson Tide, taking over the starting job that was previously held by right-hander Ben Hess.  

The Alabama offense came alive in the third inning when third baseman Gage Miller got the inning going with a leadoff solo shot over the left-center field wall. Center fielder TJ McCants cashed in two more runs later in the inning with an RBI double, also into left-center field, to put the Crimson Tide up 3-0.  

To put Alabama ahead 5-0, left fielder Ian Petrutz launched a two-run blast down the right field line to extend the lead.  

In the bottom of the fourth inning, the Crimson Tide had jumped ahead to a strong lead against the No. 1 team in the nation; however, the second half of the ball game was a story written by the Aggies.  

Striking back fast, a six-spot in the fifth inning capped off by a grand slam saw the momentum shift and the Aggies looking ahead with a 6-5 lead.  

Adding three more in the away half of the sixth, the Aggies extended their lead to 9-5 after a two-run and a solo home run and added a run in the top of the seventh to seal the game in a 10-5 Aggie win.  

Game 2 Texas A&M 18, Alabama 9 

Getting the ball in Game 2 for the Crimson Tide, Hess got the start in the attempt to get Alabama back on track in the series.  

Hess worked a one-two-three first inning, but ran into major trouble in the second inning, giving up five earned runs and four hits and exited the game in the top of the second without recording an out in the inning. Texas A&M added three more runs in the inning as the nation’s best flexed their muscles and jumped to an 8-0 lead.  

In the bottom half, the Crimson Tide answered back with four of its own runs to cut the lead in half. All four came from catcher Mac Guscette, who ripped a grand slam over the left-field wall. 

The fourth and fifth innings of the contest saw the Aggies reach for five total runs, making their lead a 13-4 advantage.  

Piecing together three, the bottom of the fifth saw Alabama pulling within 6 when shortstop Justin Lebron went yard with a solo home run into left field and later followed by Guscette with an RBI single into center field, scoring 2.  

In the top of the seventh, Texas A&M added 3, and in the eighth, it added on 2 to extend an 18-run mark. The Crimson Tide put two together in the bottom of the eighth, but Alabama still dropped Game 2 and fell to the Aggies in the series.  

“It was a tough day,” head coach Rob Vaughn said. “I told our boys that we could sit and break down all of the good and bad, but none of that matters now. All that matters is how we show up tomorrow, really what our mindset is, what our focus is and what our intensity looks like. They fought hard in the second game when a lot of teams wouldn’t; that’s the makeup of these kids. We have to keep growing and get better tomorrow.” 

Game 3 Alabama 10, Texas A&M 9 

To avoid the sweep, Vaughn turned to his freshman left-hander Zane Adams to get the ball on Saturday afternoon for the Crimson Tide.  

Keeping his momentum from Game 2 at the plate, Guscette once again had the long ball going for him. In the bottom of the second inning, he launched another grand slam into the playground in left field to give Alabama the early 4-0 lead. In just the last two games and two swings, Guscette was responsible for eight of the Crimson Tide runs. A sacrifice fly later in the inning from Petrutz brought in a run as well. This game, Alabama was putting its foot on the gas early.  

“The biggest thing is swinging at strikes and taking balls, knowing pitches that you can do damage on, and I think that’s one of the biggest things I’ve looked at over the last month or so,” Guscette said.  

Clapping back, the Aggies struck for two runs in the top of the third to get themselves on the board. A single through the left side brought in a run, and a sacrifice fly brought in another. Cashing in another RBI for himself in the bottom half, Guscette’s sacrifice fly added a run for the Crimson Tide tally at 6-2.  

Texas A&M pulled closer to Alabama in the top of the fourth inning, making it a one-run game. A double splitting the gap in right center field cleared the bases to bring in three runs for the Aggies setting it at 6-5. On the mound, Adams did not finish the inning for the Crimson Tide and was responsible for the five earned runs he allowed on five hits.  

With a solo blast predicted by right-hander Coulson Buchanan from the dugout, designated hitter Kade Snell hit a solo home run to add on to the lead in the bottom of the fifth.  

The Aggies took a one-run lead in the top of the sixth answering back for three runs. A triple bringing in a run followed by a two-run shot saw the lead turned over. However, in the bottom half, Alabama tied it with a solo home run for Miller.  

Breaking the deadlock in the seventh, the Aggies added a run with a sacrifice fly. The Aggie bullpen was not able to hold the lead, as in the bottom half, second baseman Bryce Eblin drove in the game-winning runs with a two-RBI single dropped into center field to put the Crimson Tide up 10-9.

Closer Alton Davis II held it down in the ninth, securing the Alabama win with a final of 10-9 as the Crimson Tide held on to avoid the sweep at home. 

“Arm felt good,” Davis said. “Same thing every single day, just going to keep going out there, I could do it again if I wanted to.” 

The Crimson Tide return to the diamond on Tuesday to host the Samford Bulldogs before hitting the road to Oxford, Mississippi, on Thursday for a weekend against the Ole Miss Rebels.  

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