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 faces challenges in series against Auburn, rallies in regular season finale

Courtesy of UA Athletics
Shortstop Justin Lebron makes a play at second base against Auburn at Plainsman Park in Auburn on Thursday.

Alabama baseball lost its weekend series against Auburn after the Tigers narrowly won games on Thursday and Friday. Despite this setback, the Crimson Tide took Game 3 on Saturday, securing the team’s spot as the No. 7 seed in the SEC Tournament in Hoover.

Game 1

No. 24 Alabama started off its weekend series against the Auburn Tigers with a 4-2 loss.

Pitcher Greg Farone allowed three of the first five batters to reach base and conceded a run. Farone found his rhythm afterward, throwing a season-high 106 pitches with three strikeouts and three earned runs in a little over five innings.

Alabama remained scoreless in the second and third innings. Auburn put up another run after a fielder’s choice from Alabama got the out at second but brought home the runner on third. 

Third baseman Gage Miller put Alabama on the board with a two-out RBI single in the top of the fourth inning, cutting Auburn’s lead to 2-1. 

A well-hit RBI double to right field brought in a run for the Tigers in the bottom of the sixth inning, extending the lead to 3-1.

Just as the Tigers reestablished their two-run lead, outfielder William Hamiter delivered an RBI single to left field in the seventh inning. However, the Crimson Tide ultimately fell short, losing 4-2 on a flyout to center field for the last out. 

“We just didn’t have enough consistent at-bats one-through-nine,” head coach Rob Vaughn said. “They were just better than we were tonight, and we have to get back to work and get better tomorrow.”

Game 2

Alabama dropped the second game of the series Friday evening. Despite overcoming a 10-run deficit, the Crimson Tide ultimately fell 12-11 to give Auburn the series victory. The defeat handed Auburn the Iron Bowl series win.

In this climactic Game 2, which featured a one-hour rain delay, Alabama struggled early to find its offensive footing. Hamiter put Alabama on the scoreboard with an RBI double in the first inning, but the team couldn’t capitalize further. The Crimson Tide went down in order in the second and left the bases loaded in the third. Auburn remained scoreless until the fourth inning. 

Second baseman Max Grant doubled Alabama’s lead with an RBI groundout in the top of the fourth, making it 2-0. However, at the bottom of the inning Auburn led off with a triple and scored on an RBI groundout, followed by an RBI double that tied the game. 

Pitcher Zane Adams started strong but faltered in the fourth inning, where Auburn scored six runs. After a four-pitch walk, another double and an intentional walk, Adams was replaced by Zane Probst. Auburn soon took a 4-2 lead and added two more runs on a misplayed ball in right field. Grant’s diving grab ended the inning with Auburn leading 6-2.

In the fifth inning, Alabama failed to respond on offense, and Tyler Fay replaced Probst after he walked two batters. Fay struggled to keep the Tigers at bay, allowing a single with bases loaded that resulted in two runs. Smelling blood in the water, first baseman Cooper McMurray then hit a three-run homer, and Coulson Buchanan gave up a solo home run to give Auburn a commanding 12-2 lead. 

Hamiter’s two-RBI double with two strikes and two outs cut Auburn’s lead to 12-4. Auburn pitcher John Armstrong hit catcher Mac Guscette with a pitch, walked center fielder TJ McCants and gave up a two-run home run to Kade Snell, his fifth of the season. The quick surge made it 12-6. 

Alabama scored four more runs in the eighth with RBIs by Hamiter and Guscette and reducedAuburn’s lead to 12-10. The comeback effort capitalized on the Tigers’ bullpen inconsistencies, including three hit-by-pitches, a walk and a wild pitch. Matthew Heiberger and Aidan Moza kept Auburn off the board in the bottom of the eighth, giving Alabama a final chance to tie or take the lead. 

The comeback was cut short after strikeouts by Snell and Guscette ended Alabama’s rally and allowed Auburn to hold on for the win.

“The fight was great,” Vaughn said. “But the bottom line was that we could not get off the field in those middle innings. When you give up back-to-back six spots, you don’t deserve to win. Now we have to regroup and play like us when we get out here and get after it tomorrow.”

Game 3

No. 24 Alabama ended its regular season with a 12-5 victory in a game that lasted over six hours due to a ninth-inning weather delay. Despite Auburn clinching the series with wins on Thursday and Friday, Alabama managed to avoid a sweep.

The Crimson Tide opened the scoring with an RBI single by Snell in the first inning. Auburn tied it 1-1 in the bottom of the first and then took the lead in the second with an RBI groundout. The Tigers extended their lead to 4-1 in the fourth with a two-run homer.

Alabama’s offense, initially kept in check by Auburn starter Christian Herberholz, came alive in the fifth inning. Key hits by Miller and Hamiter tied the game at 4-4. In the sixth inning, Miller’s three-RBI double and a series of Auburn pitching changes helped Alabama take an 8-4 lead.

Ben Hess pitched a little over six innings for Alabama, allowing five runs on 10 hits with nine strikeouts. Alton Davis II closed the game, shutting down Auburn in the eighth and ninth innings. 

Miller and left fielder Ian Petrutz added insurance runs in the ninth, with Miller driving in another run and Petrutz hitting a three-run homer before a lightning delay paused the game.

After the delay, Auburn managed only a double before Alabama secured the win.

“Obviously not the weekend we wanted to have, but I’m proud of the resiliency our guys showed today,” Vaughn said. “We didn’t play great early, but our offense settled in behind Ben Hess and we got the win.”

This victory ensures Alabama enters the SEC Tournament as the No. 7 seed.

“Now our attention shifts to Hoover and postseason baseball,” Vaughn said. “We don’t take it for granted having the opportunity to play beyond the regular season. We will rest up tomorrow and be ready to go against the Gamecocks on Tuesday. I’m looking forward to seeing our fans come support the guys and turn the stands into a sea of crimson.”

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