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 falls to South Carolina in opening round of SEC Tournament

CW / Caroline Simmons
Alabama baseball player Ian Petrutz runs through first base against South Carolina during the SEC Baseball Tournament in Hoover, Ala.

After a 13-17 finish in SEC play, Alabama earned the No. 7 seed in the SEC Tournament in Hoover, Alabama. In the opening round Tuesday, the Crimson Tide faced off against the South Carolina Gamecocks.

The two teams last played in a three-game series Easter weekend where Alabama came away with a series win, taking two of three games.

Alabama used five pitchers throughout the game, with starting pitcher Greg Farone’s outing lasting just 2.1 innings after giving up three earned runs on five hits. In his previous start against South Carolina, Farone gave up three earned runs over 5.1 innings pitched.

After an Ian Petrutz single that advanced him to second off a South Carolina error, right fielder William Hamiter singled to right field to put Alabama on the board first. The RBI single extended Hamiter’s hitting streak to 10 games.

The offense continued to put runs on the board after the Crimson Tide loaded the bases off of catcher Mac Guscette’s single, a double from TJ McCants and a pitch that hit Will Hodo.

In the next at-bat, Bryce Eblin was hit by a pitch to score Guscette. A Gage Miller sacrifice fly put Alabama up 3-0 by the end of the second inning.

South Carolina fought back in the third inning. After two home runs in three at-bats, the Gamecocks continued to pour it on by loading the bases and hitting a grand slam to right field. That homer turned Alabama’s lead into a 6-3 deficit.

The Crimson Tide did not go down without a fight. A three-hit bottom of the fourth, headlined by a fielder’s choice groundout by shortstop Justin Lebron and a Hamiter double to deep center field, led to two runs.

However, that pressure was not enough to overcome the bats of South Carolina. The Gamecocks tacked on a solo home run in the top of the fifth inning and added two more off a two-run double in the top of the sixth to extend their lead to 9-5. A fielder’s choice groundout scored the final run of the game at 10-5.

Head coach Rob Vaughn said that though Alabama’s tournament run was shorter than anticipated, the loss wasn’t a matter of poor performance.

“I didn’t think we gave anything away, I just thought South Carolina took it to us today,” Vaughn said.

Alabama will have to wait until Monday at noon Eastern time for the release of the NCAA Tournament bracket to see if the team’s season will continue. According to D1Baseball’s bracket prediction, the Crimson Tide is currently forecasted to be a No. 3 seed going to Norman, Oklahoma. 

Despite the loss, Vaughn still feels confident in the team’s chances to make the tournament.

“I don’t think there’s that much of a question,” Vaughn said. “When you look at the body of work that these young people have done, there’s no way you look up and say ‘that’s not one of the top 64 teams.’”

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