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

Tide baseball defeats Bulldogs on walk-off double, 8-7

The Alabama baseball team avoided being swept by the Mississippi State Bulldogs with an 8-7 victory on Sunday. With the win, Alabama improved to 18-30 overall and 7-17 in the Southeastern Conference.

The game was marked by highs and lows on the mound for both teams, with the game featuring numerous lead changes and late-game rallies.

Tied at 1-1 in the fourth inning with two outs, MSU pitcher Brandon Woodruff, who relieved starter Luis Pollorena, walked Andrew Miller and Kenny Roberts. James Tullidge was able to reach first base on a Bulldogs error to load the bases.

The Bulldogs’ Chad Girodo then stepped in to relieve Woodruff, but immediately gave up a three-RBI triple to Taylor Dugas to put the Tide up 4-1. Girodo was immediately relieved by Caleb Reed, who proceeded to give up an RBI single to Jared Reaves to bring Dugas in and end the scoring for the Tide. Alabama earned all its runs with two outs, and it took the Bulldogs three pitchers to end the inning.

After trading runs in the fifth and sixth innings and a scoreless seventh inning, Alabama entered the eighth up over the Bulldogs 6-2. Alabama starting pitcher Charley Sullivan pitched seven innings, giving up five hits and two runs, one of them earned.

Pitcher Trey Pilkington took over, but gave up three hits and three runs and only recorded one out before Jake Hubbard took over to end the inning. Hubbard then gave up two more runs in the top of the ninth to give the Bulldogs their first lead of the game, 7-6.

In the bottom of the ninth, Tullidge and Dugas both grounded out to the shortstop to start the inning. Jared Reaves and Ben Moore then each singled to put the tying and winning runs on base. Then, with two outs and the game on the line, Austen Smith stepped up to the plate and delivered a game-winning, two-RBI double to give the Tide the 8-7 win.

Head coach Mitch Gaspard said he was proud of the way his team reacted to the adversity presented in the game.

“We had a rough eighth and ninth inning there when we got into the bullpen, they take the lead,” Gaspard said. “A lot to be said for this group, as tough as things have been this year, for them to come back right there, I was proud of the group, the way they played in the bottom of the ninth inning.”

Sullivan echoed his coach’s thoughts on his team’s performance.

“You can’t really look at the record right now, but we’re gonna play hard every game,” Sullivan said. “We’re not going quit until the final out, obviously today.”

Still, this wasn’t the first high-pressure situation Smith has been put in. Smith had a walk-off homerun to give Alabama an 8-6 win in the second game in a series with Vanderbilt on April 21. Smith said his mindset wasn’t any different, even considering the situation.

“[My mindset] was the same as always,” Smith said. “You just go out looking for a good pitch, and you’ve got to make it happen.” Gaspard said he was pleased with the way Smith performed under pressure.

“One thing we talk about: Give your best at-bat at the right time,” Gaspard said. “And for today, that was it. We needed his best at-bat right in that spot and he gave it to us…. And that’s what they say, it’s 27 outs, and the game’s not over until that last out’s recorded.”

Alabama returns to action on Friday, May 11, with game one of a three-game series at No. 6 Kentucky.

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