Baseball team falls in 1st of 2-game series against Memphis

Kevin Connell

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The Alabama baseball team struggled again at the plate Tuesday, falling 6-0 to the Memphis Tigers in game one of a two-game series at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. The loss gives the Tide (8-8) its eighth loss in the last 10 games – a far cry from the 6-0 start to begin the season.

“Tonight we were poor in really every phase of the game,” Alabama head coach Mitch Gaspard said. “We got a poor start on the mound for the second start in a row. It’s been a battle the last week and half trying to put some offense together.”

Players were not made available for comment following the loss.

For a team that made its living off of timely hitting during its winning streak, the Tide has not seen the same production at the plate since. As a team, the Tide mustered only four hits for the game – its third consecutive game with fewer than five hits.

“Right now, we just got to continue work,” Gaspard said. “Quite honestly, we have eight, nine guys scuffling [at the plate] at the same time.”

It was a mirror opposite for the opposing team, which had a combined 10 hits from six of the nine players in its lineup.

Freshman left fielder Jake Little led the way for Memphis, going 3-for-4 at the plate with a walk and two RBIs that came off a two-run homer to put the Tigers up 2-0 during a three-run fourth inning.

With the game well in control, the Tigers added to their lead, scoring one run apiece in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings.

The win improves the Tigers (10-5) to 5-0 against SEC opponents this year that includes a sweep of Missouri and a road win at No. 7 Ole Miss.

“They played well,” Gaspard said. “Their left-hander [junior Alex Gunn] did a nice job … They strung some hits together got the big home run to get them going. They played much better than we did in every phase of the game tonight.”

The win gave Gunn (1-1) his first win of the season for Memphis. Alabama sophomore pitcher Taylor Guilbeau (1-1) was credited with the loss after struggling to find his command in four innings of work.

Despite the team’s struggles and tough breaks in recent outings, Gaspard still has confidence in his team, but is also making no excuses for his team moving forward.

“Tonight there wasn’t really any highlights at all,” Gaspard said. “It’s a matter of us. We got to do a good job to get these guys going and have a better performance tomorrow night.

“We’ve been in position to win games, but you’ve got to get that big hit; you gotta make that quality pitch when it comes down [to it]. We’re not last year’s team. This is a talented team that just has to get on track and get moving in the right direction.”

The Tide will get its chance to do that in game two of the series against Memphis on Wednesday.

Redshirt junior Tucker Hawley (2-1, 3.18 ERA) will get the start for Alabama against Tigers senior lefty Michael Wills (0-0, 2.89 ERA). First pitch is set for 6:05 p.m.