Alabama baseball loses to UAB, drops third straight in roller coaster game


CW / Morgan Gray

Alabama shortstop Jim Jarvis (10) throws the ball back to the pitcher in the Crimson Tide’s 7-6 loss to the UAB Blazers on April 19 at Sewell-Thomas Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

Tzali Nislick, Contributing Writer

Despite getting out to an early lead, the Alabama Crimson Tide (23-15) fell to the UAB Blazers 7-6, in a roller coaster of a game. Tuesday’s loss marks Alabama’s third in a row. The two sides traded runs all night long, but it was the Crimson Tide’s in-state opponent who came out on top. 

Alabama got off to a hot start, leading 3-0 through three innings and blanking the Blazers’ bats. But UAB’s (23-13) offense was sparked by a fourth inning grand slam by shortstop Matthew Golda, landing in the Crimson Tide bullpen.

Up until then, Alabama pitcher Ben Hess had pitched a solid game, coming off two impressive outings against Samford and Belmont. He struggled with his control Tuesday though, allowing five walks, which came back to bite him on Golda’s blast.

“Ben’s got great stuff, just too many walks,” Alabama head coach Brad Bohannon said. “I mean, how many times are you going to walk the leadoff batter? We’re really glad he’s here, he’s got a lot of talent, but like the rest of [the team], he’s got to get better.”

Alabama’s offense was productive, led by Drew Williamson. The senior first baseman collected two hits and an RBI tonight. His performance ups his April totals to 17-for-44 (.386) with 15 RBIs in 12 games played this month. 

“Drew has played really well the last three weeks or so,” Bohannon said. “He’s playing more like what I thought he would this year. Drew’s a good player and got off to a slow start, and I’m happy for him that he’s playing well.”

Outfielder Tommy Seidl was also a bright spot for the offense, picking up four hits. Seidl bounced back Tuesday night after going just 1-for-11 against Tennessee this past weekend.

Alabama and UAB traded runs back and forth, leading to a 6-6 tie heading into the eighth inning, when the Blazers jumped in front again, making it 7-6. They held on in the final two frames for the win, their second in as many games against the Crimson Tide this season. Bohannon was not happy with the way he prepared his team for tonight’s contest.

“It starts at the top,” Bohannon said. “Obviously I’m doing an incredibly poor job of getting us ready to play on Tuesdays. We’ve tried everything. We’ve tried taking the day off before, we’ve tried the light practice, we’ve tried the hard practice. We played poorly, we didn’t deserve to win.”

The Crimson Tide still sports an impressive 18-6 home record, good for fourth in the SEC. Alabama looks to rebound in a three-game weekend homestand against No. 14 Georgia, who is coming off a loss to unranked Clemson. Game one is Friday at 6 p.m. CT on SEC Network+.