Baseball suffers untimely sweep at South Carolina


Courtesy of UA Athletics

Alabama shortstop Jim Jarvis (10) hustles around the bases in the Crimson Tide’s 11-5 loss to the South Carolina Gamecocks on April 30 at Founders Park in Columbia, South Carolina.

Austin Hannon, Sports Editor

After back-to-back losses to open the series, the Alabama Crimson Tide (25-20, 9-12) were in need of a victory Saturday morning to avoid a costly sweep to the South Carolina Gamecocks (22-20, 9-12).

The game got off to a great start, with the Crimson Tide posting a two-spot in the first frame. But starting pitcher Grayson Hitt wasn’t himself, allowing five runs in the first two innings in the 11-5 loss.

“Our kids were ready to go today,” Alabama head coach Brad Bohannon said. “The energy, the intent and the focus was outstanding. They really brought it and we were hot out of the gate, but we just didn’t pitch well enough today. We’ve certainly had a lot of games where we were inefficient offensively and didn’t do enough with the bat, but today we just didn’t pitch it well.”

After Hitt exited the game in the third inning, it didn’t get much better.

Pitchers Braylon Myers, Luke Holman, Jake Leger, and Hunter Furtado surrendered six more runs over the next six innings out of the bullpen.

The Crimson Tide’s eight hits and five runs weren’t enough to stabilize the issues on the mound. Right fielder Andrew Pinckney continued his hot streak at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a double. Catcher Dominic Tamez hit a three-run homer in the sixth inning to cut into the Gamecocks’ lead.

Alabama got to South Carolina starting pitcher Will Sanders, scoring all five of its runs in his seven innings of work. Matthew Becker and Cade Austin came in and shut the door on the Crimson Tide, allowing just one base runner in the last two innings.

Alabama did not need to be swept this weekend. The Crimson Tide now have a tall mountain to climb with No. 22 LSU, No. 19 Auburn, and No. 5 Arkansas looming to end the season. In order to get into the SEC and NCAA tournaments, Alabama will need to win a good share of those contests.

The Crimson Tide won’t have a midweek contest this week. Alabama will host the 22nd-ranked LSU Tigers at Sewell-Thomas Stadium from Friday, May 6, to Sunday, May 8, in Tuscaloosa.

First pitches will be Friday at 6 p.m. CT, Saturday at 7:30 p.m. CT and Sunday at 1 p.m. CT. Friday’s and Sunday’s games against the Tigers will be on SEC Network+. Saturday’s will be on the SEC Network.