Baseball’s SEC Tournament run ends in loss to No. 7 Florida


Courtesy of UA Athletics

Alabama first baseman Drew Williamson (18) high-fives head coach Brad Bohannon (6) after hitting a home run in the Crimson Tide’s 11-6 loss to the No. 7 Florida Gators in the fourth round of the SEC Tournament on May 28 at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium in Hoover, Alabama.

Austin Hannon | @austin_hannon1, Sports Editor

Every Alabama baseball fan will be holding their breath for the next 48 hours. 

Coming into Saturday, the Crimson Tide was considered the last team in the field for the NCAA Tournament by D1Baseball. After Alabama’s 11-6 loss to the Florida Gators, the Crimson Tide will hope they can stay in the 64-team bracket. 

Poor pitching down the stretch led to the loss against No. 2 Texas A&M on Friday night. 

Saturday was more of the same. 

Alabama’s year-long ace, RHP Garrett McMillan got the start for the Crimson Tide in its win-or-go-home game. It went poorly from the start, as McMillan was yanked from the game after just 1.2 innings pitched. He surrendered five runs on five hits, while also walking two and hitting two. McMillan didn’t record a single strikeout. 

Alabama’s offense had its pitchers’ back early, scoring six runs in the first three innings to keep the game tied. Third baseman Zane Denton hit a 3-run home run, and first baseman Drew Williamson hit a 2-run shot to keep the game tight.

“Really hard-fought loss for us today,” Alabama head coach Brad Bohannon said. “Hats off to Florida’s offense. Really tough lineup, especially the top five or six hitters, really challenging. Really proud of the fight our guys showed. The one thing that’s been consistent about our team this year is they really leave it all on the field and give us everything they have. We just couldn’t quite do enough out of the bullpen today. It’s our seventh game in ten days against a top-25 opponent, and that’s a challenge for anybody.”

After the third inning, the Crimson Tide went quiet. The Gators did not. 

Florida scored five more runs, including four in the ninth, to move itself in the semifinal game. The Gators had three home runs and six extra-base hits.

Alabama now must wait and see what the committee thinks of its resume. The Crimson Tide won a total of 14 SEC contests this season. Alabama won series against Texas A&M and Arkansas, and swept Ole Miss in Oxford. 

But losses to UT-Martin, North Alabama, UAB (twice), Mississippi State (twice), and suffering a sweep at South Carolina will not help its case. 

Both Williamson and Bohannon think their team deserves a shot after the season they had. 

“We showed what fight we’ve got,” Williamson said. “We showed what character the team has. I feel like we’ve got some big wins that show that we belong in a regional. That’s about it.” 

“Look, you ask anybody in this league, I’d tell you there’s 12 teams in this league, we deserve to be in,” Bohannon said. “The committee has a tough job because you’re trying to compare teams that haven’t played, and anybody that’s been through this league would probably tell you we should have 11 or 12 in every year. We’ll hope for the best. I think we have a really good team. I don’t know, 12 losses by one run, I don’t know if that means anything, but we were in a ton of games. If you just win one or two more of those, your RPI is in the 30s. I think we’ll be very dangerous in a regional if we’re able to get in. I really believe in this team. We’re way better than last year, and we deserved to be in last year, but we have a better pitching staff, we’re better offensively, we’re better defensively. It’s not a very good feeling to be hoping or have things not be in your control.”

The Crimson Tide will learn its fate during the selection show on Monday, May 30 at 11 a.m. CT on ESPN2.