Comeback Effort Not Enough as Alabama Baseball Falls, 9-8, in Series Finale with No. 6 Tennessee

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama baseball battled all game in the series finale with sixth-ranked Tennessee but came up short, 9-8, on Sunday afternoon at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. The loss moved UA to 16-11 overall and 2-7 in Southeastern Conference action.

Tennessee put pressure on the Tide from the start, scoring three in the top of the first. Alabama answered right back with three of their own in the home half before UT put up two in the top of the second. Once again, UA answered, this time with one run. Tennessee proceeded to add one in the fourth with Alabama matching in the home half.

The Vols posted single tallies in the sixth, seventh and eighth, but the Tide would not sit idly by, scoring two in the eighth and one in the ninth. Alabama was able to reach the tying and go-ahead runs in the ninth but a groundout to second ended the game in favor of UT. Tennessee’s Blade Tidwell (4-1) picked up the win in his start while Alabama starter Connor Shamblin (2-2) suffered the loss on Sunday.

Seven of the nine Alabama starters recorded at least one hit on the day, led by William Hamiter. The sophomore finished 3-for-5 with a double and one run scored. Also notching multi-hit efforts were Sam Praytor and Drew Williamson. Praytor went 2-for-3 with a home run, two RBI, two runs scored and a pair of walks, while Williamson recorded two hits as part of his 2-for-5 day that included a double, one run and a stolen base.

From Head Coach Brad Bohannon

“This was a really tough day and a tough weekend overall. I feel like the story is the same right now – we’re so close. Our kids continue to compete their tails off, and I could not be prouder of the intangibles the kids are showing. Obviously, we’re just not getting the results we want, but credit to Tennessee. They’re a really competitive group that throws a ton of strikes and make you beat them. We played really, really well for 24 of 27 innings this weekend and we have to find a way to make it 27 innings.”

How It Happened

  • T1 | Tennessee loaded the bases with a pair of walks and a double. A one-out infield single brought across the first run. The next at-bat resulted in a single to right to plate two more. (3-0, Tennessee)
  • B1 | The Crimson Tide answered with three runs to even things up. Peyton Wilson began the inning with a home run, his fourth to lead off a game this season. Two outs later, Sam Praytor drew a walk and moved into scoring position on a double off the wall from Drew Williamson. T.J. Reeves capitalized on the opportunity, dropping a single in front of the Tennessee center fielder to bring the pair home. (3-3)
  • T3 | Two singles and a walk loaded the bases for UT again with another walk bringing across the go-ahead run. A 5-4-3 double play in the next at-bat killed two but scored one more for the Vols. (5-3, Tennessee)
  • B3 | William Hamiter singled to start third and advanced to second on a miscue by the UT defender. A balk in the next at-bat moved the sophomore to third, and he came around on a sacrifice fly from Zane Denton to narrow the gap to one. (5-4, Tennessee)
  • T4 | A bases-loaded walk for the Vols pushed one across. (6-4, Tennessee)
  • B4 | Owen Diodati sent a 1-1 pitch over the wall in right for a solo home run. (6-5, Tennessee)
  • T6 | The inning started with a UT double that was followed by a single to make it a two-run affair once again. (7-5, Tennessee)
  • T7 | Tennessee moved two into scoring position with a sac bunt before a sacrifice fly to right widened the gap. (8-5, Tennessee)
  • T8 | With runners on the corners, a single to short scored one more for the Vols. (9-5, Tennessee)
  • B8 | Denton reached on an error to put the leadoff man on for UA. Denton would come around in the next at-bat as Praytor cleared the bases with a two-run home run to cut the lead in half. (9-7, Tennessee)
  • B9 | The Crimson Tide reached two in scoring position thanks to an error followed by a Hamiter double with one down. Denton then grounded to short to bring Hamiter across and make it a one-run game, but the Tide would get no closer. (9-8, Tennessee)

Postgame Notes

  • The Crimson Tide turned four double plays on Sunday. The four twin-killings are the most by a Tide defense since May 12, 2018, at LSU.
  • Seven of the nine Alabama starters recorded at least one hit on the afternoon.
  • The Crimson Tide has totaled double-digit hits in five of its nine SEC pairings so far.
  • Alabama has homered in 18 total games this year, recording two-or-more homers in 12 of those contests.
  • The Tide has homered in seven of nine SEC games, totaling 17 home runs across those seven games.
  • Peyton Wilson homered to lead off today’s game. Wilson has now recorded four leadoff home runs in 2021.
  • With his 1-for-5 afternoon, Wilson extended his hitting streak to seven games. Across that stretch, the sophomore is batting .455 (15-33) with two doubles, a triple and three home runs to go with six RBI, five runs scored and three stolen bases.

Next up for Alabama is a pair of midweek games with ULM. The two-game series begins on Tuesday, April 6 with a 6 p.m. CT start at The Joe. Game two is set for a 3 p.m. first pitch on Wednesday. Both games in the midweek will air live on SEC Network+.

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