Alabama tops Auburn 5-2
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Crimson Tide starter Geoffrey Bramblett and reliever Matt Foster limited a potent Auburn offense as Alabama baseball claimed the 6-2 win over the Tigers on Friday evening at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. With the win, UA moves to 26-20 overall and 11-11 in SEC action.
"We've run through some of the top offenses in the league and our pitchers have been really consistent as far as getting good quality starts, while the bullpen guys have been solid," said Alabama head coach Mitch Gaspard. "You're going to run into a game here and there where it may not go your way, but I think these guys are going to keep us right there as they have. Our pitchers have done a really solid job, both the starters and out of the bullpen."
Bramblett (4-3) provided the Crimson Tide with another standout start, working 5.2 innings and allowing two runs, with only one earned, to earn his fourth win of the season and his first since March 25. The righty allowed three hits and two walks while striking out seven across 98 pitches before exiting in the top of the sixth with a man on third.
Foster entered in relief of Bramblett, striking out the only batter he faced in the sixth inning on three straight strikes to get Alabama out of a jam. Foster went on to work 3.1 total innings, allowing just one hit while striking out a season-high seven batters in the effort to collect his second save of the year.
The pitching duo combined to record 14 strikeouts - a season-high mark for punchouts in a nine-inning SEC game - while limiting the Tigers to only four hits. The four hits tied for Alabama's fewest hits allowed in a single game, matching the March 6 contest against Brown when the Tide also gave up four base hits.
Alabama began the night's scoring, putting up three runs in the bottom of the third inning. Georgie Salem led off the frame with a single and then stole second to put himself in scoring position. Cody Henry followed with a walk to put two on before Chandler Taylor singled with a shot past the first baseman to put runners on the corners and give the Tide its first run.
A wild pitch moved Taylor into scoring position before Chance Vincent crossed the man from third with a single to left, extending the UA lead to two and forcing an Auburn pitching change. Sam Finnerty was the first to face the new pitcher, grounding into a double play but scoring the inning's third run in the process to make it a 3-0 after three full frames.
Auburn narrowed the gap with a pair of runs in the top of the fifth. A leadoff double followed by another double two outs later scored the Tigers first run. The next batter was hit by a pitch before an infield single led to a throwing error, allowing the second AU run to cross to make it 3-2.
Alabama answered with three runs in the sixth and seventh innings to extend its lead to 6-2. In the sixth, Will Haynie sent a solo home run to left to give the Tide a two-run cushion at 4-2. The Crimson Tide widened the gap in the seventh, beginning with a Cobie Vance single to start the rally. One out later, Henry sent a double down the left field line to score the leadoff man. A wild pitch moved Henry up a base before Taylor's single brought one more in to end the scoring and make it 6-2, the eventual final.
Eight of the nine Crimson Tide starters reached base on the night, seven starters collecting at least one hit. The effort at the plate was led by Vance, Taylor and Haynie, who all had two hits in the contest. Taylor also added a team-high two RBI on the night.
The two teams square off once again tomorrow evening with a 6 p.m. CT start on the SEC Network. Alabama will send sophomore right-hander Jake Walters to the mound, while Auburn counters with redshirt-senior Justin Camp, a righty.