RUSTON, La. - Alabama starter Dylan Smith picked up the win in a complete game effort as the Crimson Tide downed Rider, 3-1, in the elimination round of the NCAA Ruston Regional on Saturday afternoon.
The win moves UA to 32-25 on the season and 1-1 in Regional play.
Smith (2-8) tossed his first career complete game and Alabama's first since 2019. The junior allowed one run on seven hits with seven strikeouts across a career-high 116 pitches.
Smith received three runs of support, two of which came on a clutch home run from William Hamiter to break a 1-1 tie in the bottom of the seventh inning. Hamiter, a sophomore, finished 1-for-4 with his lone hit being the go-ahead, two-run home run in the seventh that proved to be the game-winning hit.
Rider jumped out front early with a single run in the top of the first. The Tide answered in the second on an RBI-double from Caden Rose. Smith then kept the Broncs off the board as his offense tried to gain the advantage. The breakthrough came in the seventh when Hamiter sent the first pitch he saw over the wall in right to give UA a 3-1 lead, the eventual final.
From Head Coach Brad Bohannon
"I'm really excited to get our program's first Regional win in quite some time. Dylan (Smith) was just awesome, just amazing. Complete game, no walks. He gave up one run - which we probably could have made a play there in the first to keep that from happening - but he was just outstanding. He commanded his fastball, threw both of his breaking balls and his split-change for a strike, and he was just amazing. I can't say enough about him."
How It Happened
T1 |Rider led off the game with a double and brought a run across one-out later on a 6-3 groundout. (1-0, Rider)
B2 | Drew Williamson drew a walk to give the Tide a two-out baserunner. Williamson came home in the next at-bat on a Caden Rose double to right to even things up. (1-1)
B7 | Rose started the inning with a walk. He came home two outs later when William Hamiter cleared the bases with a two-run home run. (3-1, Alabama)
- Dylan Smith tossed his first career complete game. It was the Crimson Tide's first complete game since Sam Finnerty against South Carolina in game one of the doubleheader on April 5, 2019.
- Smith tossed a career-high 116 pitches in the win. His previous high for pitches was 111 against Missouri on May 5 of this season. Smith picked up the win in that start against the Tigers, as well.
- The junior struck out seven and has punched out five or more batters in 14 of his 16 starts this season.
- The seven strikeouts set Smith at 113 for the season, good for third on the Alabama single-season list. He trails only Bobby Sprowl in 1977 (118) and Wade LeBlanc in 2006 (128).
- Smith did not issue a walk in his start for the seventh time this season. Alabama has totaled 19 comeback wins in 2021.
Next up for the Crimson Tide is a matchup with the winner of this evening's Louisiana Tech-NC State contest. Game one on Sunday is set for a 2 p.m. CT first pitch at J.C. Love Field with the game airing live on ESPN3.