RUSTON, La. - A wild back-and-forth baseball game between Alabama and 20th-ranked Louisiana Tech came down to the final at-bat with the Bulldogs holding on for the 10-8 victory. The loss ended the Crimson Tide's run in the NCAA Ruston Regional and set UA at 35-26 on the season.
The two teams traded runs through the first three frames, with Louisiana Tech taking an early 1-0 lead after a half inning. Alabama answered with two in the home half of the first, but the Bulldogs came right back with a pair of runs to regain the lead. The Tide answered again, this time with one run in the bottom of the second to knot it up at three apiece. Louisiana Tech posted three in the top of the third with UA countering for two in the home half before Tech added three to the lead in the fourth.
Alabama struck for one in the sixth, but Tech got that run right back in the top of the seventh. The two teams would go scoreless until the ninth, with Alabama battling for two runs. The Tide reached the tying run and brought the go-ahead run to the plate with two down but a deep fly ball to the warning track was caught to end the rally and end the game at 10-8.
The Crimson Tide bats took part in Sunday's home run derby that saw the two teams combine for seven roundtrippers. Homering for UA was Sam Praytor, Zane Denton and Jackson Tate. Praytor and Denton each tallied a team-high two RBI apiece with Praytor leading UA in runs, contributing a pair on the day. Tate tied with Bryce Eblin for the team lead in hits with two on the afternoon while Eblin recorded a double to add to his stat line.
From Head Coach Brad Bohannon
"This group gave us everything they had. We've had more than our share of adversity with guys being hurt. We had a lot of inexperienced players playing, and we were asking some guys to do some things that maybe they weren't quite ready to do or equipped to do - play some different positions, pitch in some different roles than maybe they were ready for - and they stayed together. They stayed together, gave us everything they had, and when things didn't go well, they didn't make excuses or point fingers. I'm certainly hopeful that all the kids that are back next year can bring those intangibles back into the locker room and we can continue to move our program forward based on those intangibles."
How It Happened
- T1 | The Bulldogs used a one-out double to put a man in scoring position. That runner came home one out later on a slow chopper to third that went for an infield single. (1-0, Louisiana Tech)
- B1 | Sam Praytor put the Tide in front with a two-run home run. Praytor's homer scored William Hamiter who reached with a one-out walk. (2-1, Alabama)
- T2 | A leadoff single followed by a two-run home run from Philip Matulia gave the Bulldogs the advantage once again. (3-2, Louisiana Tech)
- B2 | Jackson Tate sent a laser over the wall in left for a solo shot to tie things up. (3-3)
- T3 | The Bulldogs began the inning with a pair of walks before Cole McConnell brought everyone home on a three-run home run. (6-3, Louisiana Tech)
- B3 | Praytor drew a two-out walk to keep the inning alive. Zane Denton took advantage of the opportunity, sending a two-run homer over the wall in right to cut the lead to one. (6-5, Louisiana Tech)
- T4 | Steele Netterville recorded a two-run home run, bringing in the leadoff man who started the inning with a walk. A double in the next at-bat followed by a two-out single to left-center added one more for Tech. (9-5, Louisiana Tech)
- B6 | Denton drew a leadoff walk and came home on a one-out double from Bryce Eblin to cut into the lead. (9-6, Louisiana Tech)
- B9 | Eblin singled to start the ninth. A fielding error one out later allowed Jim Jarvis to reach and put two on for Peyton Wilson. The Tide leadoff man drew a walk to load the bases before a passed ball advanced everyone 90 feet. A 4-3 groundout from Hamiter brought in one more run and put a runner at third. Praytor drew a walk to reach the tying run but a flyout to the warning track from Denton capped the scoring and ended the UA rally. (10-8, Louisiana Tech)
- Alabama's 32 wins are the program's most since 2016 when UA won 33 games.
- The Crimson Tide won a game in an NCAA Regional for the first time since 2014.
- Alabama advanced to the Friday round of the SEC Tournament for the first time since 2015.
- Louisiana Tech and Alabama combined for seven home runs on the day.
- Eight of the nine Crimson Tide starters reached base safely on Sunday.
- Sam Praytor recorded his team-leading 14th home run of the season. The 14 home runs are the standalone sixth-most by a Crimson Tide catcher in a single season. The program record for home runs by a UA catcher is 27 by Doug Duke in 1986.
- Jackson Tate homered in today's contest and recorded five of his seven home runs across his final 11 games.
- Alabama's season officially comes to a close following NCAA Regional play. The Crimson Tide roster will now spread out across the country to take part in various summer collegiate leagues.
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