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Oxford, Mississippi

Denton's two-run homer seals Bama win vs. No. 9 Rebels

304 days ago
Alabama Athletics
Photo: Alabama Athletics

OXFORD, Miss. - A wild, back-and-forth game between Alabama and seventh-ranked Ole Miss went to extra innings, with the Crimson Tide coming out on top, 12-10, on Saturday afternoon at Oxford-University Stadium. The win clinched the series for the Tide and moved UA to 20-12 on the season and 6-5 in Southeastern Conference play.

The two teams combined for 22 runs and 27 hits, including eight home runs, while trading leads all afternoon. Alabama was first on the board with one run in the third, but a pair of solo home runs in the home half gave Ole Miss the lead. The Tide regained the advantage in the fourth with two runs but another pair of homers - a solo and a three-run shot - for the Rebels in the fourth put them back in front. Alabama was able to get three runs in the sixth before a grand slam from Drew Williamson in the seventh gave UA the advantage once again. A two-run shot for the Rebels in the eighth cut the lead to one and continued the home run derby, before Tim Elko's solo home run in the bottom of the ninth evened things up at 10 apiece to send the game to extras.

In the top of the 10th, Alabama rallied for a pair of two-out runs. The sequence started with a single from William Hamiter. He was followed by Zane Denton, with the junior recording his first hit of the weekend - the go-ahead, two-run home run. Dylan Ray returned to the mound for the home half of the 10th, getting a pair of flyouts and a 6-3 groundout to lock down the series-clinching win.

Ray (1-2) picked up his first win of the season, tossing 2.1 innings and allowing one run on two hits and a walk with two punchouts. Preceding Ray was Jake Leger, with the junior college transfer keeping Alabama in the game for 4.0 innings. Leger allowed two runs on three hits and a walk while striking out eight. Leger's 4.0 innings of relief were the most by any Tide bullpen arm this season.

Alabama's offense was led by Williamson. The senior finished 3-for-5 with a team-high five RBI and three runs scored to go with a walk and the grand slam. Also tallying three hits was Andrew Pinckney, who finished 3-for-4 with a double, one walk and a team-high tying three runs scored.

From Head Coach Brad Bohannon

"This was an amazing effort from so many guys who made so many winning plays today. We kept fighting all game. The way Dylan Ray responded after the home run was huge. Drew Williamson had the big grand slam. Obviously, Zane (Denton) had the big home run. Tommy Seidl had the amazing catch in right in the ninth. And the list goes on and on. It was just a really complete team effort and a huge, huge win today."

How It Happened

  • T3 | Drew Williamson led off the inning with a single and moved himself to second with two down. Following a walk to put two aboard, Tommy Seidl came through with an RBI-single through the left side. (1-0, Alabama)
  • B3 | Back-to-back home runs from Peyton Chatagnier and Jacob Gonzalez put the Rebels in front. (2-1, Ole Miss)
  • T4 | With one down, the Tide reached two thanks to a hit-by-pitch for Bryce Eblin followed by a single from Andrew Pinckney. Williamson followed with a single through the right side to score Eblin and tie things up. Dominic Tamez was next, fouling off six two-strike pitches to finish with a 5-4 fielder's choice that allowed Pinckney to score. (3-2, Alabama)
  • B4 | The Rebels scored five runs on six hits, highlighted by a solo home run from Reagan Buford and a three-run shot by Gonzalez. (7-3, Ole Miss)
  • T6 | Alabama's rally began with a double from Pinckney. A walk to Williamson put two aboard for Tamez with the Tide catcher singling up the middle to cross one. Then, the pair of Williamson and Tamez both moved into scoring position on a wild pitch. Following the inning's second out, Jarvis smashed a ball deep over the Rebel center fielder's head to score two and cut the deficit to one. (7-6, Ole Miss)
  • T7 | The Tide used a walk to Zane Denton, an error to get Eblin on and a walk to Pinckney to load the bases. Williamson then worked a 3-2 count before sending a ball over the wall in right for a go-ahead grand slam. (10-7, Alabama)
  • B8 | Gonzalez recorded his third home run of the afternoon, a two-run shot, to move the Rebels to within one. (10-9, Alabama)
  • B9 | Tim Elko led off the inning with a game-tying solo home run. (10-10)
  • T10 | Hamiter kept the inning alive with a two-out single. Denton followed, sending a ball deep over the wall in right-center for what would prove to be the game-winning home run. (12-10, Alabama)

Postgame Notes

  • Alabama has won seven of the last eight games, including a season-high tying five straight.
  • The Crimson Tide pitchers combined for 13 strikeouts in today's game. Alabama's arms have struck out 10-or-more batters in in 16 games this season, including nine of the last 11 contests.
  • Jake Leger contributed 4.0 innings out of the bullpen, the most by any Tide reliever this season. The previous high for relief frames was 3.2 from Hunter Furtado against Murray State on March 5.
  • Leger's eight strikeouts were the most by any Alabama reliever during the 2022 campaign.
  • The Crimson Tide totaled 12 hits on the day and have recorded double-digit hits in 19 contests overall, including each of the last five games.
  • Drew Williamson extended his hitting streak to eight games. Over that stretch, the senior is batting .481 (13-27) with two doubles, two home runs (one grand slam), 13 RBI, 11 runs scored and eight walks.
  • Williamson has also recorded a hit in six straight SEC contests. Over the streak, Williamson is batting .524 (11-21) with two doubles, two homers (one grand slam), 11 RBI, nine runs scored and seven walks.
  • The grand slam by Williamson was the first by a Crimson Tide hitter since Owen Diodati's walkoff grand slam against South Alabama on March 9 of last season.
  • Williamson's five RBI are the most by a Tide batter in a single game since Tyler Gentry had six RBI against South Alabama on March 3, 2020.
  • Jim Jarvis has reached in 21 straight SEC games dating back to May 2 of last season at Missouri.
  • Tommy Seidl has reached base safely in 14 straight games dating back to the Tide's March 18 contest against Florida.
  • Jarvis and Seidl have gotten aboard in all 11 SEC games for the Crimson Tide this season.
  • Andrew Pinckney has reached base safely in 12 straight games overall dating back to March 20.
  • Bryce Eblin's hitting streak ended at eight games. Over that stretch, the sophomore batted .455 (15-33) with three doubles, a home run, eight RBI, seven runs, a pair of walks and one stolen base.
  • Eblin's hitting streak in SEC matchups also ended at six games. During the streak against conference opponents, Eblin batted .440 (11-25) with three doubles, four RBI, four runs, a walk and one stolen base.

Alabama will go for the series sweep on Sunday afternoon in Oxford. The Crimson Tide will look to sophomore left-hander Grayson Hitt for the start with the Ole Miss starter still to be announced. Game three of the series will air nationally on SEC Network.