TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - An eighth-inning rally for Alabama baseball helped the 25th-ranked Crimson Tide down No. 22 Kentucky, 4-3, on Sunday at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. The Tide is now 19-6 overall and 2-4 in Southeastern Conference play.
A back-and-forth game saw both teams trade runs all afternoon. Kentucky struck for one in the top of the first with the Tide matching them in the home half. The Wildcats then added a single tally in the fourth for a 2-1 lead before Alabama evened things up again with one in the sixth. The lead went right back to UK with one run in the top of the seventh before a wild eight saw the Tide score the tying and go-ahead runs for the eventual 4-3 final.
That eighth began with a walk to Jim Jarvis with one down. A double to right from William Hamiter put two in scoring position before Ed Johnson came to the plate. The Tide second baseman sent a chopper to first that was fielded cleanly but a slip on the throw home led to a play at the plate with Jarvis sliding under the tag. Andrew Pinckney was next up, singling to left to score Hamiter for what would prove to be the game-winning run.
Pinckney led the offense with a 2-for-3 day that included two RBI and a walk. Johnson and Jarvis each added one RBI with Jarvis also contributing two runs scored.
Alabama got off to a strong start on the mound with Grayson Hitt tossing 6.0 frames. The junior allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits and two walks with five punchouts. Kade Woods (2-0) followed, working the final 3.0 innings and allowing one run on one hit with four strikeouts for the win.
From Head Coach Brad Bohannon
"There had been a period of time where you couldn't get an extra-base hit here Friday night the way the wind was blowing, and it was a really un-offensive ballpark again yesterday. Our guys started pressing a little bit (today), but once we scored in the sixth it kind of took the monkey off our back a little bit. And then, obviously, Andrew Pinckney got the big hit in the eighth. I'm really glad to get a win - we needed it - and excited to keep going forward."
How It Happened
- T1 | The Wildcats moved the leadoff man to third before a single through the left side brought him in. (1-0, Kentucky)
- B1 | Colby Shelton was hit by a pitch to start the inning. A Will Hodo single moved the leadoff man to second before a sacrifice bunt put Shelton at third. He came across on the next play, tagging a flyout in foul territory from Jim Jarvis. (1-1)
- T2 | A walk and single put runners on the corners before a sac bunt brought in the go-ahead run from third. (2-1, Kentucky)
- B6 | Jarvis got aboard with a one-out single with a walk to William Hamiter in the next at-bat. The pair moved into scoring position on a wild pitch before a two-out RBI-single through the right side from Andrew Pinckney tied things up. (2-2)
- T7 | Grant Smith put UK back in front with a solo homer to center. (3-2, Kentucky)
- B8 | Jarvis drew a walk with one down before a double from Hamiter moved both runners into scoring position. Ed Johnson followed with a fielder's choice that resulted in a play at the plate that saw Jarvis slide under the tag for the tying run. Pinckney then put the Tide in front with an RBI-single to left. (4-3, Alabama)
- Today's win was Alabama's first when trailing after the seventh inning. The Tide was previously 0-5 when down heading to the eighth.
- Grayson Hitt tossed a season-high 6.0 innings in today's start. His previous best in 2023 was 5.2 in game two of last weekend's doubleheader at Florida.
- ATTENDANCE: 3,164
Next up for Alabama is a trip to Madison for a midweek matchup with Middle Tennessee at Toyota Field. The Crimson Tide and Blue Raiders are scheduled for a 6 p.m. CT first pitch at the Double-A home of the Los Angeles Angels.