FROM ALABAMA MEDIA RELATIONS
“I’m proud of the way our guys got after it today,” said Alabama head coach Greg Goff. “They just kept competing and kept answering the call. Unfortunately, it didn’t end in our favor.”
Alabama and Missouri traded runs through the early innings. The Tigers got out to an early 3-0 lead after the first, but the Tide answered with three runs of their own across the first two frames. Both teams added one run in the fourth before a three-run fifth by Missouri and one more in the ninth sent the Tigers home with the victory.
Missouri plated three runs on four hits in the top of the first to start today’s contest. The Crimson Tide rallied back with a pair of runs in the bottom of the frame, making it a 3-2 game after one full inning. Chandler Avant led off the game with a single before a Logan Carey walk and an error on Cobie Vance’s sacrifice bunt attempt loaded the bases for the Tide. One out later, Hunter Alexander singled to left to score one and leave them loaded for Tanner DeVinny. The Alabama catcher drew a walk to bring across the second run of the frame and put the Tide back by only one.
Alabama evened things up in the second, scoring with two down in the inning. A double to left by Carey was followed by a Vance single to center to bring Carey in and make it 3-3 after two full. The two teams then traded one-run innings in the third and fourth.
Missouri drew a one-out walk and stole second to put a runner in scoring position before a single in the next at-bat brought across the runner from second to break the tie in the third. Alabama matched in the bottom of the frame, scoring one of its own. DeVinny led off with a double and then moved to third on an infield groundout. Connor Short knocked in the tying run with a one-out single to center to even things up after three full.
In the fourth, the Tigers used a single and then an error to put runners on the corners before a rundown between first and second allowed the man from third to steal home and give Missouri the lead once again. Alabama came right back with one run of its own in the home half. Vance drew a leadoff walk and moved up to third after another walk and a sac bunt. DeVinny went on to plate his second RBI of the day with a 4-3 groundout to the right side that allowed the tying run to come home, making it 5-5 after four full.
Missouri put the game out of reach with a three-run fifth inning. A one-out walk led off the stanza. The next at-bat was a strikeout, but the ball got away from the catcher and was then thrown into right field to place runners on the corners for Missouri. The Tigers took second with a stolen base before a single to center scored the pair of unearned runs. Alabama had the man at first picked off and in a rundown during the next at-bat, but an errant throw off the back of the runner went into the outfield, moving the Tiger from first to third on the play. A single in the next at-bat scored the final run of the inning, making it an 8-5 game.
The Tigers added one more in the ninth, using three singles to bring around their final run for the 9-5 lead. Alabama put together a rally in the final half inning, using a leadoff walk from Alexander and a single from Short to put two on. Gene Wood followed with a single down the line in right, but a baserunning mistake at second led to a rundown that resulted in the final out of the game.
Vance and Short each contributed multi-hit days in the series finale. Vance finished 2-for-3 with a double, one RBI, a run scored and a walk, while Short went 2-for-4 with an RBI and one walk against the Tigers.
Alabama returns to the diamond on Tuesday evening, squaring off with in-state foe UAB. The two teams will meet at Regions Field, home to the Birmingham Barons, for a 6:30 p.m. CT matchup. Following the lone midweek contest, the Crimson Tide will head to Columbia for a three-game series with the 10th-ranked South Carolina Gamecocks.