Back-and-Forth Contest Favors Tide as Alabama Earns 7-6 Win over Arizona on Saturday

Diamond Tide

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The game featured numerous lead changes with the Crimson Tide holding on in the end

3/2/2024

FRISCO, TX –
Alabama baseball traded blows with Arizona all afternoon on Saturday, with the Tide getting the upper hand for a 7-6 win at Riders Field. The 15th-ranked Tide is now 11-0 on the year and 2-0 in the Frisco Classic.

Arizona was first on the board on Saturday, putting up a four-spot in the fourth thanks to a pair of two-run homers. The Tide answered immediately with a three-run fifth and tied things up in the sixth thanks to a solo homer from Will Hodo. Alabama then took the lead for the first time with a run in the seventh, but the Wildcats came right back with a two-spot following the seventh inning stretch. The Tide, once again, rallied to retake the lead with a two-run eighth before holding off a late push from Arizona for the 7-6 victory.

The hits for Alabama were spread across the order on Saturday afternoon with seven of the nine starters contributing at least one knock. Hodo and Bryce Eblin each homered with Eblin's accounting for two runs, the team-high mark for RBI. The Tide second baseman also contributed two runs scored and was matched by Evan Sleight for the team lead in that category.

Reliever Alton Davis II (1-0) picked up the win with 2.0 scoreless innings of work that included one hit, a walk and three strikeouts. He was followed by Matthew Heiberger, with the freshman earning his first career save thanks to a scoreless ninth that included one hit and one strikeout.

From Head Coach Rob Vaughn
"What a crazy game that was. It was back and forth, but our guys didn't panic. I talk about it a lot with the team that I want them to expect to have success. We put a lot of emphasis on having shutdown innings and trying to make sure that when we score, they don't – and vice versa, when we give up runs, we answer. Whether that's 1, 4, 6 runs, always answering, that's just what winning baseball looks like. Our guys played a really professional ballgame tonight."

How It Happened
  • B4 | After a leadoff walk, Mason White hit a two-run home run for the Wildcats. Then, with two down, a double followed by a Blake McDonald homer added to the advantage. (4-0, Arizona)
  • T5 | Evan Sleight started the Tide rally with a double to left. One out later, Sleight came home thanks to a two-run home run by Bryce Eblin. Justin Lebron followed with a single to left and moved himself into scoring position with a stolen base. He would come home in that same at-bat on an RBI-single from Gage Miller. (4-3, Arizona)
  • T6 | Will Hodo sent a 1-2 pitch over the wall in center for a solo homer. (4-4)
  • T7 | Eblin led off with a single and moved into scoring position with a stolen base. Miller then brought the Tide second baseman in with a liner at the Arizona third baseman that ricocheted into no-man's land in left. (5-4, Alabama)
  • B7 | A sacrifice fly with the bases loaded tied things. One out later, a single deep in the hole at second led to a bang-bang play at first that favored the Wildcats, bringing in the go-ahead run in the process. (6-5, Arizona)
  • T8 | Mason Swinney kept the inning alive with a two-out single. Sleight followed with a walk to put two aboard for Guscette, with the catcher sending a ball to third that resulted in an error to bring both runners home. (7-6, Alabama)
Postgame Notes
  • Alabama is now 11-0 to start the Rob Vaughn era. The 11-0 mark represents the longest winning streak to start a Crimson Tide head coaching career, surpassing the previous record of 10 by Kid Peeples in 1897.
  • The 11-game winning streak also ties for the fourth-best start to any season, tying the 1988 team.
  • The UA pitching staff tallied 10 punchouts and has struck out double-digit batters in seven games.
  • Alabama's offense has registered double-digit hits in nine of the 11 games this season.
  • With his double in the fourth, TJ McCants extended his hitting streak to 11 games. Over the current stretch, the senior is batting .395 (17-43) with five doubles, one triple, six homers, 19 RBI, 14 runs scored, seven walks, a hit-by-pitch and four stolen bases.
  • Gage Miller started his day with a leadoff single to extend his hitting streak to 10 games. Over the streak, the junior is batting .463 (19-41) with two doubles, five home runs, 18 RBI, 18 runs, one walk and three hit-by-pitch.
  • Mason Swinney extended his hitting streak to six games. Across the streak, Swinney is batting .429 (9-21) with two doubles, three RBI, seven runs, five walks and a hit-by-pitch.
The Crimson Tide will wrap up the Frisco Classic on Sunday at 4 p.m. CT. Alabama is set to square off with No. 23 Dallas Baptist at Riders Field with the game streaming on D1Baseball.com.

Get all the latest information on the team by following @AlabmaBSB on X/Twitter and Instagram and on Facebook at Alabama Baseball. General athletic news can be found at UA_Athletics on X/Twitter and Instagram and AlabamaAthletics on Facebook.


-UA-


RTR,


Diamond Tide
 
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