Diamond Notes : Wild Eight-Run Eighth Completes the Comeback in Alabama’s 10-5 Win over Harvard on Saturday

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The Tide plated eight runs on four hits and four errors in the eighth to take a decisive lead

2/29/2020

TUSCALOOSA, AL –
Alabama baseball trailed all afternoon until a wild eight-run eighth inning put the Crimson Tide in front for good on the way to a 10-5 win over Harvard on Saturday at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. The victory moved Alabama to 11-0 on the season and clinched the series for UA. The 11-0 start to the 2020 campaign is tied for the second-best start to a season in program history.

Both teams went scoreless until the fifth inning when Harvard got on the board with three runs. Alabama was able to chip away with one apiece in the sixth and seventh innings, making it a one-run game heading to the final two frames. In the eighth, the Tide used a wild pitch to even things up followed by an RBI-single from freshman Owen Diodati to put Alabama in front. In the next at-bat, a grounder from senior Kolby Robinson looked like a double play, but an errant throw led to a wild play that featured three total errors and brought in three runs to give UA the decisive lead.

Sophomore Connor Shamblin provided the Crimson Tide with a solid start, allowing three runs on six hits and a walk with five strikeouts. Shamblin was followed by fellow sophomore Tyler Ras. Ras struck out three and allowed just two hits across his 2.1 scoreless frames to keep Alabama in the game. Chase Lee (1-0) was next up, working the final 1.2 frames for the win. Lee, a sophomore, entered with a runner at second and one out but proceeded to strike out the next two Crimson hitters to send the game to the eighth and keep Alabama alive.

From Head Coach Brad Bohannon

"I'm really, really pleased, this was a really good win for us. Their starting pitcher, Owen Holt, was outstanding. He was 90-94, top of the zone, and their guys were hard to hit today. So, I told the team at the top of the sixth, we're down 3-0 and I'm like, "Hey we've actually played pretty well". Connor Shamblin gave us a really good start. I was obviously really proud of the resolve and the grit that our guys showed to come back. Obviously, they helped us out a bit there when it got out of hand, but it was just a really good day for us. I'm glad to be in a tight game and for it go our way."

How It Happened

  • T5 | Harvard led things off with back-to-back singles. One out later, the Crimson was first to score thanks to a three-run home run to left. (3-0, Harvard)
  • B6 | Junior Tyler Gentry was hit by a pitch to give Alabama a one-out baserunner. Redshirt sophomore Sam Praytor followed in the next at-bat with a walk to put two on and the duo moved into scoring position on an infield groundout A wild pitch during the next sequence scored Gentry to get the Tide on the board. (3-1, Harvard)
  • B7 | Robinson led things off with a single. A sac bunt put him in scoring position and a 1-3 groundout moved the senior to third. Sophomore T.J. Reeves followed with an RBI-single to left to cut the deficit to one. (3-2, Harvard)
  • B8 | Praytor led things off with a single. A throwing error then allowed sophomore Drew Williamson to reach and put two on before a single loaded the bases. Pinch-hitter Owen Diodati stepped in and was greeted with a wild pitch to tie things up. The freshman then singled to left-center to put the Tide in front for the first time on the day. In the next at-bat, Robinson sent a ground ball to third, but a throwing error allowed him to reach at first. A wild sequence ensued as Harvard committed two more errors on the play and allowed three runs to score, including Robinson. Following a groundout, senior Brett Auerbach homered. Three batters later, Williamson sent a sac fly to center with the bases loaded to score one more. A wild pitch in the next at-bat crossed the inning's final run. (10-3, Alabama)
  • T9 | A pair of one-out singles followed by a double brought in two for the Crimson. (10-5, Alabama)
Postgame Notes

  • Alabama is 11-0 to begin the 2020 campaign which is the best start under head coach Brad Bohannon, surpassing the 2018 squad's 9-0 start to the year. The 11-0 mark is tied with the 1988 team that won 11 straight for the second-best start in program history. The Alabama all-time mark for wins to start a season is 15 which was accomplished by the 1997 squad.
  • The Crimson Tide hitters have now hit at least one home run in nine of 11 games with multiple homers in four of those contests.
  • Alabama totaled double-digit hits for the eighth time this season with today's 10-hit effort.
  • Kolby Robinson's 2-for-4 day extended his hitting streak to nine games, the longest by any member of the Crimson Tide this season. Across those nine games, Robinson is batting .375 (14-36) with four doubles, seven RBI, seven runs scored, two hit-by-pitch and a stolen base.
  • Despite reaching base safely three times, Tyler Gentry did not record a hit to cap his streak at five games. Over the five-game hitting streak, Gentry batted .733 (11-15) with a double, two home runs, seven RBI, eight runs scored, two walks and two hit-by-pitch.
  • ATTENDANCE : 3,558

Alabama will go for the series sweep tomorrow morning at The Joe with the series finale slated for a 10:30 a.m. start. The Crimson Tide will call on freshman southpaw Antoine Jean in the start while the Crimson will look to junior right-hander Enzo Stefanoni. Viewers can tune in to SEC Network+ to catch all the action.

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


-UA-


RTR,

Diamond Tide
 

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