It was a 5 run 5th inning with a grand slam, a rain delay, a crazy crowd and Bama keeps winning. #RollTide #WildBillShow #PartyAtRhoads
Sunday’s regional finale between Alabama and Arizona State was a battle to the very end, as the Crimson Tide rallied from an early five-run deficit only to see the Sun Devils come back and tie it before some seventh-inning heroics ultimately pushed Alabama in front, 9-8, to secure its 15th-straight trip to the NCAA Super Regionals.
“That was an instant classic in my mind,” UA head coach Patrick Murphy said. “It was a great game for our fans, TV and everybody.”
The victory gives Alabama (55-7) 40-straight wins in the regional round and extended its streak as the only team to qualify for every super regional since the round’s inception in 2005. As the No. 8 seed, the Tide will host the winner of the Austin regional, either Texas or Houston, in Tuscaloosa. Game dates, times and TV designations will be announced later.
Arizona State (35-20) jumped to an early five-run lead before the Tide came storming back to score eight unanswered. A three-run sixth for the Sun Devils tied it back up at 8-8 before an RBI single from sophomore KB Sides in the top of the seventh put Alabama back ahead, 9-8. Arizona State would put the potential go-ahead run on base in the bottom of the seventh, but Alabama ultimately held on to win.
“At one point, we had nine outs on weak popups,” Murphy said. “In the fifth inning, we were determined to do something different. We felt good with the three-run lead but knew Arizona State wouldn’t quit. They came back to tied and we answered back with a run in the seventh.