The Crimson Tide’s Hoover Magic Comes to a Close
Less than 12 hours after its last game, the Alabama Crimson Tide baseball team ended its SEC tournament run with a back-and-forth loss to the Florida Gators 11-6.
Tuscaloosa native Garrett McMillian took the mound for the Crimson Tide.
The morning started rough for McMillan, as four hits caused a monster opening inning for the Gators. First, the leadoff batter left fielder Wyatt Langford, hit a solo shot to left field, then designated hitter Jac Caglianone hits a two-out RBI double. Finally, shortstop Josh Rivera hits a bases-clearing single.
Fortunately for the Tide, the bats rolled from the get-go, and a hat trick of hits tied up the ballgame. Center fielder Caden Rose hit a leadoff double, catcher Dominic Tamez hit an RBI single, and third baseman Zane Denton hit a three-run home run to top the inning off.
McMillan finished his morning pitching 1.2 innings, with five hits, five earned runs, two walks, no strikeouts, and two hit-by-pitches. Jake Leger came in for relief in the second inning.
Langford not only gave the lead back to Florida but also added some run support to that lead. In the second inning, the left Fiedler hit a solo shot for Florida to retake the lead, and in the third inning, he hit an RBI groundout to extend that lead.
Alabama first baseman Dew Williamson ties up the game in the third inning with a two-run home run, knotting up the game at six.
In the top of the sixth inning, Langford scores again after he walked, advanced to third on a base hit, and came home in a double-play groundout to re-take the lead.
Leger comes out of the game after four innings pitched, giving up four hits, two earned runs, two walks, and two strikeouts. Dylan Ray came in for relief.
Alabama had a come-back brewing on the bases in the sixth inning with second baseman Bryce Eblin hitting a two-out double, Rose out-running the throw to keep the inning alive, but designated hitter William Hamiter stranded the runners on the corners with a pop-up.
Florida tacks on one more run in the top of the ninth inning, after center fielder Jud Fabian out-runs the throw to the plate.
Antoine Jean came in to close out the game after Ray pitched 2.2 innings, giving up two hits, three earned runs, one walk, and three strikeouts.
Jean immediately gives up a three-run blast by Florida catcher Mac Guscette to extend Florida's lead and cement the Gators victory. Alabama can't get anything going with its final three outs.
"We've been inconsistent at times with different parts of the game but the one thing that has been consistent man these guys are the guys that follow our team you know that you can see that have the ability to really fight," said Alabama baseball head coach Brad Bohannon.
Alabama finishes 2-2 in the 2022 SEC Tournament and will await to know its fate in the big dance.