Alabama baseball can’t overcome Maryland’s big inningBy Elliott Propes | 02/21/2016 5:03pm
CW | Marie Walker
The new Sewell-Thomas Stadium sold out for the second consecutive day during the opening series against Maryland. Alabama had an early lead, but a six-run fourth inning from Maryland put the Crimson Tide in a large hole. Alabama was never able to crawl out of the hole and lost, 9-5.
“When you have a young team you have to stress to them that after a win, the team is going to come attack you the next day,” coach Mitch Gaspard said. "I thought on our side that [fourth] inning kind of burned us right there."
Sophomore Jake Walters started the game for Alabama and looked good through the first three innings. He struck out six batters and only allowed two base runners. When he came out in the fourth, he lost his control. The first five batters got on base, and two of them hit a 2-run homer. With 4-1 deficit, Walters was replaced by freshman Dylan Duarte. He gave up another 2-run shot, one of the runners having been on base from Walters’ pitching. Alabama was then down 6-1 after the inning.
“I thought [Walters] was really sharp early and that inning he fell behind a little bit, and they took advantage of it and out some swings on it,” Gaspard said. “It’s tough to come back from a six-run inning, but I thought our guys did a good job offensively to grind back and get back in it.”
Alabama made an effort to come back, scoring four more runs, but it wasn’t enough. Alabama out-hit the Terrapins 13-8 but left 10 players on base.
“We just couldn’t deliver the big blow,” Gaspard said. “Just really couldn’t get to where the momentum was on our side.”
Freshman Cobie Vance had himself a night offensively going 4-5 with three singles and a home run. He hit a solo shot near the left-field foul pole in the fourth inning, resulting in the only home run from the Crimson Tide. Vance had a stolen base and two RBIs. His big afternoon came right after fellow freshman, Chandler Taylor, had a homerun on Friday.
“We’ve got two good freshman out there," Gaspard said. "Both Chandler and Cobie are going to be forces in this league, and I don’t think it is going to be in a year. I think it is going to be right now."
Alabama will be back in action tomorrow for the rubber match against Maryland at noon.