Baseball splits Friday double headerBy Cody Estremera | 03/10/2018 9:55am
Alabama split its double header on Friday. The Crimson Tide lost its first game 3-0 against New Mexico State, while it bounced back in game two, winning 3-1.
It was a pitcher duel in the first game of the double header. Starter Sam Finnerty and Justin Dehn went pitch for pitch for the first six innings. Finnerty retired the first batter, but then hit a batter and allowed two straight singles, scoring the first run of the game. The Aggies would score one more run in the inning, coming off a third straight single.
“The first six innings of the first game, offensively, I didn’t think that our at-bats were very good, and I didn’t think we were very focused,” Alabama coach Brad Bohannon said in a press release. “Once New Mexico State put up the two runs in the seventh, the last three innings, we competed and focused really well. We just didn’t get enough hits and make enough plays."
Senior pitcher Jake Walters finished with the win in game two. He went five 1/3 innings pitched, while striking out five. He struggled a little with control, walking five, but he allowed just one run.
The combination of Brock Guffey, who finished the sixth inning, and Deacon Medders, who threw the last three innings, managed to shutdown the Aggies offense. Medders allowed two walks and stuck out three. He finished with the save.
Offensively, Alabama capitalized on New Mexico pitching mistakes. In the fourth with runners on first and second, starter Kyle Bradish threw a wild pitch, advancing Hunter Alexander to third. Chandler Taylor advanced to second on a second wild pitch one batter later. A third wild pitch scored Alexander, for the first run of the game, and Taylor moved up to third. Taylor scored on a single by Keith Holcombe.
“In game two, we competed and played well," Bohannon said. "Their starter he could pitch for anybody – Florida, TCU, Texas Tech, you name it. It was a good challenge, and we did a good job of pitch-counting him in the sixth inning. I thought our kids competed well in the second game to help us get the win.”
New Mexico cut Alabama's lead in half when Caleb Henderson doubled to left, scoring Trey Stine. That signaled the end of Walters night. Guffey came in and got the final two outs, while the tying run was in scoring position.
Alabama scored its insurance run in the seventh. Cody Henry singled to left field, bringing in Walker McCleney from second.
Alabama finishes the series against New Mexico State on Saturday at noon. Sam Gardner will start for the Crimson Tide.