Alabama Baseball Falls, 11-8, to Jacksonville State on Tuesday
A four run-seventh by the Gamecocks proved the difference in Tuesday’s game, as Alabama baseball fell, 11-8, to Jacksonville State at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. Following the midweek contest, the Crimson Tide is now 15-26 on the season.
“Our guys competed all night,” said Alabama head coach Greg Goff. “Offensively, we never gave in, coming back twice. I don’t respect walks and errors, and you can do that against a good team like Jacksonville State or you’re going to let them back in the game like we did tonight.”
A four-run seventh was the deciding factor, as the two teams traded runs throughout the evening. Both clubs plated a pair in the first. Jacksonville State then scored single tallies in the third and fourth, before Alabama matched them with a two-run bottom of the fourth. The very next inning saw each squad post a three-spot, before Alabama jumped out front with one run in the bottom of the sixth. In the top of the seventh JSU used five singles to score four runs for the win.
Alabama’s offense collected 13 total hits with eight of the nine starters recording at least one knock. The output was paced by Cody Henry, who finished 3-for-4 with a home run, a team-high four RBI and a pair of runs scored. Also homering was Chandler Taylor, who finished 1-for-4 with two RBI, a walk and one run. Taylor’s home run extended his hitting streak to 11 games on the season. Rounding out the Tide’s offensive performances was Kyle Kaufman, who finished a perfect 2-for-2 with a pair of walks, a hit-by-pitch, one RBI and two runs scored, reaching base safely in all five plate appearances.
Jacksonville State began the night’s scoring, using a leadoff double followed by a one-out home run to left to make it a 2-0 game after a half inning of play. Alabama came right back to even things up in the bottom half of the first. A pair of singles to start the game from Chandler Avant and Kaufman put two aboard. Both runners moved into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt before Henry sent a single to center to make it a 2-1 game. One out later, Henry took off for second, but an errant throw from the catcher allowed the man from third to cross before Henry was tagged out on a 2-4-3 rundown to end the first with things even at 2-2.
The Gamecocks added one in the third and fourth innings to make it a two-run advantage. In the third, a single and a one-out walk put two on before a single to center scored the go-ahead run. In the next inning, JSU doubled with one down before registering a two-out RBI-single to widen the gap to 4-2.
Alabama would answer right back with two of its own in the bottom of the fourth to even the score once again. A leadoff single from Henry followed by a two-run home run from Taylor knotted it up at 4-4. The homer was Taylor’s team-leading 11th of the season.
Both teams matched one another with a three-run fifth. Jacksonville State used a pair of walks to put two on before an errant throw on a grounder to the pitcher went into center field, scoring the inning’s first run and putting Gamecocks at the corners. A wild pitch in the next at-bat moved everyone up 90 feet, scoring the man from third. The sequence ended with a single to center, bringing the man home from second to make it a three-run JSU lead.
The Crimson Tide answered with a three-spot in the home half of the fifth. Walker McCleney began things for the Tide, singling through the right side. One out later, Kaufman was hit by a pitch to put two on before a fielder’s choice from Cobie Vance cut down McCleney but left two still on base. With a pair in the waiting, Henry sent one over the fence in left-center to cross three and make things square at 7-7 heading to the sixth.
Alabama took its first lead of the night with a single run in the sixth. The Tide reached a pair of baserunners with a one-out single from Alex Webb and then a hit-by-pitch for McCleney with two down. One more walk, this one to Avant, loaded the bases before a free pass for Kaufman pushed a run across to set the score in favor of UA, 8-7.
In the top of the seventh, Jacksonville State added four runs to regain the lead and then widen the advantage to three at 11-8. The Gamecocks used five singles to score four runs, with all four runs coming with two down in the inning. Alabama reached baserunners in each of the last three innings, but was unable to even things up by night’s end.
Next up for Alabama is a three-game series with 15th-ranked LSU from Thursday through Saturday. The first game of the SEC pairing is set for 6:30 p.m. CT on ESPN2 on Thursday. The Friday game is scheduled for a 6 p.m. CT start, while the series finale is slated for 2 p.m. CT. The final two games of the series can be seen on SEC Network+.