Alabama Baseball Suffers 4-3 Loss to Auburn on Tuesday in the MAX Capital City Classic
Alabama baseball suffered a 4-3 loss to Auburn on Tuesday evening at Riverwalk Stadium in front of 7,605 fans in the annual MAX Capital City Classic. The Crimson Tide moves to 12-13 overall on the season with the loss.
“I thought we came up just short tonight,” said Alabama head coach Greg Goff. “We had guys in scoring position and we hit into a double play one time. We just need to play with a little more heart, a little more grit and a little more dirtiness to get those type of hits when we need them. Our guys need to bring a little more to table every day, and I need to do a better job coaching them up to help us gets wins in games like this.”
The Tigers took the early lead with a three-run third inning, but Alabama answered back with single tallies in the third, fourth and fifth frames to make it a 3-3 contest. One run in the top of the sixth by Auburn ended the day’s scoring and helped the Tigers improve to 8-1 in the history of the Montgomery series.
Alabama starter Garret Rukes worked 3.0 innings, allowing three earned runs on three hits and two walks while striking out five AU hitters before calling on his relievers. The foursome of Sam Finnerty (1-2), Garrett Suchey, Mike Oczypok and Jake Walters combined for the final 6.0 innings, but Finnerty’s lone run allowed would prove the difference in the game. The Tide relievers allowed only two hits and walked three guys while striking out six to keep Alabama in striking distance.
Auburn kicked off the evening’s scoring, plating three runs in the third. A leadoff single followed by a walk placed men on first and second for the Tigers. In the next at-bat, an errant throw on a sacrifice bunt attempt allowed the game’s first run to cross and put two in scoring position. The Tide then issued an intentional walk to load the bases, but a single in the next plate appearance scored two for the Tigers to put the visitors in front 3-0.
The Tide answered back, scoring single tallies in the third, fourth and fifth innings to even things up. Connor Short began the scoring sequence in the third, reaching on a hit-by-pitch before advancing to second on a wild pitch. Chandler Avant followed with a single up the middle to put runners on the corners with one down. One batter later, Cobie Vance lined an RBI single to left to put the Tide in the scoring column and trim the deficit to 3-1.
The fourth inning was started with a leadoff single to right from Kyle Kaufman, before Tanner DeVinny drew a walk to put a pair of runners on for the Tide. Hunter Alexander followed with a sacrifice bunt attempt and reached on an error by the pitcher to load the bases for Taylor. The Montgomery native sent a sac fly to deep center to score one and make it a one run gap after four full.
In the fifth, Avant reached on error by the shortstop to begin the inning and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt before advancing to third on a wild pitch. After a walk to Vance, Cody Henry tied things up with a sacrifice fly to make it a 3-3 game.
The Tigers responded, scoring one in the top of the sixth to regain the lead. After a leadoff walk and a stolen base placed a runner in scoring position for AU, a single moved Auburn ahead 4-3, the eventual final. Alabama had a chance in the eighth, using a pair of two out walks to get the tying and go-ahead runs aboard, but a fielder’s choice ended the inning.
The Crimson Tide will return home to Tuscaloosa to prepare for a three-game, weekend series with No. 21 Arkansas at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. The Crimson Tide and Razorbacks are scheduled for a 6 p.m. CT start on Friday evening before a 7 p.m. CT first pitch on Saturday. The series finale on Sunday is slated for 3 p.m. CT. Fans can catch Friday’s matchup on SEC Network+, while the final two games of the series will air nationally on SEC Network.