Alabama Baseball Wins in Walkoff Fashion, 4-3, over ULM on Friday Night
With a runner on second, Alabama baseball’s Hunter Alexander knocked a ball back up the middle to plate the winning run and walk it off, 4-3, for the Crimson Tide win over ULM on Friday evening at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. The victory improves UA to 4-5 overall on the season.
“I want to start off by saying that I really was proud of our players tonight,” said Alabama head coach Greg Goff. “When your No. 1 guy doesn’t throw very well early, and gives up some runs – in instances like that, most teams would quit. Tonight, our guys persevered and were relentless in the dugout. Our hitters adjusted as the game went along, and I’m just really proud to have a good team win against a tough Louisiana-Monroe team.”
Alabama entered the bottom of the ninth knotted up at 3-3, and began the run-scoring inning with Kyle Kaufman sending a leadoff single to left before Connor Wright came on to replace him as a pinch-runner. A sacrifice bunt in the next at-bat from Cody Henry moved Wright up to second and brought Alexander to dish. With one down, Alexander sent an RBI-single up the middle to secure the 4-3 victory for the home team.
The Crimson Tide stayed in the game all night thanks to a standout relief performance from sophomore Brock Love (1-1), who worked a career-high tying 4.1 relief innings and earned his first career win. After entering in the top of the fifth with the Tide facing a 3-0 deficit, Love kept things close, shutting down the ULM offense for the remainder of the game to provide the Tide an opportunity. Over his 4.1 innings of spotless baseball, the second-year man collected a career-high 10 strikeouts and retired all 13 batters he faced in consecutive order.
ULM got out to an early lead, scoring a trio of runs across the first two innings. In the top of the first, the Warhawks’ leadoff hitter reached on a single to left and later advanced to second on a balk. Two outs later, another single plated the game’s first run to move ULM in front, 1-0.
The lead was extended for ULM thanks to a two-run second inning that made it a 3-0 affair. The Warhawks began the frame with a leadoff walk followed by a single to place runners on first and second. A sacrifice bunt advanced the runners into scoring position before a bases-clearing double brought in the pair to extend the ULM lead.
The Crimson Tide used Love’s pitching effort to shut out the Warhawks the rest of the way. Alabama eventually responded late, evening things up in the seventh with a three-run inning. Kaufman sparked the rally with a one-out single to center and a Henry double followed to put runners on second and third for Alexander. The Tide’s first baseman sent a double to right-center to score two and make it a one-run game. One batter later, Connor Short sent an RBI-double to left-center field to cross Alexander and tie the game at three apiece heading into the final two frames.
Kaufman collected his second hit of the night, leading off the ninth with a single, before being replaced by Wright. After the Henry sac bunt moved Wright into scoring position, Alexander singled to center to walk it off for the Tide.
The Alabama offense received multi-hit games from Kaufman and Alexander. Kaufman finished 2-for-3 finished with a run scored, while Alexander closed out his night at 2-for-4 with a double, a run scored and a team-leading three RBI.
The two teams return to the field on Saturday afternoon for a 2 p.m. CT first pitch. Alabama will look to junior Jake Walters, a righty, in the start while ULM counters with junior right-hander Keegan Curtis. Fans can catch all of the Saturday action on SEC Network+.