Crimson Tide Falls in 10 Innings at Third-Ranked Texas A&M, 4-3
Alabama baseball fell, 4-3, at third-ranked Texas A&M as the Aggies walked it off with a one-out single in the bottom of the 10th inning at Blue Bell Park. With the loss, the Crimson Tide moves to 23-16 overall and 8-8 in Southeastern Conference play.
“Our guys absolutely played their butts off all night long and put us in position to win the game,” said Alabama head coach Mitch Gaspard. “I thought (Matt) Foster did a great job, and so did Geoffrey (Bramblett). After his three-spot in the first, he really came through by posting zeros. Matt did a great job, and Dylan (Duarte) too; he made them earn it by sticking the ball in the strikezone.”
Geoffrey Bramblett allowed three runs in the first, but settled down for his final five frames. The junior allowed a runner to reach in every inning, but stranded six to keep the Aggies off the board and afford the Crimson Tide the time to tie things up. He finished with two strikeouts while issuing four walks and allowing six hits across 106 total pitches. The start was Bramblett’s seventh quality start of the season, five of those coming in Southeastern Conference play.
“We tell our guys to prepare for everything; you’ve got to prepare for a good start, got to prepare for a bad start,” Gaspard said of Bramblett’s outing. “That’s one of those where you blink and it’s 3-0, but Geoffrey really showed a veteran presence there to settle down, keep us in the game by posting zeroes for us. He was outstanding, and I’ve said this many Fridays – that’s what a Friday night guy has to do, he has to keep you in the game, and that’s exactly what he did there.”
The Crimson Tide starter was followed by another impressive performance from Matt Foster, with the junior reliever working 2.2 innings of scoreless baseball, allowing three hits and a walk while striking out five. In the ninth, Foster allowed a two-out double and then intentionally walked the next batter to create a lefty-lefty matchup for Dylan Duarte. The freshman came out the bullpen and ended the threat thanks to a diving catch by Hunter Webb in left to save the game and send it to extras.
In the final frame, A&M would use a leadoff hit-by-pitch and then a sac bunt to put one in scoring position. A walk one batter later put two on before a grounder through the left side crossed the winning run for the Aggies.
Texas A&M kicked off the game’s scoring, putting up a three spot in the bottom of the first. A&M began with a leadoff single followed by a walk and then a double to left scored the game’s first run. A sacrifice fly to right scored one more and then a 6-3 putout brought across the inning’s third run to make it a 3-0 game after one.
Alabama began chipping away at the lead in the top of the second, using a pair of errors to narrow the gap to 3-1. Chandler Avant led off the inning with a grounder to third, but a high throw allowed the Tide shortstop to reach on an error. He then stole second in the next at-bat and eventually moved to third on an infield groundout. Chance Vincent came to the plate and dropped a ball in front of the mound that the Aggie pitcher threw into the outfield to allow Avant to come in for the Tide’s first run of the night.
Chandler Taylor would even the score up for Alabama in the sixth. Cobie Vance led off the inning with a single to center to put one on, and then one out later Taylor sent a line drive home run out over the fence in right to even up the score at 3-3. The homer was Taylor’s team-leading fifth of the season.
The two teams would remain scoreless from the bottom of the sixth onward, until the 10th inning saw the Aggies walk it off for the series-opening win.
Alabama and Texas A&M return to action tomorrow at 2 p.m. CT for game two of the series. The matchup with feature a pair of right-handed sophomores, with the Crimson Tide looking to Jake Walters for the start, while the Aggies counter with Jace Vines.