Eighth-Inning Rally Leads Alabama Baseball Past Troy, 5-3
Alabama baseball claimed a 5-3 win over Troy on Tuesday evening at Sewell-Thomas Stadium, using a one-out, two-RBI single from Taylor Poe in the eighth inning to pull in front for the victory. The win moves Alabama to 23-14 overall on the season.
“(Taylor Poe) is another guy that’s taken advantage of some opportunities and obviously that leads to more opportunities when you do that,” said head coach Mitch Gaspard of his catcher. “On the offensive end, he’s done a really good job, but his catching, in my eyes, has really improved. He’s done a good job running the game when he’s back there, so hats off to Taylor: Every time we’ve called on him, he’s done a nice job for us.”
Alabama rallied for a pair of runs in the bottom of the eighth to break the tie and take a 5-3 lead into the ninth. A leadoff walk from Chance Vincent was followed by a hit by a pitch to put two aboard. A flyout to right moved both runners into scoring position for Poe. The Crimson Tide catcher took the first pitch he saw down the third base line and over the bag for a bases-clearing single that put the Tide in front heading to the ninth.
Thomas Burrows entered in the final frame, allowing a one-out walk and a single to put two on before closing the door with a strikeout looking and a game-ending groundout to second. The save was Burrows’ 10th of the year and puts him one shy of his career-high total of 11 that he collected during his freshman season in 2014.
Crimson Tide starter Brock Love worked the longest outing of his career, going 5.0 innings and allowing two runs on four hits and a pair of walks with a season-high nine strikeouts. Love retired the first nine he faced in tonight’s outing. The freshman was followed by Jon Keller (2-1), who tossed 3.0 innings and allowed one run while matching his season-high mark for strikeouts with four.
The two teams went scoreless until fifth inning put runs on the board for both squads, first with Troy scoring a pair in the top half. The Trojans rallied with two outs, recording three straight hits to make it a 2-0 game. Alabama bounced back for three in the home half of the frame to take 3-2 lead.
With runners on the corners and one down, a Chandler Avant single scored one and moved one more into scoring position to force a Troy pitching change. Connor Short singled in the first at-bat against the new reliever to load the bases before Chance Vincent came through with a single to right to cross two and put the score in Alabama’s favor after five full.
In the top of the sixth, a solo home run by the Trojans evened things up at 3-3, but a great leaping catch by Cobie Vance at second led to a double play and saved the go-ahead run from crossing for Troy. Alabama would rally for the game-winning runs in the bottom of the eighth, regaining the lead before Thomas Burrows shut it down in the ninth.
Alabama will next host South Alabama tomorrow evening for a single contest. The Crimson Tide and Jaguars are scheduled for a 6:30 p.m. CT first pitch on SECN+.