Miscues Plague Alabama in 9-5 Loss to Texas A&M on Thursday Evening
A total of five errors resulted in five unearned runs as Alabama baseball fell to Texas A&M, 9-5, on Thursday evening at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. The Crimson Tide now sits at 14-20 overall and 2-11 in Southeastern Conference play.
“I never thought our guys quit,” said Alabama head coach Greg Goff. “We've been fighting and fighting every game. We got down early after not playing so good, but we came back to take the lead. Tonight was a situation where we gave up five unearned runs, and you can't do that anytime, especially in the opener. If we don't give up those unearned runs, we probably win the game."
Texas A&M built an early 4-0 lead after the first inning, using four hits combined with a pair of errors to plate four off Crimson Tide starter Jake Walters (4-4). Walters would rally to shut down the Aggie offense across the next three innings before being chased in the fifth for the loss. After inducing a lineout double play to end the first, the junior right-hander went on to retire the next nine batters he faced, recording a streak of 11 consecutive outs before surrendering a single to begin the fifth.
Alabama rallied back from the early deficit to take the lead and make it a 5-4 contest after four. The Crimson Tide put up a single tally in the second, before plating a pair in both the third and fourth innings. UA was able to chase Aggie starter Brigham Hill after just 3.2 innings, registering eight hits and a walk for five runs to end his day early. Texas A&M reliever Cason Sherrod (4-1) followed with 3.1 innings of scoreless baseball for the win. Texas A&M used three runs in the fifth and two in the sixth to regain the lead and then put the game out of reach.
The Crimson Tide offense saw seven of its nine starters record at least one hit, with multi-hit efforts from the No.1 and 2 hitters in Chandler Avant and Kyle Kaufman. Avant finished 2-for-5 with a RBI and a run scored, while Kaufman tallied a pair of hits across four-at bats. Cleanup hitter Hunter Alexander led the Tide in RBI, finishing with two as part of his 1-for-3 night, while Chandler Taylor notched his team-leading ninth home run of the season with a solo-shot, closing out his night 1-for-3 with a pair of runs scored.
Texas A&M began the game with a triple before the leadoff man came across to score the game’s first run on an errant throw to third on a pickoff play. One out later, a single and a walk placed a pair of runners on first and second before a wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position. With two on, a single scored two for the Aggies, and in the next at-bat, a double crossed inning’s final run, giving A&M a 4-0 lead after half an inning of play.
Alabama responded, erasing the early deficit after scoring five runs spanning the second, third and fourth innings to gain the advantage. With one down in the second, Taylor sent a solo homer to deep center to put the Tide in the scoring column. In the third, a pair of singles from Avant and Cobie Vance put runners on the corners for Alexander, who delivered a two-RBI triple to trim the deficit to one run.
Taylor began the scoring sequence in the fourth with a leadoff walk, before Tanner DeVinny sent a single through the right side to place men on the corners. Connor Short took advantage of his opportunity, sending a single to left to score Taylor, and one batter later, Avant collected his second hit of the day with an RBI-single to give the Tide a 5-4 lead after four full.
The Aggies came right back with five runs of their own across the fifth and sixth innings to take the lead once again. In the fifth, the leadoff man singled before moving to second on a wild pitch. One out later, a double scored one for A&M to tie things up. A walk in the next at-bat put a pair of runners on base, and a misplay on a grounder to short allowed two runs to cross to push the Texas A&M advantage to 7-5.
With one down in the sixth, a single followed by a stolen base put the Aggies runner in scoring position. A walk and hit-by-pitch then loaded the bases, before another Tide mistake allowed two runs to score, extending the A&M lead to 9-5 and putting the game out of reach.
The two teams return to the diamond on Friday night with a 6 p.m. CT first pitch at The Joe. Alabama is slated to start sophomore left-hander Dylan Duarte while A&M counters with right-hander Corbin Martin, a junior. The game can be seen live on SEC Network+.