Three-Run Sixth Proves the Difference as Alabama Baseball Falls, 7-4, to Missouri on Saturday
Alabama baseball fell, 7-4, to Missouri as the Tigers’ three-run sixth proved the difference in Saturday’s matchup at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. The loss moves the Crimson Tide to 10-9 on the season, 0-2 in SEC play.
"You look at those last nine outs, besides that one pop-up, and we had some really good at-bats,” said Alabama head coach Greg Goff. “I was really pleased with how our guys didn't give up today. I think our team is resilient, and we were one knock away from tying the game up. Defensively and pitching-wise, we kept letting them get out in front and hopefully, tomorrow, we can put some zeroes up early."
Missouri jumped out to a two-run lead after the first half inning, but Alabama answered with one run of its own in the bottom of the second. The teams matched with two runs apiece in the top and bottom of the fourth before the Tigers’ three-run sixth pushed MU out front for the win. The Tide plated one in the bottom of the eighth, but three hard-hit balls to the outfield could not find open space and ended the Alabama comeback effort.
The Tigers scored early once again, plating a pair in the top of the first. A leadoff triple and a walk put runners on the corners before a sacrifice fly crossed the first run of the game for Missouri. Following a two-out walk, the Tigers added a second run thanks to a single to right that came down to a play at the plate with the MU runner sliding under the tag to make it a 2-0 Tiger advantage.
Alabama got on the board in the bottom of the second as Kyle Kaufman took a 1-1 pitch deep to left for a solo home run. The homer was the first of Kaufman’s Alabama career and made it a 2-1 game after two full.
Both teams went scoreless until the fourth. In the top half of the frame, Missouri used a leadoff walk and a one-out double to put two in scoring position. A suicide squeeze by the Tigers scored one, as the bunt fell in front of the pitcher’s mound allowing the runner from third to cross and end Alabama starter Dylan Duarte’s (1-1) day. After a pitching change, a walk and a sacrifice fly to right scored one more to make it a 4-1 affair.
The Tide would answer in the bottom of that inning with a pair of two-out runs to make it a 4-3 game. Hunter Alexander began the rally with a two-out double and was followed by another double, this one from Cody Henry, to cross the Tide first baseman. Kaufman notched a single in the next at-bat for another RBI and his second hit of the day to make it a one-run game after four full. The Alabama catcher finished 2-for-4 on the afternoon and led UA with a pair of RBI.
Missouri staked itself to a four-run lead with three runs in the top of the sixth inning. A leadoff single followed one out later by another single put a pair on for MU and forced an Alabama pitching change. A passed ball moved both runners up 90 feet before a walk loaded the bases. Missouri tallied a single to score one, and one out later used a wild pitch to move another run across. One more walk loaded the bases once again and a free pass in the following at-bat brought across the final run of the frame to move the Missouri lead to 7-3.
Alabama battled, rallying in the eighth for one run. The Tide used a leadoff walk and a pair of singles to load the bases in the inning. Cobie Vance followed with a lineout to left for the sacrifice, crossing the leadoff man to make it 7-4 game with one down. The next two hitters sent shots off the bat to the outfield but both went right to a Tiger fielder, ending the inning with two left on base and thwarting the comeback effort.
Tomorrow’s series finale is set for a noon start at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. Alabama will look to senior right-hander Nick Eicholtz, after using Duarte this afternoon, while Missouri calls on junior righty Andy Toelken on Sunday. Fans can watch the final game of this weekend’s conference series live on SEC Network.