Late Rally Helps Alabama Clinch Capital City Classic Title in 6-3 Win over No. 12 Auburn
A three-run eighth helped Alabama baseball secure a 6-3 win over 12th-ranked Auburn in the annual MAX Capital City Classic on Tuesday evening in Montgomery. The victory was UA’s first in the neutral site matchup since 2014 and improved the Crimson Tide’s overall record to 20-6.
"Hopefully this game gives our guys confidence next time we're in a tight game late against a really good team," Alabama head coach Brad Bohannon said. "We're 3-3 in our last six against ranked opponents. We're leaving a lot of meat on the bone – we have to get more efficient offensively; we have to play cleaner; play better; but I'm glad to get a win against a very good team."
The Crimson Tide scored one in the second but was matched by Auburn in the top of the fourth. Alabama rallied in the bottom half of the fourth for a pair with AU countering once again with a run. The Tigers posted one more run in the seventh to tie things up for a short period of time before the Tide recorded three runs in the bottom of the eighth to secure the win.
Leading the UA offense was Drew Williamson who was named the game’s Most Valuable Player. The freshman finished a perfect 4-for-4 with a double and two runs scored. Senior Joe Breaux also contributed a multi-hit effort, finishing 2-for-3 with a double plus a team a team-high three RBI and two walks. The Crimson Tide utilized a season-high eight arms on the mound with Jeremy Randolph (1-0) earning his first win of the season. The graduate tossed the final 2.1 scoreless innings, striking out two including the game’s final out.
Alabama was first on the board on Tuesday, crossing one in the home half of the second. A leadoff walk followed by a sac bunt put a man in scoring position for Williamson. The Tide first baseman sent a single to right field to score the man from second and give the Tide a one-run lead. Auburn answered one inning later with a run in the top of the fourth to knot things up at 1-1.
The Tide came right back with a two-run fourth to regain its lead. A one-out single from junior Brett Auerbach followed by another single from Williamson put runners on the corners. One out later a walk loaded the bases for Johnny Hawk. The junior drew a walk to force across a runner and an AU pitching change. The Tiger reliever then proceeded to walk Breaux, pushing one more home to give Alabama the 3-1 advantage.
Auburn added one in the top of the fifth to continue the string of scoring and evened things up two frames later the top of the seventh to make it a 3-3 game heading to the home stretch. Alabama was able to break the tie with a three-hit, three-run eighth to put the game out of reach.
With one down, Williamson doubled to right-center field to get the eighth-inning rally started. A walk in the next at-bat put two on and a fielder’s choice cut the runner at second but placed Williamson 90 feet away. He would come home in the next at-bat thanks to a wild pitch by Auburn, putting the Tide in front. A walk added one more runner for Breaux, who proceeded to double to left-center to add a pair and make it a 6-3 game, the eventual final.
Alabama will now head to Gainesville for a three-game series with the 15th-ranked Florida Gators from March 29-31. The two teams are scheduled for a 5:30 p.m. CT start on both Friday and Saturday followed by a Noon first pitch on getaway day. All three games will air live on SEC Network+.
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