Feb. 23, 2014
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - In the second extra-inning game of the series, Wade Wass delivered the walk-off single in the bottom of the 10th inning to give the No. 21 Alabama baseball team a 3-2 win over Stephen F. Austin to clinch the series win.
Kyle Overstreet's single up the middle ignited the rally in the 10th inning. Ryan Blanchard followed with a single up the middle to put runners on first and second base. Wass then lined a single through the left side to score Overstreet and give Alabama the win.
"Offensively, I thought we put some good swings on the ball early in the game, but nothing really happened for us," Alabama head coach Mitch Gaspard said. "Later in the game, we just grinded. Overstreet hit the big home run, and then Wass delivered the game-winning hit. We need to take the momentum we have now into next week, which is going to be a real tough week for us on the road."
Overstreet - who also tied the game in the eighth inning with a solo home run to left field - recorded his first multi-hit game of the season. The home run was also the first of his career. Hunter Webb also recorded the first multi-hit game of his career along with a walk, a stolen base, and a run scored. Austen Smith pitched in a pair of singles.
Jon Keller (2-0) picked up the win in the longest relief outing of his career, striking out six in five scoreless innings, and allowing two hits and one walk. Ray Castillo went five innings as the starter, allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits with four strikeouts.
"On the pitching end of it, I was really encouraged by (starting pitcher) Ray (Castillo)," Gaspard said. "Coming off last week, it was good to see him sharp. He had a pretty clean five innings. As for (Jon) Keller, he repeated what he did last weekend out of the bullpen. He was super sharp. He pitched in some big spots. It was huge to keep them to one run in the sixth when they had the bases loaded and nobody out.
Kevin Bishop (0-2) was charged with the loss in relief of starter Dillon Mangham, giving up the winning run on three hits in 0.1 innings pitched. Mangham pitched all nine regulation innings for the Lumberjacks, giving up two runs (one earned) on eight hits and three walks with six strikeouts.
After reaching second on a misplayed fly ball in left, the Lumberjacks' Ricardo Sanchez was bunted over to third and crossed home plate on a groundout to open the scoring in the fourth. However, Alabama got the run right back, as Salem singled through the right side to plate Webb in the next inning.
The Lumberjacks got three consecutive singles from Matthew Dickey, Sanchez, and Joseph Olson. The Tide then went to the bullpen for Keller, who got two strikeouts and a pop out, but surrendered a bases loaded walk to pinch hitter Zach Marberry to put the Lumberjacks up 2-1. Again, the Tide came back to tie it behind Overstreet's first career homer, setting up the extra-inning dramatics.
The Alabama Crimson Tide returns to action on Tuesday with a midweek matchup against the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles, with first pitch set for 6 p.m. After that, the Tide travels to Lafayette for a weekend matchup with the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns. First pitch is slated for 6 p.m. on Friday, 2 p.m. on Saturday, and 1 p.m. on Sunday. Saturday's matchup will be broadcast on MyWLAF and ESPN3.
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Alabama Game Notes
*Alabama's starting lineup Sunday included three freshmen, the most of any game this season, with freshmen Will Haynie starting behind the plate, Casey Hughston earning the start in left field and Hunter Webb serving as the designated hitter.
*Webb had the first multi-hit game of his career, slugging a single and a double.
*Georgie Salem went 1-for-4 Sunday to finish the series with a total of eight hits, the most for a three-game series in his career, and the most among Alabama position players this season.
*With his first inning single, Mikey White has reached base in a team-high seven straight games.
*Kyle Overstreet's solo blast in the eighth inning was the first home run of his career.
*Overstreet added a single in the 10th inning to finish with his first multi-hit game of the season and 18th of his career.
*Jon Keller pitched the final 5.0 innings in relief to earn the win, his longest outing since April 5, 2013 vs. Arkansas, and the longest relief outing of his career.
*Keller has now pitched 9.0 consecutive scoreless innings this season.
*Alabama is now 2-1 against all-time against Stephen F. Austin.
*Alabama head coach Mitch Gaspard improved to 6-3 against the Lumberjacks in his career.