No. 19 Baseball Falls to Samford 4-2
April 5, 2011
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The No. 19 Alabama baseball team fell to in-state foe Samford by a score of 4-2 on Tuesday night at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. The big blow for Samford came on a three-run home run by Phillip Ervin in the third inning, as the Crimson Tide (21-10) lost for just the third time at home this season.
"For this team to win, it has to play with good energy, it has to play with good effort, and we have to compete like crazy," UA head coach Mitch Gaspard said. "We didn't do a real good job of that tonight. When we don't do that, it is going to be real hard for us to win."
Junior center fielder Taylor Dugas finished the night 1-for-4 with two RBI's and one run scored, all of which came on the back of his fifth inning home run. Junior designated hitter Josh Rosecrans and sophomore third baseman Brett Booth each accounted for the Crimson Tide's two other hits.
Freshman right-handed pitcher Case Nixon (0-1) took the loss for UA, allowing three runs on one hit with three walks in one inning of work. Bulldogs starter C.K. Irby (3-1) earned the victory, pitching 3.0 innings and allowing just one hit.
Samford (20-11) used seven different pitchers on the night that kept the Crimson Tide hitters off balance for much of the game, holding UA to a season-low three hits for the second game in a row. Four Bulldog pitchers combined to pitch the final four innings, allowing just one hit and no runs while striking out four, as Alabama could not pull off the late-inning comeback. In addition to allowing only three hits, Samford pitchers issued just two walks, while hitting one batter, over the course of the game.
"We have to get back to work, get back to grinding, and get back to knowing who we are," Gaspard said. "From the pitching side, I thought overall we did a pretty nice job. It was a Tuesday game and we threw a lot of different guys. We have got to be able to score more than two runs on a Tuesday, we have to get up to more like five runs to be competitive."
Samford struck first with a three-run home run by Ervin in the top of the third inning to give the Bulldogs a 3-0 advantage. The Crimson Tide had runners on first and second with no outs in the bottom of the inning, but was unable to push any runners across the plate.
Samford added another run in the top of the fifth on an Ervin RBI single, before Alabama got on the scoreboard in the bottom half of the inning on Dugas' home run. The junior from Lafayette, La., powered a 2-0 pitch over the wall in right-center field for a two-run home run, his third of the year, to cut the Bulldog advantage to 4-2.
After a scoreless sixth and seventh from both teams, the Tide escaped a bases-loaded jam in the eighth to keep the score at 4-2, but could not come up with any runs over the final two innings.
No. 19 Alabama travels to Nashville, Tenn., this weekend for a three-game set with No. 1 Vanderbilt. Friday night's game will be televised by CSS starting at 6 p.m. CT.