April 22, 2014
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Mason Robbins went 4-for-4 and drove in four runs to help lift the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles to a 6-3 victory over the eighth-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide on Tuesday night at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. Alabama falls to 28-13 with the loss, and Southern Mississippi improves to 25-17.
"Overall, it was a poor performance, our energy level was low tonight and we set a bad tone," Alabama head coach Mitch Gaspard said. "On the mound, we didn't throw enough strikes and we stayed behind the count too much. They finally took advantage of it in the sixth inning. "Mason (Robbins) had a heck of a night for them, and when you play good opponents like Southern Miss those things can't happen."
USM starting pitcher Cameron Giannini (3-2) was the winning pitcher after allowing one run on five hits and four walks, with five strikeouts in 5.2 innings. A.J Glasshof and Ryan Milton combined for 2.1 scoreless frames out of the Southern Mississippi bullpen.
Geoffrey Bramblett (3-1) was charged with the loss after allowing three runs on three hits and a walk with a strikeout in 3.1 relief innings. Alabama used a total of five pitchers, highlighted by 1.2 perfect frames by Mitch Greer to close out the game and two scoreless innings in a start from Nick Eicholtz.
Offensively, the Tide came away with nine hits, as Ben Moore led the way with a single, double and an RBI triple. Moore's night marked his sixth straight game with multiple hits and the seventh game of the last eight with two or more knocks. Chance Vincent was 2-for-3 with a single, a double and a run scored and Mikey White was 1-for-3 with an RBI single and a run scored and Kyle Overstreet accounted for the Tide other run with a sacrifice fly.
"On the offensive end, we didn't have enough quality at-bats," Gaspard said. "We had some leadoff guys at the end and didn't take advantage of it. We had a base running mistake and a couple of other things, and I thought on our end it just wasn't a good performance tonight. I take responsibility for that, and our guys have to come out on Tuesday with more energy and perform at a higher level."
Robbins' 4-for-4 night was highlighted by a two-run home run in the eighth inning to put the Golden Eagles up 6-1 late. Southern Mississippi also got an RBI from Nick Dawson and a 2-for-4 night from Dylan Burdeaux, who also scored two runs.
After neither team could manufacture a run in the first three innings, Southern Mississippi ended the drought with a run in the fourth. Bradley Roney was hit by the first pitch, he advanced to third on two straight ground outs. Robbins finished the inning with a single just out of the reach of Overstreet at second to put the Golden Eagles up, 1-0.
After blanking the Tide for two more frames, Southern Miss tacked on three more runs in the top of the sixth. Matt Durst and Roney set up men on second and third on a single and double, respectively, before Austin Roussel walked to load the bases. The Golden Eagles got an RBI single from Robbins and an RBI groundout from Dawson, while adding another run on a wild pitch for a 4-0 lead.
Alabama got a run back in the sixth when Overstreet drove in Moore on a sacrifice fly, but the Golden Eagles erased the Tide's progress with a two-run home run by Robbins in the eighth.
In the ninth, the Tide started a rally behind a White RBI single and a Moore RBI triple, but the Eagles bullpen was able to put out the fire to hold on for a 6-3 win.
The Alabama baseball team next returns to action in Columbia, S.C., for a Southeastern Conference weekend set with the South Carolina Gamecocks. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. on Friday, 1 p.m. on Saturday, and at 12 p.m. on Saturday. ESPN will televise the games on Saturday and Sunday.
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Alabama Game Notes
*After today's matchup, Alabama fell to 72-28 all-time against Southern Mississippi.
*Alabama suffered its third loss of the season over 31 games in which it scores three or more runs.
* The Crimson Tide is 19-6 in games played in Sewell-Thomas Stadium this season.
*Ben Moore posted a multiple-hit game for the sixth straight game and for the seventh time during his eight-game reaching base streak.
*Over that span, Moore is hitting .455 (15-of-33) with two home runs, a triple, two doubles, nine RBI and 10 runs scored.
*Moore took sole possession of the team lead with his 17th multi-hit game of the season, which also marked his fourth game of the season with three hits, as well as the 57th of his career.
*Mikey White reached base safely for the eighth straight game.
*Wade Wass extended his hitting streak to nine games.
*Austen Smith reached base safely for the 11th straight game making that his longest streak of the season.
*Casey Hughston recorded a base hit for the eighth consecutive game, the longest streak of his career.