Tide Takes First SEC Series by Downing Kentucky, 12-11


Sunday, May 16, 2004

Zac Welch
Zac Welch

» Box Score

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Jake Kungl was 4-for-5 with two runs batted in, and Kentucky pounded out 11 runs on 14 hits, but it was not enough, as the Cats fell to the Alabama Crimson Tide, 12-11, on Sunday in Lexington. The win gave the Tide the series and dropped the Wildcats to 23-27 on the season, including a 7-20 mark in Southeastern Conference play. Alabama improved to 29-23, 10-17 in the SEC.

Kentucky scored six times in the bottom of the sixth inning to turn a 6-5 deficit into an 11-6 lead, but Alabama responded with six of its own in the top of the seventh. Kentucky mounted another rally in the bottom of the eighth, putting runners on first and second with two outs. Joe Naill worked the count full and, after several foul balls, laced a line drive into left-center field that hung up just long enough for Alabama centerfielder Matt Grooms to make a full-extension diving catch and end the inning.

"I'm really pleased with our effort today," said UK head coach John Cohen. "We hit a number of balls hard and they just did not fall today. Today just wasn't our day."

Alabama raced out to a 4-0 lead in the top half of the first inning. Allen Rice and Carlos Sosa opened the game with consecutive doubles. After a pop up for the first out, Gabe Scott singled in Sosa to make it 2-0. The lead doubled when Zac Welch launched his seventh home run of the season. UK reliever Andy Myette then came on to hold the Tide scoreless until the fifth when Michael McCallister hit a two-run homer over the wall in center. That blast made it a 6-3 Alabama lead after UK had scored a run in the third and Billy Grace had hit his third home run of the season, a two-run job in the fourth.

Kentucky got two more runs in the bottom of the fifth when Mike Breyman scored on a passed ball and Kungl singled in Caleb Stewart.

The UK offense erupted for six runs on seven hits in the bottom of the sixth. After Justin Scutchfield reached on a fielder's choice with one out, six consecutive hits, the big blow coming on a bases-clearing double from Breyman, who finished the game 2-for-4 with four RBI.

Alabama answered right back with six of its own in the top of the seventh. Welch, Grooms and David Ferazza each had run-scoring hits during the rally. Allen Rice then singled to score Ferazza with what would turn out to be the game's winning run.

Alabama relief pitcher Andrew Walker (4-0) worked 3 1/3 scoreless innings to pick up his fourth win. Taylor Tankersley recorded the game's final out to earn his fourth save. UK reliever Adam Kunkel (1-3) took the loss.

Michael Bertram, Casey Gilvin and Grace joined Kungl and Breyman with multi-hit games. Rice, Welch and Ferazza posted three hits each for the Tide.


*Alabama defeated Kentucky 12-11 on Sunday afternoon in Lexington to earn its first SEC series win of the season.  The Crimson Tide snapped an 11 series
SEC losing streak with the win. Prior to Sunday, Alabama had not won an SEC series since sweeping No. 15 Arkansas on April 25-27, 2003 in Tuscaloosa

*Alabama scored six runs in the top of the seventh inning to erase an 11-6 deficit to take a 12-11 lead.  Junior first baseman Zac Welch plated the first
run with an RBI single.  Junior CF Matt Grooms added a two-run double and sophomore catcher David Ferazza and junior 2B Allen Rice added RBI singles as UA tied the game at 11-11.  Sophomore 3B Evan Bush then drove home the winning run with a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Ferazza with the game-winner.

*The series win at Kentucky was also snapped an 11 series SEC road losing streak, dating back to the 2002 season.  UA's last road series win before Sunday
was a three-game sweep at Kentucky on April 12-14, 2002.

*Alabama improved to 5-11 (.313) in one-run games with Sunday's win, including a 2-7 (.222) mark in SEC play.

*Bama also snapped a four-game losing streak in one-run games with Sunday's win over Kentucky. The win was Bama's first one-run win since beating UAB 5-4
on April 14 at the Hoover Met.

*Alabama's win at Kentucky also snapped a six-game SEC losing streak in one-run games. The last time UA won a one-run SEC game was a 2-1 come-from-behind win against No. 5 Ole Miss on March 27.

*Alabama has a 21-game winning streak in when scoring 10 or mroe runs, including Sunday's 12-11 win at Kentucky.  Bama is 12-0 in games this season when scoring 10 or more runs.  Dating back to the 2000 season, Alabama is 69-1 in its last 70 games when scoring in double figures.

*Rice had three hits and a career high six at-bats in Sunday's win.  He doubled and scored the first run of the game in the first inning and plated the
tying run with a base hit in the seventh inning.

*Welch also added three hits and three RBI in the win at UK, including a two-run home run in the Tide's four-run first inning.  Welch also added an RBI
single in Bama's six-run, seventh inning.

*Ferazza went 3-for-3 with one run scored and one RBI in the win.  The three hits were a career high for the Alabama backup catcher.  Ferazza drove in a
run with an infield single in the seventh inning and later scored the winning run on Bush's sac fly.

*Bush went 0-for-2 on Sunday to see hit 12-game hitting streak snapped. Despite no hits, Bush drove in the winning run with a sacrifice fly in the seventh
inning to score Ferazza from third base to give the Tide a 12-11 lead.

*The sac fly was the eighth of the year by Bush, tying Clint Thompson's school record of eight sac flies set in 1987.

*Junior RHP Andrew Walker (3.1, 2 H, BB, 2 K) picked up his first SEC win of the season with a strong outing out of the pen for Alabama.  He entered the
game with the Tide trailing 11-6 and then benefitted from a six-run top of the seventh inning for the win.  Walker improves to 4-0 on the season with the win at UK.

*Junior LHP Taylor Tankersley, who was the tough-luck loser on Saturday with four-plus innings of relief work, struck out Michael Bertram with the tying
run on base in the bottom of the ninth for his fourth save of the year.

*The Bat Cats recorded six runs and eights hits in the sixth inning off senior RHP Seth Johnson, who suffered his seventh straight tough outing out of the
pen.  Since April 16, Johnson has allowed 18 earned runs (12.76 ERA) in his last 12 2/3 innings for the Tide.