Tide Downs Auburn to Advance to SEC Championship Game, 13-3


Saturday, May 24, 2003

Adam Pavkovich
Adam Pavkovich

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*Alabama (36-22) advanced to the SEC Tournament championship game with a 13-3 win over No. 13 Auburn (40-19) in a game that was stopped after seven innings due to the SEC Tournament 10-run rule.

*The No. 7 seed Crimson Tide matches Arkansas as the lowest seed to ever reach the SEC Tournament Championship game.  No. 7 seed Arkansas dropped a 7-5 decision to No. 5 seed Auburn in the 1998 title game.

*Alabama is trying to become the lowest seed to ever win the SEC Tournament.  That honor is previously held by Auburn, who won the 1998 championship as the No. 5 seed.

*Alabama advances to the SEC Tournament Championship game for the seventh time in school history and the sixth time in eight tourney appearances.  The Crimson Tide is also playing in it second straight SEC Tournament championship game for the first time since 1996-97.

*Alabama has never lost an SEC Tournament Championship game in its six previous appearances.  The Crimson Tide has won the league’s post-season title in 1983, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999 and 2002.

*Alabama is gunning for its second straight SEC Tournament championship for the first time since winning three in a row from 1995-96-97. 

*The Crimson Tide won both SEC Tournament meetings with Auburn and claimed the overall season series 3-2.  Dating back to last year, Alabama has won seven of the last nine meetings with Auburn.

*Alabama junior right-hander Seth Johnson tossed a complete-game shutout in the Crimson Tide’s 13-3 win over Auburn.  Johnson limited the Tigers to three runs and nine hits, while adding one walk and 11 strikeouts.

*Johnson’s 11 strikeouts tied the Alabama post season record for most strikeouts set by Jarrod Kingrey against Kentucky at the 1998 SEC Tournament here at the Hoover Met. 

*The 11 strikeouts also matched Johnson’s career high set in his last win over No. 15 Arkansas at Sewell-Thomas Stadium on April 27. 

*Prior to the win over Auburn, Johnson had lost his last three starts for the Crimson Tide and was only 1-5 in his last six starts on the mound.

*The junior posted two wins over Auburn this season, posting 20 strikeouts in 14 innings against the Tigers. 

*Alabama junior shortstop Adam Pavkovich collected his 25th double of the season, moving him into a second place tie with Andy Phillips (1999) for the second place on the school’s single-season charts.  David Magadan, the 2003 SEC Player of the Year and Golden Spikes Award winner, holds the UA record with 31 doubles in 1983.

*Pavkovich also hit his 10th home run of the season, a solo shot in the 5th inning, to give the Crimson Tide the lead for good at 3-2. The solo home run was Pavkovich’s first career home run and first career RBI in 36 career at bats against Auburn.

*Alabama hit two home runs in the win over Auburn, snapping a three-game homerless streak.  Pavkovich’s solo home run in the fifth inning was UA’s first home run in 34 innings over five games, its longest drought of the season.

*Sophomore second baseman Allen Rice had three hits and five RBI in the win over Auburn, including a three-run double and two-run home run.  The five RBI matches his career high set earlier this season against Georgia (Mar. 15), where he had two home runs and five RBI.

*Junior left fielder Ryan Beagle had three hits and three RBI, both career highs in the win over the Tigers.