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Alabama Baseball Wins Series Finale on Wild Eighth-Inning Sequence Against Kentucky

Bama Central on FanNation 3/26/2023 Mason Smith
© Provided by Bama Central on FanNation

The chain of events that led to the Crimson Tide's game-winning run won't be forgotten anytime soon, but Alabama ended the series on a high note.

TUSCALOOSA, Alabama.— It was a crazy way for Alabama to close the series against Kentucky, but the Crimson Tide won the Sunday matinee against the Wildcats 4-3.

"We needed a win today," head coach Brad Bohannon said. "I felt like we haven't played well the last three games. You can feel the tension in the dugout.

"Really glad to get a win and I'm excited to keep moving forward."

Similar to the first game of the series, it was a low-scoring affair with a healthy amount of hits and baserunners, but the pitching by Alabama's Grayson Hitt and Kentucky's Zack Lee was solid.

The play of the game came in the bottom of the eighth inning with the score tied 3-3. William Hamiter and Ed Johnson were in scoring position for Alabama and Andrew Pinckney was at the plate. Pinckney hit a single to left field, scoring Hamiter and giving Alabama a 4-3 lead. 

Then it got chaotic.

Pinckney tried to stretch the hit into a double, but he overshot the bag and had to reach third base.

While this is happening, Johnson started to break for home when the infielder threw the ball to second base, but the action there caused Johnson to hesitate. After Pinckney broke for third, Johnson was forced home and was ultimately ruled out after a review because the ball was dropped.

"It's not something you can simulate in practice," Bohannon said. "Those are instinct plays."

An example of an instinctive play came when Alabama scored its third run: Johnson hit a hard ground ball to the first baseman and Jim Jarvis made a break for home plate. The first baseman fielded the ball cleanly but slipped. 

He then made the throw home, but Jarvis sneaked under the tag to tie the game at three runs each.

Outside of that sequence, it was back and forth between the two teams; every time Alabama scored, Kentucky responded with a run of its own. The Tide played most of the game from behind as the Wildcats scored in the opening half-inning of the game.

Regardless, Alabama came out with the win and improved to 19-6 and 2-4 in SEC play. Kentucky fell to 21-3 and 5-1 in conference play while also having its 17-game winning streak snapped.

Grayson Hitt wasn't credited with the win, but he had a solid outing, going six innings, giving up two runs and five hits while striking out five batters.

"We didn't have the hottest stretch recently, and I needed to just get ahead and do my thing," Hitt said. "I knew that we needed a big start, but I didn't feel a lot of pressure. I just wanted to have fun."

Kade Woods was credited with the win and he improved to 2-0.

Alabama's next game will be in Huntsville, Ala. against Middle Tennessee State, then the Tide will hit the road to take on Arkansas. The series with the Razorbacks will begin at 6:30 p.m. CT on Friday. It'll be broadcast on SEC Network+.

See also: What 2023 Alabama Basketball Team will be Remembered For

4-Star Quarterback Air Noland Lists Alabama Among Top 7

5 on 5: What We're Hearing About the Alabama Crimson Tide

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