Tide gets back on track with 5-4 win over Samford

Kevin Connell

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The streak ends at one.

That’s how long the Alabama baseball team was on a losing streak before it returned to its winning ways Tuesday with a 5-4 win over the Samford Bulldogs.

Just a year ago, the Crimson Tide (7-1) could usually only maintain winning streaks of one or two games before going on long losing streaks – nearly a 180-degree turnaround from where they stand now.

But the mantra for this year’s Tide is “this team is different,” and that’s exactly what they continued to prove Tuesday.

“I thought it was a real battle tonight,” head coach Mitch Gaspard said. “I thought our team hung in there and kept the game within striking distance.”

Early on, it didn’t appear that this was going to be Alabama’s night as the team collectively struggled at the plate.

Samford got on the board first after Bulldogs right fielder Damon Waller’s groundout to third allowed first baseman Caleb Bryson to score from third.

In the following inning, the Bulldogs looked like they may run away with this game adding two more runs to extend their lead to 3-0.

It was not an unusual position for the Tide, who have gone down early in nearly every game this season before rallying from behind in the later innings to win.

The Tide got things going in the fifth inning after two separate throwing errors cut the deficit to just 3-2.

A two-run RBI single to center field by freshman second baseman Kyle Overstreet in the same inning gave the Tide a 4-3 lead that it would not relinquish.

“We put quality at-bats together the whole game,” freshman shortstop Mikey White said. “We hit the ball just right at people, so I knew one inning we’d catch a break and that happened to be the fifth.”

Freshman right-hander Mitch Greer (1-0) came on in relief in the fifth with the Tide trailing 3-0 to record his first career win. He allowed just one hit and one walk with two strikeouts in two innings of work.

Greer helped get the Tide back in business after getting two big outs for the Tide in the top of the fifth.

“I just came in and tried to get two outs,” Greer said. “I just try to get up there and bring energy and just pound the strike zone.”

Sophomore left-hander Justin Kamplain gave one back to the Bulldogs in the eighth after senior left fielder Christiaan Durdaller hit a solo home run to cut the Tide’s lead to 5-4. It would be the only hit and run Kamplain would allow as he would go on to record his second save of the season in the ninth.

The Tide returns to the diamond this Friday at home to face the Tulane Green Wave for a three-game series. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 p.m.

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