Baseball loses Vanderbilt series


By Hannah Saad

Cody Estremera, Sports Editor

The long ball killed Alabama baseball’s chance to tie its series against Vanderbilt, as the Commodores hit five home runs in their 13-5 win.

Vanderbilt started its scoring onslaught in the second inning. A single and a walk set the stage for center fielder Pat DeMarco. He worked a full count before drilling a ball to dead-center field for a three-run home run.

One inning later, right fielder JJ Bleday launched an 0-2 pitch into his team’s bullpen more than 360 feet away for a two-run home run.

The Commodores added their sixth run of the game in the fourth when a dropped fly ball scored a runner from first.

Alabama scratched across a run in the fourth and fifth innings to close the gap. The run in the fourth came off the bat of Brett Auerbach, who hit a slow dribbler towards third, while the run in the fifth was scored on a sacrifice fly by T.J. Reeves.

The only crooked number for the Crimson Tide came in the sixth. With runners on second and third, Joe Breaux hit a slow roller down the first-base line, scoring the runner on third. A wild pitch scored the other run.

Vanderbilt added three runs in the seventh, two of which came off a home run by Ty Duvall that landed in the third row of the student section in right field.

Four more Vanderbilt runs crossed the plate in the top of the ninth. It hit two very long home runs, one of which went over the scoreboard in left field.

Brock Love started for Alabama. He lasted four innings, allowing six runs (five earned) off six hits. He also struck out six.

“I thought Brock pitched a lot better than his stat line tonight,” coach Brad Bohannon said. “The park was playing really offensive tonight. The wind was blowing out, and Brock is a guy that gives up more fly balls than ground balls… I was not disappointed in Brock’s outing.”

Davis Vainer threw the next 2 2/3 innings. He allowed a pair of runs while striking out six batters.

Vanderbilt’s starter Kuymar Rocker dominated the Crimson Tide in his five innings of work. He allowed a pair of runs off one hit. He struggled some with his command, allowing four walks. He had allowed just eight walks coming into the game.

Most of Alabama’s damage came against Zach King. It tagged him with two runs and five of its six hits.

The only player to record multiple hits was Auerbach, who finished 2-for-4 with an RBI and run scored.

“We have to pitch better, we need to hit better, we have to field better, we need to run the bases better, we have to coach better,” Bohannon said. “Everything needs to get better for the result to change.”

The series finale will take place on Sunday at 1 p.m. Jeremy Randolph will make his first Alabama start.