Alabama baseball avoids sweep, wins at Mississippi State Sunday

Alabama+pitcher+Grayson+Hitt+prepares+to+throw+a+pitch+in+the+Crimson+Tide%E2%80%99s+6-2+win+against+the+Mississippi+State+Bulldogs+at+Dudy+Noble+Field+in+Starkville%2C+Mississippi.

Courtesy of UA Athletics

Alabama pitcher Grayson Hitt prepares to throw a pitch in the Crimson Tide’s 6-2 win against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Dudy Noble Field in Starkville, Mississippi.

Austin Hannon, Staff Reporter

Alabama (14-11, 2-4) baseball can breathe a sigh of relief after defeating the Mississippi State Bulldogs (15-10, 3-3) 6-2 in the final game of the series Sunday afternoon.

After suffering devastating losses on Friday and Saturday, the Crimson Tide took hold of the game in the ninth and didn’t let it slip this time.

“A big win on so many levels,” Alabama head coach Brad Bohannon said. “A really well-rounded effort for our club. We’ve got 80% of our SEC schedule left, and we’re going to be in a lot of tight games. The next time we’re in a tight game on the road, our guys will know that they can do it. You get better by playing good teams, and Mississippi State is a great team.” 

Pitcher Grayson Hitt controlled the mound, allowing just a single run on four hits in six full innings. Hitt walked four but also struck out five Bulldog hitters. He improved his ERA to 2.13 for the season. 

Fellow left-hander Antoine Jean, who usually is the Saturday starter for the Crimson Tide, played the reliever role Sunday. Jean was the only other pitcher for Alabama, going three full and allowing one unearned run in the seventh.

“Grayson [Hitt] gave us a great start, just like Jacob McNairy did yesterday and Garrett McMillan did on Friday,” Bohannon said. “Really proud of Antoine [Jean]. He hasn’t pitched out of the ‘pen’ much in his career. We’ve had some trouble closing games out this weekend, and Antoine did a great job of wiggling out of the jam in the eighth.”

The Crimson Tide once again had plenty of help from the offense, especially in the ninth inning. Holding a slim 3-2 lead going into the final frame, Alabama added three more insurance runs to put the game out of reach. 

First baseman Drew Williamson went 2-for-3 with a monster home run and two RBIs. Catcher Dominic Tamez and second baseman Bryce Eblin also had two knocks and an RBI each.

The Bulldogs were much less explosive at the dish on Sunday, tallying only one extra base hit.

And late in the game, when they are usually dynamite, Mississippi State went down quietly in the ninth inning. Catcher Logan Tanner was the only Bulldog with multiple hits. Mississippi State went 3-for-17 with runners on base and 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position.

Next up, the Crimson Tide will look to change their ways when they take on the South Alabama Jaguars on Tuesday, March 29. Alabama has already lost four midweek games this season. First pitch from Sewell-Thomas Stadium is set for 6 p.m. CT on SEC Network+. Following that will be a home weekend series with the Texas A&M Aggies.

Questions? Email the sports desk at sports@cw.ua.edu.