Denton’s 10th-inning blast lifts Alabama over No. 9 Ole Miss Saturday

Denton’s 10th-inning blast lifts Alabama over No. 9 Ole Miss Saturday

Austin Hannon, Staff Reporter

Alabama is fully in rhythm.

The Crimson Tide won their fourth consecutive SEC game in a 12-10 extra-innings win over the ninth-ranked Ole Miss Rebels at Swayze Field on Saturday afternoon.

The win clinches the weekend series, which is the Crimson Tide’s first series win in Oxford, Mississippi, since 2011.

While Alabama led most of Friday night to take game one, Saturday was a back-and-forth affair. The two teams combined for eight home runs and 27 hits. The Crimson Tide led 3-2 before the Rebels scored five straight to take a 7-3 lead in the fourth. Alabama then scored seven unanswered capped off by a grand slam by first baseman Drew Williamson in the seventh inning. The Rebels attacked the Crimson Tide bullpen, scoring two in the eighth and one in the ninth to extend the game to extra innings.

After designated hitter William Hamiter singled with two outs in the 10th, third baseman Zane Denton smashed a breaking ball over the wall in right center field to put Alabama back on top. After allowing the game-tying home run in the ninth, Dylan Ray slammed the door in the bottom of the 10th inning.

After solidifying his role as the Crimson Tide’s Saturday starter a couple of weeks ago, Jacob McNairy struggled in his last start against Texas A&M a week ago. The struggles continued Saturday against the Rebels, with McNairy surrendering 10 hits and seven runs in just 3.2 innings pitched. Lefty Jake Leger relieved him and struck out eight batters over four innings.

The Rebels scored all but one of their runs by the long ball, hitting six in total. Shortstop and leadoff hitter Jacob Gonzalez hit three of them himself, recording six RBIs. Infielders Reagan Burford, Peyton Chatagnier and Tim Elko all homered as well.

Williamson and outfielder Andrew Pinckney both recorded three hits, and Williamson had five RBIs.

“This was an amazing effort from so many guys who made so many winning plays today,” Alabama head coach Brad Bohannon said. “We kept fighting all game. The way Dylan Ray responded after the home run was huge. Drew Williamson had the big grand slam. Obviously, Zane [Denton] had the big home run. Tommy Seidl had the amazing catch in right in the ninth. And the list goes on and on. It was just a really complete team effort and a huge, huge win today.”

The Crimson Tide will look to secure the series sweep in the finale on Sunday, with first pitch coming at 2 p.m. CT on the SEC Network. Left-hander Grayson Hitt (2.45 ERA) will get the start.