Baseball loses Game 2 to No. 20 Auburn despite hot start Saturday afternoon


Courtesy of UA Athletics

Alabama starting pitcher Jacob McNairy (34) prepares to throw a pitch in the Crimson Tide’s 6-4 loss to the No. 20 Auburn Tigers on May 14 at Plainsman Park in Auburn, Alabama.

Austin Hannon | @austin_hannon1, Sports Editor

After losing its 12th one-run game Friday night, the Alabama Crimson Tide came out with a vengeance on Saturday afternoon.

The Crimson Tide (27-24, 10-16) jumped out to a red-hot start, scoring four runs on four hits in the opening frame against the No. 20 Auburn Tigers (35-16, 15-11). Auburn starter Trace Bright only lasted that one inning.

Designated hitter William Hamiter blasted a three-run home run to right center to cap off an impressive first inning.

But Bright was the only pitcher that Alabama was able to crack in its 6-4 loss to the Tigers in Game 2 on Saturday.

The Crimson Tide was only able to pick up two hits the remainder of the eight innings played.

Alabama starter Jacob McNairy dodged bullets through the first three innings, and the Crimson Tide carried its four-run lead into the fourth inning.

Auburn scored six runs over the following four innings to emerge victorious – winning the weekend series in the process.

McNairy was not at his best, going six full innings allowing nine hits and striking out just one. But he only let in three earned runs, and left the game tied.

In his one inning of work, RHP Dylan Ray saw the lead evaporate, allowing two runs on three hits.

The Tigers were impressive hitting with two outs, going 6-for-12 in those spots. Similar to Friday night, when Auburn needed a big hit, it got it.

One of those to pick up big hits was right fielder Bobby Peirce, who went 2-for-4 with two RBIs. Peirce gave the Tigers life in the fourth inning when he sent a ball over the wall in left center. And with the game on the line in the seventh, he picked up the game-winning RBI single to put Auburn up 5-4.

Third baseman Blake Rambusch was also impressive, tallying three hits and an RBI.

The Tigers’ most dangerous bat, first baseman Sonny DiChiara, is still hitless in the three-game set. But it hasn’t mattered yet, as Auburn goes for the sweep tomorrow.

“We did a great job of coming out hot in the first inning,” Alabama head coach Brad Bohannon said. “We got that big double, and then the big homer with people on base – [William Hamiter] did that with the three-run homer for us. It can feel like we lost the game in the middle or late because we gave up runs in four straight innings, but really we gave away too many at-bats after the first inning and I think that’s where we lost the ballgame today.”

The Crimson Tide will continue to keep its eye on the conference standings. With only 12 of the 14 teams earning bids to the SEC Tournament, Alabama currently sits in 11th place. The Crimson Tide has 10 wins, while Kentucky and Mississippi State both have nine. Missouri sits at the bottom with eight victories.

With No. 4 Arkansas coming to Tuscaloosa next weekend, Game 3 against Auburn is a crucial spot for Alabama to pick up a much-needed win.

First pitch from Plainsman Park on Sunday is at 3 p.m. on the SEC Network. LHP Grayson Hitt (5.02 ERA)  will be on the mound for the Crimson Tide.