Samford entered Tuesday night’s game at Sewell-Thomas Stadium on a hot streak. Alabama came in with a three-game losing streak, minus three of its regular starters.
The Bulldogs took a lead in the first inning, and the Crimson Tide never responded. Samford beat Alabama 6-0 for its 13th straight win, while UA lost its fourth in a row.
“That’s a good team and it’s a good recipe for getting your butt kicked: Playing with low energy and not focusing every play, not defending the field and playing against a good opponent,” coach Brad Bohannon said. “It was a bad night for us.”
Alabama finished with two hits to tie its season low, and its three errors were the most in a nine-inning game.
The Alabama offense finished with two singles, one walk and one batter hit by a pitch. Only one runner advanced past first base all night.
“Really, really poor effort,” Bohannon said. “That’s what I talked to the team about. I thought it was our lowest level of energy, our least amount of focus and competitiveness at the plate. We made three errors defensively. We really didn’t do anything well tonight.
Starting second baseman Chandler Avant missed the game after fouling a ball off his foot over the weekend against Texas A&M. Outfielder Joe Breaux was out with an illness, and outfielder Keith Holcombe rolled his ankle over the weekend. Bohannon was hopeful that all three would be back for Alabama’s weekend series against Auburn.
Their absences may have hurt Alabama.
“It sure seems that way,” he said. “In season 17 (of coaching) now, you get into April and May, the college kids just aren’t as durable as the 25-, 30-year-old men we watch on TV. Knock on wood, we’ve been really healthy this year. In the whole scheme of things, these are minor things that we can work through.”
Starter Mason Duke lasted just two innings, giving up six hits. Samford scored in the top of the first with a single, double and fielder’s choice from consecutive hitters. Designated hitter Brooks Carlson hit a home run in the sixth inning that banged against the top of the scoreboard in left field. The Bulldogs got two more runs in the top of the ninth to put the game away.
Sophomore Davis Vainer threw three shutout innings in relief of Duke. Sam Gardner pitched three innings and freshman Brock Guffey pitched the ninth.
Catcher Sam Praytor and shortstop Jett Manning had Alabama’s two hits.
“It’s got to get better,” Bohannon said. “It’s not good enough.”
Reach Ben Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org or 205-722-0196.