For a third straight game, the Alabama baseball team spent most of the Sunday contest against Georgia fighting out of a hole.
For a second straight game, the Crimson Tide nearly reached the top but fell just short.
UA managed to put the potential winning run in scoring position in the bottom of the ninth inning but Keith Holcombe’s hard-hit ground ball was handled by Bulldog first baseman Adam Sasser for a putout, sealing a 6-5 Georgia win and giving the Bulldogs, who also took a 6-5 win on Saturday night, a 2-1 win in the weekend series.
“We’re two swings away from being 3-0 in the SEC, and I guess you could say we are a swing away from being 0-3,” Alabama coach Brad Bohannon said. “We really competed well, but there is just such a small margin of error in SEC baseball.
“In the bottom of the ninth, Keith hit it right on the screws with two outs and you can’t ask for more than that, a one-hop missile. But it was right at their first baseman.”
Alabama trailed 6-3 going into the bottom of the ninth but scored two runs on Chandler Avant’s two-run single to put the pressure on the Bulldogs.
As in the previous two games of the series, Alabama fell behind in the top of the first inning although it did limit the Bulldogs to just one run as Georgia’s Aaron Schunk scored on a wild pitch by UA starter Garrett Rukes.
The Crimson Tide evened the score at 1-1 in the fourth inning on Chandler Taylor’s solo home run, his eighth of the season.
Georgia regained the lead in the fifth inning as two walks, a balk and a wild pitch, sandwiched around a two-run single by Bulldog shortstop Cam Shepherd, pushed the lead to 4-3.
Alabama (16-5, 1-2 SEC) had a bases-loaded, no-out situation in the bottom of the seventh inning but failed to score. Georgia took advantage with two insurance in the eighth inning on a two-run, two-out home run by catcher Mason Meadows.
“To their credit, our guys kept competing,” Bohannon said.
Tony Locey was the winning pitcher for Georgia (14-6, 2-1 SEC) with Zac Kristofak working three innings for his second save of the season. Davis Vainer (2-1) took the loss for Alabama.
The Crimson Tide returns to action Tuesday night at UAB.
Reach Cecil Hurt at email@example.com or 205-722-0225.