Alabama dominates South Carolina in SEC Tournament Opener
HOOVER, Ala. – Alabama baseball used a six-run third inning to put the game out of reach early on the way to a 9-3 win over No. 24 South Carolina on Tuesday afternoon at the Hoover Met. The win advances the Crimson Tide to the double-elimination portion of the 2021 SEC Tournament and sets UA at 30-22 overall on the season.
The Crimson Tide delivered the decisive blow early with a six-run third inning. The third frame was highlighted by an RBI-double from Peyton Wilson, a two-run single from Owen Diodati and a three-run home run from Jackson Tate. The Tide added two more in the fourth and one run in the sixth with South Carolina matching each time, but the Gamecocks would get no closer resulting in a 9-3 final.
Alabama’s offense was led by Wilson with the sophomore finishing 3-for-5 with two doubles, an RBI and two runs scored. Tate paced UA in RBI with three as part of his 1-for-5 effort that included one run. Also posting a pair of RBI were Diodati and Sam Praytor with Praytor’s both coming by way of the sacrifice fly.
The early run support helped Tide starter Tyler Ras (7-4) settle in and pick up his team-leading seventh win. Ras allowed three runs on five hits and a walk with four punchouts across his 6.0 innings of work to post his eighth quality start of the season. Brock Guffey followed Ras, contributing 3.0 scoreless frames to earn his second save of the season.
From Head Coach Brad Bohannon
“The kids were excited. We had a really spirited workout yesterday, and I’m not surprised at all that our kids brought their best effort. We pitched well – Tyler Ras gave us a huge start of both good innings and also going deep in the game on short rest. And Brock Guffey did a great job for three innings of putting up zeroes and helping us save our bullpen. We made a couple of diving plays and played clean defense. We had production up and down the lineup. It was just a really complete game for us. I’m really happy for the kids, proud of them, and excited that we get to play at least two more days.”
How It Happened
- T3 | The Crimson Tide took the early advantage with six runs. Caden Rose started the rally, reaching on a a strike-three wild pitch that would have gone for out No. 2. Rose moved to second on another wild pitch and then came home on an RBI-double from Peyton Wilson. A walk to William Hamiter put two on before Zane Denton was intentionally walked to load them up and force an SC pitching change. Owen Diodati greeted the new arm with a single to no-man’s land in center, bringing in a pair. Jackson Tate followed with a three-run home run in the next at-bat to set the advantage at six. (6-0, Alabama)
- T4 | UA added to the lead with a pair in the fourth. Rose started the rally with a one-out walk before Wilson moved him to second on a single. The Gamecocks then went to the bullpen for a second time with Hamiter doubling off the new SC arm to bring in one and advance Wilson to third. Sam Praytor brought Wilson home in the next at-bat with a sacrifice fly to add one more. (8-0, Alabama)
- B4 | South Carolina got on the board thanks to a two-run home run from Braylen Wimmer. (8-2, Alabama)
- T6 | Rose led off the inning with a walk before eventually coming across on a sac fly from Praytor. (9-2, Alabama)
- B6 | Wes Clarke sent a solo home run deep over the wall in left. (9-3, Alabama)
- Tyler Ras picked up his seventh win of the season, the most wins by an Alabama pitcher since Geoffrey Bramblett had eight in 2015.
- Ras recorded his eighth quality start of the season (6.0 innings + three runs or less). He has now tossed 5.0 innings or more in in 11 starts and allowed three runs or less in eight starts.
- The junior starter allowed only one walk and has issued two or fewer free passes in 12 of his 14 starts.
- Alabama scored six runs in the top of the third, the Tide’s most in a single inning in SEC Tournament history ( records since 2002).
- Jackson Tate homered in today’s game and has recorded three of his five home runs over the last five games. Tate totaled only two homers across his first 25 contests on the season.
- Caden Rose finished with three runs to match his career-high total. The three runs also tie Alabama’s single-game high in the SEC Tournament, which had been accomplished eight times previously, most recently by Kody Valverde against LSU on May 26, 2006 (records since 2002).
- Jim Jarvis did not reach base, ending his streak at 12 straight games.
Alabama will first match up with No. 2 seed Tennessee in the double-elimination portion of the Tournament. The Crimson Tide and Volunteers will play in the second game of the morning session on Wednesday afternoon at The Met. Fans can catch all the action live on SEC Network.