Golden Eagle rally falls short at Alabama
Published: Thursday, February 21, 2013
Updated: Thursday, February 21, 2013 00:02
The Alabama Crimson Tide scored five unearned runs in the fifth inning on two Southern Miss errors and held off the No. 21 ranked Golden Eagles’ furious comeback to win 10-8 Tuesday night in Tuscaloosa.
The Eagles struck first, with Dillon Day leading off the game with a double off Crimson Tide starter Taylor Guilbeau (1-0), and later scoring on a wild pitch. Guilbeau finished with seven strikeouts in five innings of work and no earned runs.
The Tide knotted the game at one in the fourth off Southern Miss starter Jake Winston, a true freshman making his debut as a Golden Eagle. Winston suffered the loss, striking out six in four innings of work, giving up only one earned run on two hits.
“I thought Jake (Winston) was very composed and pitched very well considering it being his first start against Alabama on the road,” head baseball coach Scott Berry said. “He pitched very well and has a very bright future ahead of him.”
Alabama plated five runs in the fifth on only two hits, breaking open the then low-scoring affair. They added another in the sixth inning, making the score 7-1.
The Eagles cut the lead to 7-3 on a Bradley Roney sacrifice fly and Chase Fowler’s run scoring single in the seventh. After A.J. Glasshof’s second scoreless inning of relief, the Eagles got two more runs on a Tim Lynch double, cutting the lead to two.
The Tide’s catcher Brett Booth hit a towering solo shot off the scoreboard in left center, highlighting a three run eighth that put a damper on the Eagles’ rally.
The Eagles’ “never say die” attitude carried into the ninth, scoring three runs, only one earned on one hit and a walk off reliever Justin Kamplain. Kamplain put out the fire by striking out the potential game-tying run with a runner on third to end the game.
“I tip my hat to my players for fighting back, but we fell short because of the situation that we made for ourselves,” Berry said. “We ended up playing against more than Alabama tonight, but playing against ourselves.”
With three hits and an RBI, including an RBI double in the three-run ninth, Isaac Rodriguez led the Golden Eagles. Booth led the Tide with three base knocks, driving in a pair of runs.
Southern Miss (3-1) will be back on the field Friday, taking on Eastern Illinois at Pete Taylor Park in the Southern Miss Invitational. Andrew Pierce will toe the rubber, with first pitch set for 6 p.m., while sophomore shortstop Michael Sterling will make his season debut on Friday after suffering from back spasms in the preseason, benching him for the first four games.