Alabama defeats Auburn with walk-off double to win game three and the series
It took eight full innings and two outs in the ninth but the Alabama baseball team won the game and the series against the Auburn Tigers Sunday with a walk-off RBI double by freshman Casey Hughston. The ninth ranked Crimson Tide improves 24-11 on the season and leads the SEC as they are in sole possession of first place with a 10-5 record in conference play. “I’m just really proud of our team,” Alabama head coach Mitch Gaspard said. “There at the end Ben [Moore] hits one right on the screws and the wind eats it up, then Wade [Wass] gets the double and [Casey] Hughston gets the big hit to walk it off. That’s what has to happen, you have to find ways to do it, different guys have to step up and that’s what we’re getting right now.”
Jon Keller got the start on the mound for Alabama but he did not factor into the decision as and Thomas Burrows earns the victory after coming in the eighth inning to finish out the game. Ray Castillo came into the relieve Keller in the seventh and held the Tigers to one hit and one walk in his sole relief inning. Neither, Castillo or Burrows allowed a run allowing the Tide to get the win. Keller struck out five Tigers in six innings, while surrendering three runs on 10 hits and two walks. “Keller came out and did a good job and gave us a good solid six innings.” Gaspard said. “Castillo gave us one and Burrows was huge there at the end getting a couple of zeroes to give us a chance.”
The bats were active for both teams on the day with 12 hits each for the Tide and the Tigers. Mikey White and Wade Wass both posted two hits while Hughston was 3-for-5 with a pair of singles and the walk-off RBI double. Georgie Salem had three singles on the day with an RBI and a run himself.
There were three defensive plays on the day that allowed the Crimson Tide to get the win. Two of those came from Georgie Salem out of center field as Auburn had a man on second two times in the same inning the ball was hit to Salem fielding it off the turf. Salem threw a bullet to catcher Wade Wass as Auburn tried to score from second but neither time was successful for the Tigers. Salem’s throw was on target allowing Wass the easy out. Then in the seventh the leading hitter in the SEC, Auburn’s Jordan Ebert, hit a sharp grounder down first base line with runners in scoring position. But Chance Vincent made an outstanding leaping grab to make the play and get the final out. Without those plays the outcome may have been a little different for Alabama.
Alabama is back in action to finish out its five-game home stand with Jacksonville State on Tuesday. The Tide plays again at Regions Park in Birmingham on Wednesday before heading to Knoxville for a three game series with Tennessee.
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