TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama baseball struggled to find consistency against No. 6 Vanderbilt pitching, and suffered even more so at the hands of Commodores' hitting on Saturday night.
Consequently, the Crimson Tide lost the game and the series at Sewell-Thomas Stadium, 13-5.
“Obviously a really tough night,” Alabama coach Brad Bohannon said. “You’re certainly not gonna win a lot of games in this league against a great team like Vanderbilt making this many mistakes.”
After a relatively tight contest Friday, 7-4, the Commodores came out swinging and took an early lead on sophomore center fielder Pat DeMarco's three-run home run in the second inning.
In the third, junior right fielder J.J. Bleday also went yard with a two-run blast over the fence.
After falling behind 6-0, Alabama kept rallying to stay within striking range, with four runs between the fourth and sixth innings, but the Commodores had no interest in keeping it a close game.
Vanderbilt hit three more home runs, including a monster shot by senior first baseman Julian Infante that cleared the apex of the scoreboard in left field, and landed outside of the ballpark.
“Vanderbilt is trying to win the league,” Bohannon said. “They’re going to come out and absolutely whip our a—— tomorrow if we don’t play better.”
As if its hitting wasn’t enough, Vanderbilt’s pitching was again stalwart. Freshman starter Kumar Rocker (4-4) threw five innings, allowed only two runs off of one hit, and was credited with the win. Junior Zach King (2) allowed two runs off of four hits in four innings pitched, and picked up the save.
Alabama’s junior starter Brock Love (4-3) allowed six runs off of six hits in four innings pitched, and took the loss.
This is Alabama's fifth SEC series this season against a ranked opponent, fourth against a top-10 foes. The Crimson Tide is 2-12 in those games (22-16 overall, 4-13 in conference play).
“They‘re awesome kids,” Bohannon said. ”They’re giving us everything they have, but we got to pitch better, we got to hit better, we got to field better, we got to run the bases better, we got to coach better.
“Everything’s got to get better for the result to change.”
Alabama and Vanderbilt will conclude their three-game series Sunday at 1 p.m. (SEC Network+).