TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Being outshone by the freshmen on Senior Day may have motivated the seniors Tuesday night. It was their time to shine during their last game at Sewell-Thomas Stadium
Down by two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning, the Crimson Tide rallied back to overcome and defeat the Samford Bulldogs 4-2.
“Really proud of our team,” Alabama coach Brad Bohannon said. “It was a really good collective effort.”
Samford jumped out ahead with a pair of home runs in the top of the third, by Max Pinto and Sonny DiChiara.
Alabama was unable to answer until the seventh, when senior shortstop Kolby Robinson advanced to third, and then home on a passed ball.
The real rally came in the eighth after sophomore right fielder Tyler Gentry reached on an error and Drew Williamson singled.
Freshman left fielder T.J. Reeves flied out to center field to score Gentry and senior center fielder Joe Breaux completed the comeback with a two-run home run.
Breaux also made a spectacular diving catch in center field to get the third out in the top of the seventh, completing a solid sendoff for the senior.
“My last game here, I wanted it to be special,” Breaux said. “It was awesome. It was a good feeling.”
Regarding pitching, Garret Rukes started and allowed two runs off of three hits in three innings pitched. The sophomore left-hander also had one walk and five strikeouts.
The bullpen was subsequently lights out. It yielded just two hits over six innings, striking out seven. Senior Jeremy Randolph (3-2) got the win during his final game in Tuscaloosa.
“The pitching was outstanding,” Bohannon said. “I thought [Rukes] got us off to a good start, and obviously the bullpen which was awesome. Six shutout innings.”
Junior reliever Connor Radcliff (2-2) took the loss for the Bulldogs.
With the win, Alabama moves to 30-23 on the season, with its record in the SEC remaining unchanged at 7-20. Samford dropped to 37-16 (14-4 SoCon).
With only three games remaining, the Crimson Tide's season hangs in the balance. Entering the final weekend, Alabama, Kentucky, and South Carolina remain tied for the last spot in the SEC Tournament.
Alabama automatically wins the tiebreaker over South Carolina due to their head-to-head series, but it loses a straight-up tiebreaker to Kentucky.
Alabama visits Georgia with the series beginning Thursday night. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. CT (SEC Network+).