Alabama Baseball Swept by the Gamecocks, SEC Tourney on Deck

Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

The Alabama baseball team ended their 2016 regular season campaign with a sweep by the tenth-ranked South Carolina Gamecocks at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.

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Saturday’s game ended the regular season for Alabama baseball at The New Joe. Following the weekend series against South Carolina, Alabama has earned a record of 15-15 in conference play. The two teams will head to Hoover for the SEC Tournament, both hoping for their spots in Omaha to play in the College World Series.

The Gamecocks started the game off with right fielder Gene Cone earning a single up center. Followed by three more hits, USC ended the inning with three runs on their four hits. Alabama was silenced in the bottom of the first, leaving the score 3-0.

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Both teams were retired quickly in the second inning. The Gamecocks held on to their lead in the top of the third but were unable to add any runs. Alabama responded in the bottom of the inning, where it saw its first and only lead of the game.

The designated hitter, Keith Holcombe, followed by the second baseman, Cobie Vance, managed to get on base with two outs. Georgie Salem drilled a double to center field bringing home both runners. Before the Tide ended the inning, Chandler Taylor knocked his ninth home run of the season. Alabama took the lead 4-3 heading into the fourth inning.

USC had three hits in the top of the fourth, but only earned one run. With the score evened, the Tide was unable to answer. It was the top of the fifth when South Carolina regained the lead. Two runs on a single to left field brought the score to 6-4. Although losing the lead, the Tide pulled to within one in the bottom of the inning.

Beginning the top of the seventh, following a pitching change, USC loaded the bases. A fly out to right field ended the inning, but the Gamecocks brought in a score to have a two-run lead, 7-5.

Taylor returned to the plate for the Tide, drilling a single down the right field line. He was able to bring home Holcombe, but the inning ended with South Carolina clinging on to a 7-6 lead. The eighth inning repeated the seventh, with both teams scoring one run.

The ninth inning was the final chance to tie the game, but the Gamecocks earned an RBI with two outs to raise their score to 9-7. The Tide did not respond, giving South Carolina the sweep for the series.

On deck for the Tide is Kentucky at the SEC Tournament on Tuesday. First pitch is set for 4:30 p.m. CT. The winner will get the number one seed on Wednesday at the same time.

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Alabama closed the season at home in its first season back at The New Joe. Entering into the post-season, the Tide will head to the SEC Tournament and hope for a spot in the NCAA Tournament. It’s about time the Tide makes its grand appearance in Omaha after missing out since 1999.