SEC Baseball Tournament: Crimson Tide Takes Down the Cats, 5-2


The 2016 SEC Baseball Tournament got underway on Tuesday in Hoover, Al. and the Crimson Tide will be moving on to the double-elimination rounds.

ICYMI: 25 Things All Crimson Tide Fans Must Do

The ninth-seeded Alabama Crimson Tide got on the board first during the second inning and held off the charging eighth-seeded Kentucky Wildcats to take the opening round game, 5-2. A two-run blast from Will Haynie in the top of the ninth added some insurance that would send the Tide to the next round.

The Crimson Tide went quietly in the first but got things off to a great start the very next inning. Will Haynie got the Tide’s three-run frame going with a one-out single back up the middle. Cody Henry followed that with a single of his own that was aided by the Wildcats’ shortstop admiring butterflies instead of waiting on the double play ball from the fielding second baseman. The bases were loaded with crimson and grey after Chance Vincent reached on a fielding error. Alabama’s three runs came on the next two at-bats as Daniel Cucjen drew a walk to score one and Hunter Webb drove a two-RBI single into centerfield.

More from Bama Hammer

Tide starter Nick Eicholtz faced the minimum through three innings, but the Kentucky Wildcats cut the Tide lead down to two runs in the fourth. Lead-off hitter Evan White sent the third pitch he was served over the left field wall to make the score 3-1.

Kentucky starter, lefty Zach Logue, wrapped up his day with 5.2 innings pitched. After the three hits during the Tide’s big second inning, he limited the damage and only allowed three more hits with no runs. He struck out two and walked one for the day. The Crimson Tide chased reliever Justin Lewis in the top of the seventh after two walks from Cobie Vance and Chandler Taylor plus a single from Haynie loaded the bases with one out. The Wildcats’ Zach Pop stuck out one and a fielder’s choice ended the Tide’s threat to add more runs on the board.

The Wildcats pulled to within a run with an RBI double from Riley Mahan. Coach Mitch Gaspard went to the bullpen for Matt Foster and Eicholtz’s outing was finished with 6.2 innings pitched, two walks, three strikeouts and he only allowed three hits with the two earned runs. Alabama closer Thomas Burrows entered with two outs in the eighth and picked up his SEC-leading 12th save while fanning two batters.

More crimson tide: The 50 Best Players in Alabama Football History

The Crimson Tide will face the top-seeded Mississippi State Bulldogs on Wednesday with first pitch coming at 4:30 p.m. CT.