Tide Shut Out, Drops Series To Dogs

Mitch Gaspard

The 19th-ranked Alabama baseball team fell to the No. 16 Mississippi State Bulldogs, 1-0, Friday night at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. The Crimson Tide (33-21, 14-14 SEC) will look to avoid the sweep at the hands of the Bulldogs (35-19, 18-11 SEC) in their regular season finale at 3:05 p.m. on Sunday.

"Tonight was really an even game between both sides," Alabama Coach Mitch Gaspard said. "It was a tough matchup on the offensive end for us. Ross Mitchell is going to be in that 80-82 range, but he has high pitchability, and then they come in with an All-American closer in Jonathan Holder, who was outstanding. The offense was thin tonight, the difference in the game was the guy in the nine-hole hits an opposite field homer for the first of his career. Sometimes, that's just baseball."

Starters Spencer Turnbull and Ross Mitchell dueled for six scoreless innings, as the pitchers limited the two lineups to four hits apiece over that span. The winning run came for the Bulldogs came in the top of the seventh, when Matthew Britton hit the first home run of his career over the left field wall to lead off the seventh inning for the only run of the game.

Turnbull (5-6) was charged with the loss in a "quality start" for Alabama after holding the Bulldogs to one run on five hits and four walks with three strikeouts in seven innings.

"It was tough, but I thought on the other end that we matched them and got a good job from Spencer (Turnbull)," Gaspard said. "It was good to get Jon (Keller) back out there and then we had Jay (Shaw) work out of the jam there late."

Mitchell (8-4) picked up the win for the Bulldogs after blanking the Tide for 6.1 innings, allowing five hits and two walks with and a pair of strikeouts. Jonathan Holder earned his seventh save of the year after striking out four in 2.2 innings, while allowing just one hit.

Kyle Overstreet was the only player for either team to record a multiple-hit game, finishing 2-for-4 with a pair of singles.

Alabama had a chance to break the shutout in the second, but Austen Smith was cut down at the plate trying to reach from second on a Will Haynie single.

"For us right now, we've just got to keep fighting. We've been kind of in a bad way for about three weeks. It's been tough to get some wins, so we've just got to keep going. With Kamp (Justin Kamplain) on the mound tomorrow, we've just got to try and get a good positive start and get some momentum going into Tuesday."

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