Owen Diodati's RBI-single in the 10th helped Alabama baseball walk off Auburn, 8-7, on Thursday evening at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Owen Diodati's RBI-single in the 10th helped Alabama baseball walk off Auburn, 8-7, on Thursday evening at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. The win moved the Crimson Tide to 21-12 on the season, including a 6-7 mark in Southeastern Conference play.
The two teams went back and forth all evening. Auburn scored first, plating one in the second before Alabama answered with two in the home half. The Tide added a pair in the bottom of the third before AU came back with two in the fourth. Alabama crossed one in the home half, but the Tigers countered for three in the fifth to take the lead. The lead would not last for long as the Tide added one in the bottom of the fifth. The teams traded single runs in the eighth before failing to score in the ninth to send the game to extras.
In the 10th, Alabama got the leadoff man on thanks to a single from Zane Denton. He was followed by a single from Sam Praytor to put two on for Diodati. The Tide DH capitalized on his opportunity, sending the first pitch he saw down the line in right for the walkoff win.
Alabama was led on offense by the heart of the order. The trio of Denton, Praytor and Diodati combined for seven hits, five RBI and three runs scored. Denton and Praytor each homered with Praytor leading UA in hits thanks to a 3-for-5 night. Drew Williamson added a third home run for the Tide, his fourth of the season.
Landon Green (3-0) picked up his third win, tossing 2.0 scoreless frames with four punchouts. The Tide got to Green thanks to an impressive relief effort from William Freeman. Freeman worked 4.0 innings, allowing only one run on three hits while striking out two to keep the Tide within striking distance.
"Man, what a great college baseball game, just back and forth all night. We told our guys before the game 'This is the best hitting team we will have played to this point,' and the ball was flying today. We knew it was going to take some crooked numbers and all four times that Auburn scored we responded in the bottom of the inning. William Freeman and Landon Green were lights-out out of the pen and obviously Diodati got a huge hit, so I'm just really proud of our club. Their compete-level, effort, focus and intent was as good as it's ever been and this was just a really, really big win for us tonight."
How It Happened
T2 | Steven Williams homered to right to get the Tigers on the board first. (1-0, Auburn)
B2 | T.J. Reeves singled with two down to give UA a baserunner. Drew Williamson quickly brought him home in the next at-bat, sending an 0-2 pitch over the wall in left to give the Tide the advantage. (2-1, Alabama)
B3 | A two-out RBI-single from Sam Praytor added to the Tide lead. Owen Diodati followed with an RBI-single of his own to cap the inning's scoring. (4-1, Alabama)
T4 | The Tigers recorded a two-out triple that was followed by an inside-the-park home run from Kason Howell cut the deficit to one. (4-3, Alabama)
B4 | Alabama pushed the lead to two thanks to an RBI-single from Peyton Wilson. Wilson drove in Jim Jarvis, who reached with a two-out walk and moved into scoring position on a passed ball. (5-3, Alabama)
T5 | Back-to-back singles put two on before a two-run double down the line set the score even. A wild pitch moved the runner to third before a groundout to first scored one more to give AU the lead. (6-5, Auburn)
B5 | The Tide set things even again thanks to a solo shot from Zane Denton. (6-6)
T8 | Howell homered over the wall this time to give the Tigers the lead once again. (7-6, Auburn)
B8 | Praytor recorded a solo shot for his ninth home run of the season. (7-7)
B10 | Denton led off the 10th with a single and was followed by another single from Praytor. Diodati took advantage of the man in scoring position, sending a ball down the line in right to walk it off for the Crimson Tide. (8-7, Alabama)
Alabama has now walked it off in four games this season. The Crimson Tide had a walkoff grand slam from Owen Diodati on March 9 against South Alabama and also had a walkoff win over McNeese on Feb. 20 thanks to a Zane Denton home run. The most recent walkoff for UA came against Stetson on March 13 on an errant throw by the Hatters.
Alabama finished with 12 hits in tonight's game and has now totaled 10-or-more hits in seven straight games and nine of the last 10 matchups.
Eight of the nine Alabama starters recorded at least one hit on the night.
The Crimson Tide is now 15-6 in games with a home run, including an 11-3 mark in games with two-plus home runs.
Alabama's three-homer performance was the team's sixth of the season.
UA has homered in nine of 13 SEC pairings, totaling 21 home runs in those matchups.
Sam Praytor homered in tonight's game to pair with his solo shot against Samford on Tuesday. Praytor's back-to-back games with a homer marks the sixth time this season that a UA player has homered in consecutive games. Most recently, Zane Denton homered in back-to-back contests from March 12-13 against Stetson.
With his 1-for-5 night, Peyton Wilson extended his hitting streak to an Alabama season-long and career-long 13 games. Across that stretch, the sophomore is batting .417 (25-60) with four doubles, a triple and three home runs to go with 10 RBI, 12 runs scored, three walks, a hit-by-pitch and five stolen bases.
Wilson also extended his hitting streak in SEC play to 10 straight games. The sophomore is batting .457 (21-46) with three doubles, three home runs, nine RBI, nine runs, two walks, a hit-by-pitch and five stolen bases during that stretch.
Alabama and Auburn return to the diamond tomorrow evening for another 6 p.m. CT start. The Crimson Tide will send right-hander Dylan Smith to the mound while the Tigers counter with Jack Owen, a lefty. Game two of the series can be seen live on SEC Network+.