Alabama Takes Two From No. 1 Georgia
March 15, 2009
Courtesy of Alabama Athletics
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Alabama swept a double-header from No. 1 ranked Georgia on Saturday afternoon, out-slugging the defending SEC champions, 9-5 and 11-5. The Tide rolled up 20 runs and 25 hits in the double-header to earn its fifth straight series win over the Bulldogs.
Junior Brandon May, a native of Marietta, Ga., went 4-for-6 with a home run and six RBI in the double-header. He also reached base eight times, including four walks. Kent Matthes and Jake Smith had three hits apiece in the opener. Matthes hit his NCAA-leading 12th home run in the opener and knocked in three runs.
"There is nothing like beating the Bulldogs," May said after the game. "I grew up in Georgia, so this is a good feeling today. They are a real good team and this was a good win for us."
Austin Hyatt (4-0) and Adam Morgan (3-0) gave the Tide solid efforts on the mound in the double-header sweep. Hyatt held the league's No. 1 rated offense to three runs and eight hits in eight innings in the opener, while Morgan fanned a season-high nine Bulldog hitters in the nightcap.
"Hyatt and Morgan are good and both pitched well today," Alabama head coach Jim Wells said. "They gave us a chance to win."
Alabama (11-4, 2-0 SEC) has won seven of eight series' all-time against the No. 1 ranked team in the nation, including series wins over Miami, Fla. (1985), Mississippi State (1989), Auburn (1995), LSU (1997), Mississippi State (2006), South Carolina (2006) and Georgia (2009).
The Crimson Tide has won nine straight home SEC series, dating back to the 2007 season. Overall, Alabama has won 19 of its last 21 home SEC series since the 2006 season. UA did not win a home series in 2004. Alabama has won 10 straight home series against SEC Eastern Division teams. Under Wells, the Tide has won 30 of 38 home series against the Eastern Division.
Alabama and Georgia will wrap up their SEC series on Sunday, March 15, at 2:07 p.m. (CST). The game will be televised regionally by Comcast Sports Southeast (CSS), with Chris Stewart and former Atlanta Braves and St. Louis Cardinals star Brian Jordan announcing. Tickets for Sunday's game will be available at Sewell-Thomas Stadium, beginning at Noon (CST), or at www.RollTide.com.
Game Two - Alabama 11, Georgia 5
Alabama picked up where it left off in game one, by scoring four runs in the bottom of the first inning to take a 4-0 lead. Brandon May's first career grand slam gave the Tide the early lead.
Taylor Dugas drew a leadoff walk and moved to second on Josh Rutledge's single to left field. Ross Wilson then walked to load the bases with no outs. Kent Matthes struck out and then May slapped his first grand slam to right field to give UA the early lead. It was his 10th career home run, but just his second career home run at Sewell-Thomas Stadium in his three-year career.
Georgia pulled to within 4-3 on Joey Lewis' three-run home run in the top of the third inning. Rich Poythress and Bryce Massanari had reached on singles before Lewis' blast.
The Bulldogs threatened in the fifth with runners at second and third and one out, before Colby May lined out to third baseman Jake Smith, who doubled off Hyams at third to end the rally.
"That to me was the play of the day," Alabama head coach Jim Wells said. "We had a one-run lead and they looked like they were getting ready to make a run and with Poythress coming up, they may have had a five or six-run inning. That played shifted momentum and we scored some more."
Alabama took advantage of Smith's defensive gem and scored four runs in the bottom of the inning to take an 8-3 lead. Wilson, Rutledge and Matthes opened the inning with three straight singles to load the bases before May slapped a two-run single to right to give UA a 6-3 lead. A throwing error by Georgia right fielder Lyle Allen allowed May to move to second base. Smith capped the inning with a sacrifice fly to score Matthes from third base.
The four-run fifth was more than enough for Morgan, who struck out a career-high nine Georgia batters in 7 1/3 innings. He allowed four runs and eight hits en route to his third win of the season. Georgia starter Justin Grimm (1-1), who was touched for seven runs and seven hits in four innings, took the loss.
The Tide erupted for three more runs in the seventh inning to take an 11-3 lead. Cody Trotter ripped a one-out home run to left field to make the score 9-3. Alex Kubal followed with a double to right and scored on Dugas' two-run home run to right field.
Georgia added a run in the eighth inning when pinch-hitter Peter Verdin reached on a leadoff single and later scored on an error to make the score 11-4.
The Bulldogs added another run in the ninth when Zach Cone reached on a leadoff double and scored on Hyams' sac fly to close the scoring at 11-5.
Game One - Alabama 9, Georgia 5
Alabama exploded for four runs in the third inning and added three more runs in the sixth en route to a 9-5 win over No. 1 ranked Georgia, handing the Bulldogs their first loss of the season, in game one of Saturday's double-header.
The Crimson Tide had five straight two-out hits in the third inning to erase a three-run deficit. Ross Wilson and Kent Matthes had RBI singles and Jones gave the Tide a 4-3 lead with a two-run single to left.
Alabama took advantage of dropped fly ball by Georgia right fielder Chase Davidson to take a 4-3 lead in the third inning. After Davidson dropped Josh Ruteldge's two-out fly ball, Alabama strung together five straight hits to take the lead.
Wilson followed with an RBI single up the middle to put the Tide on the board. After Wilson stole second, Matthes followed with an RBI single to left to extend his hitting streak to 14 games. Brandon May and Vin DiFazio singled to load the bases and Clay Jones gave the Tide a one-run lead with a two-run single to left.
Georgia had taken a 3-0 lead on Levi Hyams' three-run home run off the right field foul pole in the second inning.
Austin Hyatt (4-0) held the SEC's top offensive club to three runs and eight hits in eight innings of work. He added six strikeouts and one walk. Georgia starter Trevor Holder (3-1) took the loss, as he allowed five runs and eight hits in five innings.
Matthes launched his NCAA-leading 12th home run to lead off the fifth inning as the Tide stretched its lead to 5-3. He has homered in 10 of his last 12 games, including the last four in a row. In 14 games, Matthes has hit more home runs than 181 NCAA Division-I teams.
The Crimson Tide batted around once again in the sixth inning and scored three runs on three hits to extend its lead to 8-3. Dugas led off the inning with a double and Wilson walked before Matthes' stroked an RBI double down the left field line to plate the first run. May was intentionally walked to load the bases and DiFazio lifted a sac fly to center that scored Wilson from third base. Jones then walked to re-load the bases, before Smith reached on an infield hit to score Matthes from third base. Kubal grounded out to end the inning as the Tide left the bases loaded.
UA added another run in the bottom of the eighth inning when May singled to center and moved around to score on a wild pitch, passed ball and throwing error by Georgia catcher Bryce Massanari to give the Tide a 9-3 lead.
The Bulldogs added two runs in the ninth off Austin Evans, who walked both batters he faced.
Alabama had 14 hits in the first game, with Matthes and Smith collecting three hits each. Matthes also added three RBI.
*Alabama (11-4, 2-0 SEC) has won seven of eight series all-time against the No. 1 ranked team in the nation, including series wins over Miami, Fla. (1985), Mississippi State (1989), Auburn (1995), LSU (1997), Mississippi State (2006), South Carolina (2006) and Georgia (2009).
*The Crimson Tide has won nine straight home SEC series, dating back to the 2007 season. Overall, Alabama has won 19 of its last 21 home SEC series since the 2006 season. UA did not win a home series in 2004. Alabama has won 10 straight home series against SEC Eastern Division teams. Under Wells, the Tide has won 30 of 38 home series against the Eastern Division.
*Alabama snapped Georgia's school-record 14-game winning streak with a 9-5 win in game one of Saturday's double-header, leaving Virginia as the last remaining undefeated team in the nation. The Cavaliers are 15-0 on the season, after a win over Florida State on Friday. Their Saturday game was rained out.
*The Tide has won five straight series' with Georgia since the 2005 season. The Bulldogs have not won a series in Tuscaloosa since 1993, losing their last seven series' in Tuscaloosa. Alabama head coach Jim Wells is 17-3 at home against Georgia.
*The middle of the UA batting order - Ross Wilson, Kent Matthes and Brandon May - scored 12 runs and added 11 hits in Saturday's double-header sweep of Georgia.
*Junior first baseman Brandon May (Marietta, Ga.) was 4-for-6 in the double-header with one home run, six RBI and four runs scored. He reached base eight times, including four walks. He was 2-for-2 with three walks in game one and went 2-for-4 with his first career grand slam in the nightcap. May has 10 career home runs for the Tide, but only two at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.
*Senior right fielder Kent Matthes (Orlando, Fla.) was 4-for-9 with four runs scored, one home run and three RBI on Saturday. He hit his NCAA-leading 12th home run in the opener and has now homered in 10 of his last 12 games, including four straight. Matthes has hit more home runs this season than 198 of the 316 NCAA Division-I baseball teams.
*Sophomore second baseman Ross Wilson (Hoover) went 3-for-8 in the twin bill and scored four runs.
*Senior right-hander Austin Hyatt (8 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 6 K), May (4-for-6, 4 R, HR, 6 RBI) and freshman left-hander Adam Morgan (7.1 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 9 K) are all from Marietta, Ga.
*Morgan had a career-high nine strikeouts in his first SEC start.