Six-run seventh helps Ala. pull away
12 runs tie a season-high, Tide gets 15 hits off five pitchers
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Taylor Dugas homered and Alabama used 15 hits against five Central Florida pitchers to cruise to a 12-5 win in the Tallahassee Regional on Sunday. The Tide scored six runs in the seventh to pull away from the Knights.
Four batters had multiple-hit games for Alabama (35-27), who will play Florida State (44-17) in the Regional championship game on Sunday night. Brock Bennett, Jared Reaves, Austen Smith each had three hits and Dugas collected two.
Alabama left-hander Jonathan Smart (5-3), who had 10 saves in the regular season, gave up 11 hits but allowed just two earned runs in eight innings.
Central Florida starting pitcher, Ben Lively, did not record an out, allowing four runs (two earned) in the first inning. Relief pitcher Nick Cicio took the loss to drop to 4-3 on the year. Cicio threw 5.0 innings, allowing one run on five hits with six strikeouts.
With the win, Alabama advances to its 15th NCAA Regional Championship game in school history and second against Florida State in Tallahassee, the first being in 1991. The Crimson Tide advanced to the Atlanta Regional Championship game last year, and defeated Georgia Tech twice to advance to the Super Regionals.
Erik Hempe went 3 for 4 with an RBI, and D.J. Hicks hit his 15th home run of the season for Central Florida (39-23).
The game was tied at 4 in the bottom of the fifth when Alabama’s Brett Booth scored on a passed ball.