TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – With the game tied at three in the eighth inning, senior captain Tyler Weyenberg hit a solo home run to right field to give PC the lead and eventual victory, 4-3, over Alabama on Sunday afternoon at Sewell-Thomas Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala. The Blue Hose improve to 1-2 on the season and Alabama drops to 2-1.
How It Happened
Alabama got on the board first for the third straight game, picking up a run in the second. Chandler Taylor hit a solo home run, his third of the weekend, to give the Tide the early 1-0 lead. They added another in the fourth to make it 2-0. Kyle Kaufman came through with an RBI single to right, scoring Connor Short from second, who singled and moved to second on the throw one batter before.
PC responded with two runs of its own to tie the game in the fifth. Colton Chapman and Thatcher Coleman started the inning with back-to-back singles to put two on with no outs. TJ Richardson moved the runners in to scoring position with a sacrifice bunt for the first out. Brett Auckland drove in the first with an RBI groundout to second, putting a runner on third with two outs. Glen Casaceli then tied the game at 2-2 with an RBI single to left to score Coleman.
The Blue Hose took the lead in the sixth. Cletis Avery got a one-out single to right to get things started. He then stole second, his third stolen base of the weekend, and would move to third on an errant throw by the catcher. Nick Guimbarda, hitting in the three spot in the order today, singled inside the bag at first to score Avery from third and give the Blue Hose the 3-2 advantage.
Alabama tied it up with a run in the seventh. A leadoff single by Gene Wood put a man aboard and a sacrifice bunt moved him to second with one out. Another single put runners on the corners and, after a pitching change, a fielder’s choice to short by Hunter Alexander allowed Wood to score to make it a 3-3 game.
PC would answer yet again in the top of the eighth. After a groundout on what was a very close play at first, Weyenberg stepped in with the game tied. He wasted no time, taking the first pitch he saw over the fence in right to give the Blue Hose the 4-3 lead that they would never relinquish.
Will Smith took control from there, retiring six of the final eight batters he faced. The only two Bama batters to reach base in the final two at-bats both reached with two outs with Smith retiring the next batter each time.
Pitchers of Record
Will Smith, making his first appearance as a Blue Hose, came up big in relief to earn the victory. The righty closed it out, throwing the final 2.2 innings the contest, allowing no runs on just a lone hit with one strikeout against a pair of walks.
Garrett Suchey suffered the loss out of the bullpen, falling to 0-1 on the year. He allowed two runs on five hits in 3.0 innings of work, managed two strikeouts against no walks.
Player of the Game
Tyler Weyenberg made his only hit of the game count, sending over the fence and in to the student section in right field. It proved to be the decisive blow in the game, leading PC to the 4-3 victory. It was just the fourth career homer by Weyenberg, coming in his fourth season with the program.
- The victory was PC’s first over an SEC opponent since 2015 when it defeated South Carolina, 7-4, in Columbia, S.C. Since moving to Division I, PC has now totaled four wins over SEC opponents. The Blue Hose will have another opportunity this season with a three-game series at Auburn in three weeks.
- Hayden Deal made his first start on the mound since 2015 in today’s game. The lefty went 4.2 innings pitched and allowed two runs on eight hits with no walks and one strikeout.
- Seven of the nine batters in the PC order had a base hit on Sunday, as the team totaled a season-high eight hits on the day.
- Colton Chapman recorded his first multi-hit game of the year, going 2-for-4 at the plate with a run scored.
- Nick Guimbarda had another RBI single on Sunday to finish the weekend 4-for-8 with two RBIs to lead the team.
- The PC bullpen started the season off right, recording 1.64 ERA on the opening weekend. Nine pitchers combined to throw 11.0 innings and allowed just two runs on nine hits with eight strikeouts against four walks. Alabama hitters managed just a .225 batting average against the PC relievers.
The Blue Hose open the home portion of the schedule this week with five home games. They will host Furman on Tuesday and Wofford on Wednesday with both games scheduled for 2 p.m. at the PC Baseball Complex.