TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Presbyterian College baseball team fell to Alabama, 4-3, on Friday night at Sewell-Thomas Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala. in what was a tight ballgame from the outset. PC drops to 0-1 on the year and Alabama improves to 1-0 on the first day of the college baseball season.
How It Happened
Alabama got on the board in the first inning to take the early lead. Chandler Avant led off the game with a single, before stealing second and moving to third on a throwing error. A fielder’s choice would bring him in to make a 1-0 lead but Brian Kehner would get a strikeout to strand two and retire the side.
PC bats got going in the second, as Colton Chapman led off the inning with a double to left center. After Chapman moved to third on a wild pitch, AJ Priaulx singled to center to score tie the game at 1-1. Thatcher Coleman followed with a single to left in his first at-bat at PC to put two on. Nick Guimbarda put both in scoring position with a sacrifice bunt and Glen Casaceli scored Priaulx with an RBI groundout to short to make it a 2-1 PC lead.
The Crimson Tide retook the lead with a run in the third and two runs in the fourth. An RBI triple by Chandler Taylor scored one in the third. In the fourth, a leadoff double and three straight two-out singles allowed two to come across to give Alabama 4-2 lead.
PC trimmed the lead to one with a run in the fifth inning. Casaceli drew a leadoff walk and moved to second on a wild pitch. Later on he would move to third on a wild pitch and then score on an errant throw by the catcher to make it a 4-3 ballgame.
The Blue Hose looked to have tied the game in top of the seventh. Priaulx drew a leadoff walk and Guy Casaceli came on to pinch run. Two batters later, Casaceli would move to second on a failed pickoff attempt and an error by the pitcher. Gumbarda came up clutch with a single to left, scoring Casaceli from second. After an appeal to third, though, Casaceli was called out for missing third base, keeping it a 4-3 Alabama lead.
Neither bullpen would budge from there with no runs coming across in any of the final four at-bats between the two sides.
Pitchers of Record
Alabama’s Nick Eicholtz recorded the win on Opening Day with 5.0 innings of three-hit baseball, allowing three runs (two earned) with no walks and two strikeouts. Brock Love earned the save with 4.0 scoreless innings of work, as he allowed two hits with two walks against five strikeouts.
Kehner was saddled with the loss, tossing 5.0 innings and allowing four runs (three earned) nine hits with two walks and two strikeouts. He was able to work effectively with men on base, stranding eight Alabame base runners on the night.
Player of the Game
AJ Priaulx went 1-for-2 with a walk, a run and an RBI out of the DH spot for the Blue Hose. He singled in the second inning to drive in Chapman and he scored later on in the inning to give the Blue Hose the lead at the time.
- The PC bullpen tossed 3.0 innings of scoreless baseball, allowing just one hit with no walks and three strikeouts. Ethan Wortkoetter recorded 1.0 scoreless inning, while Ryan Hall went 1.2 innings in relief in his first outing at PC.
- Four Blue Hose players saw their first career action at PC in tonight’s game. Andrew Bladt, Thatcher Coleman, Ryan Hall and Connor Jahn each played for the first time in a PC uniform. Coleman singled in his first at-bat with the program.
The series continues tomorrow with PC and Alabama meeting at 6 p.m. ET again at Sewell-Thomas Stadium with the game being streamed on the SEC Network+.