Alabama starting pitcher Taylor Gilbeau toes the rubber for his third batter faced in the top of the 5th inning in the middle of a pitcher’s nightmare: runners on the corners with no outs and the catcher at the plate.
Gilbeau got a strikeout and then forced a double play ball to keep the game tied, 1-1. But not for long.
The Crimson Tide scored five runs in the bottom of the 5th, two off of a two-RBI double from freshman shortstop Mikey White, and held on to beat No. 21 Southern Mississippi 10-8.
“I really like the way this team is competing right now,” head coach Mitch Gaspard said. “They make plays, they play with no fear and they really attack the game.
“We scored in bunches from the 5th to the 8th inning, which is good to see. Really good win over a quality team.”
Alabama had to escape late, however, as the top of the 9th inning saw the Golden Eagles three of their eight runs, aided by two errors.
“Certainly a wild finish,” Gaspard said. “That’s one thing we talked to the team about: you have to play nine innings, and you certainly saw that tonight.”
The win not only gives Alabama momentum for its upcoming road series against Florida Atlantic this weekend, but will also turn heads when the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee is picking teams at the end of the season.
“Potentially, that’s what it can do. These guys are good,” Gaspard said. “They’re going to do very well in Conference-USA and they’re going to be a Regional team.
“This is the win where you can look at our team and kind of go, ‘Ok, our team is for real now.’”