HOOVER, AL (WIAT) – Birmingham native Mikey White delivered a clutch tenth inning hit to save Alabama from elimination at the SEC Tournament. The Tide (34-25) defeated the No.21 ranked Ole Miss Rebels (37-22) 7-5 in ten innings to advance to play the loser of the Arkansas/LSU game, which will be played at 4:30 pm on Thursday.
The game was a school record ninth extra inning affair for Alabama this season.
“First of all, this group is very resilient in games like that” Alabama head coach Mitch Gaspard said. “Our team fell behind and our guys did a good job offensively of finding swings and getting the bats going. There’s still some work to do, we gave up too many walks and allowed them to get back in and tie the game. But out guys fought back and found a way to win in the end.”
The game started just like Wednesday’s game against LSU. The Tide trailed 3-0 after three innings & failed to garner a hit until the fourth. But the bats stayed awake for three straight innings. Alabama scored 2 in the 4th, 1 in the 5th and 2 more in the 6th to take a 5-3 lead over the Rebels.
Mikey White, who played at Spain Park High School, drove in three runs on the day, going 2-for-5, but none of them were bigger than the two in the tenth. Facing Ole Miss closer Brett Huber, White came to the plate with two on and one out. After swinging through two sliders, White lined a single up the middle to drive home Ben Moore and Daniel Cucjen.
“I had a lot of confidence because I knew Smitty was behind me and he could do the job if I happen to not get it done and I knew he was going to throw me a lot of sliders. So that last pitch I just tried to sit back and put one up the middle and punch something through and do a job to help the team win.” White said.
The win not only keeps Alabama alive in the tournament, it also further bolsters their chances at an NCAA at-large birth.
“I felt like certainly the Auburn win put us in a great position for post season. Obviously this one today really solidified that, so right now it’s ‘go play hard, try to get after it, get to the next day and try to get yourself here for Saturday,” Gaspard said after the game.
Tucker Hawley came on in relief to pick up the win with 3 innings of scoreless work. Spencer Turnbull pitched 6 2/3 innings giving up 4 earned runs on 4 hits with 4 strikeouts.
Alabama moves on to play the loser between Arkansas & LSU at 3 pm on Friday at the Hoover Met.
Alabama Post-Game Interviews (Mitch Gaspard, Mikey White & Tucker Hawley)