Alabama Survives Scare

TUSCALOOSA -- An eighth-inning rally fell short Saturday as second-ranked Alabama held on to defeat BYU, 9-6, to avoid losing the series to the Cougars.

With two outs, the Cougars manufactured four runs and had two men left on base when pinch-hitter Matt Carson grounded out to short. That four-run rally closed the gap to 8-6 and put a scare in the Crimson Tide.

Designated hitter David Rock started that rally with a single to right field and later scored when the catcher dropped the ball on a tag at home off of Tyler Perry's single to right. Perry was preceded on base by Craig Peterson, who walked, and both were driven home by Seth King's single, once again to right field. King scored off an error by the Tide pitcher which allowed teammate Nick Greene to get on base, followed by a Cameron Coughlan walk.

Alabama also had a four-run inning in the third to take a 4-0 lead thanks to a Jeremy Brown two-run double. Teammate Brent Boyd knocked a two-run homer to left in the fifth as Brown scored again to chase Cougar starter James Ray from the mound, after striking out five.

BYU scored it's initial two runs in the fourth when Rock singled and was driven in by Perry. Peterson, who had singled to left, scored off of Perry's hit when the leftfielder made an errant throw.

In the first inning BYU's Aaron Whitley advanced to third via a stolen base and an error, but was stranded there with one out. In the third inning teammate Nate Mathis was stranded with his one-out double.

"It was nice to put a scare into Alabama, but I wished we could have pulled it out," said BYU Coach Vance Law. "After being down, I reminded the team they needed to play a full game. We put ourselves into position with some quality at bats. To score four runs with two outs shows we responded well, but we needed to avoid their big inning against us. We tend to struggle when we let that happen and didn't make them execute."

The 6,242 fans who attended the game helped set a new three-game series record for Alabama with 18,630, surpassing the old mark of 15,351 in 1997 with three sellout crowds of 5,177 by LSU. Cougar Nick Day did not play because of a wrist injury suffered in BYU's 8-3 upset over the Tide on Friday.

The Cougars, now 3-6, ready to face Mesa State in a three-game series beginning Friday at Grand Junction, Colo.

Brigham Young Univ. 6 (3-6)                                      Alabama 9 (2-1)

Player AB R H RBI BB SO PO A LOB Player AB R H RBI BB SO PO A LOB

------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------------------

BELLISTON, Shane cf...... 4 0 0 0 0 2 1 0 1 Scott McClanahan cf...... 5 0 2 1 0 1 3 1 4

CARSON, Matt ph/rf...... 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 Darren Wood lf........... 4 3 3 0 1 0 0 0 0

WHITLEY, Aaron rf/lf..... 3 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 Brent Boyd 3b............ 5 2 4 3 0 0 2 1 0

JACKSON, DJ ph.......... 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Jeremy Brown 1b.......... 4 2 2 2 0 1 13 0 2

DAVIES, Michael c........ 5 0 0 0 0 0 7 3 1 Kelley Gulledge c........ 5 0 1 2 0 1 7 1 0

ROCK, David dh........... 5 2 2 0 0 1 0 0 1 Sam Bozanich 2b.......... 4 0 3 1 0 1 0 1 0

PETERSON, Craig 1b....... 3 2 1 0 1 0 6 0 0 Scott Evans 2b.......... 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1

PERRY, Tyler 3b.......... 4 1 2 1 0 2 2 1 0 Jeff Dragg dh............ 3 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 0

KING, Seth ss............ 4 1 2 2 0 1 2 5 0 Ben King pr............. 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

GREENE, Nick lf/cf....... 4 0 1 0 0 0 3 2 1 Erik Smallwood rf........ 3 1 1 0 1 0 2 1 1

MATHIS, Nate 2b.......... 3 0 1 0 0 1 1 1 0 Casey Lambert ss......... 2 1 0 0 0 1 0 2 0

OBREY, Kainoa ph........ 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 Jason Gingrich p......... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0

COUGHLAN, Cameron pr/2b. 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 Scott Murphy p.......... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0

RAY, James p............. 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Bryce Heath p........... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

OPDAHL, Jordan p........ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Jonathan Blankenship p.. 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

GEORGE, Jahseam p....... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0

CRUMP, Todd p........... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Totals................... 37 6 10 3 2 7 24 14 7 Totals................... 36 9 17 9 3 6 27 9 9

Score by Innings R H E

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Brigham Young Univ.. 000 200 040 - 6 10 2

Alabama............. 004 031 01X - 9 17 4

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E - PERRY; GREENE; Wood; Gulledge; Lambert; Heath. DP - BYU Cougars 2; ALABAMA 1. LOB - BYU Cougars 7; ALABAMA 9. 2B - MATHIS;

McClanahan; Brown; Bozanich. 3B - KING; Boyd. HR - Boyd. HBP - WHITLEY; Brown; Lambert. SH - Lambert. SB - WHITLEY; Smallwood 2.

CS - McClanahan; Bozanich.

Brigham Young Univ. IP H R ER BB SO AB BF Alabama IP H R ER BB SO AB BF

----------------------------------------------- -----------------------------------------------

RAY, James.......... 4.0 10 7 6 2 5 19 22 Jason Gingrich...... 6.0 6 2 2 0 6 23 24

OPDAHL, Jordan...... 2.1 5 1 0 1 1 11 12 Scott Murphy........ 1.2 3 3 1 1 1 8 9

GEORGE, Jahseam..... 0.2 1 1 1 0 0 3 4 Bryce Heath......... 0.0 1 1 0 1 0 2 3

CRUMP, Todd......... 1.0 1 0 0 0 0 3 4 Jonathan Blankenship 1.1 0 0 0 0 0 4 4

Win - Gingrich (1-0). Loss - RAY (0-2). Save - Blankenship (1).

WP - OPDAHL; Gingrich; Murphy. HB - GEORGE; CRUMP; Gingrich. BK - RAY 2.

Umpires - Home:Mark Capps 1st:Mark Lewis 3rd:Guy Mitchell

Start: 2:06 PM Time: 2:49 Attendance: 6242

RAY faced 3 batters in the 5th.

Heath faced 3 batters in the 8th.

GEORGE faced 1 batter in the 8th.