Alabama baseball defeats Kennesaw State forcing regional final
From the University of Alabama Athletics Department:
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – For the second time on Sunday, Alabama got a complete game in an elimination game, when junior lefty Taylor Guilbeau went the distance to help the Crimson Tide defeat the Kennesaw State Owls 4-1 at Dick Howser Stadium.
Alabama (37-23) and Kennesaw State (39-22) will play in the Tallahassee Regional Championship game on Monday, with first pitch scheduled for 11:05 a.m. CT. The game is scheduled to be televised on ESPN3, but may also be carried on one of the ESPN television network stations.
"Similar to the same message after game one today, guys have to step up right now and I don't know if we've had anyone like (Taylor) Guilbeau step up for us tonight," Alabama head coach Mitch Gaspard said. "It was his first start this year and he responded with a complete game effort. He threw 126 pitches and that's just stepping up for his team. I can't say enough about his outing today and what he brought to our team."
After Geoffrey Bramblett threw his first career complete-game, shutting out Georgia Southern in an elimination game in the morning, Guilbeau threw his first complete game in the evening game. Guilbeau allowed a run on five hits with five strikeouts and six walks. Guilbeau's longest outing before today was six innings against Vanderbilt on April 21, 2012.
En route to snapping the Owls' nine-game winning streak, the Alabama offense notched its 30th game of the season with at least 10 hits. Leading the were Mikey White, who was 2-for-4 with a run scored, Ben Moore, who was 2-for-4 with a run scored, and Kyle Overstreet, who had a pair of singles. Casey Hughston had a two-run double, Georgie Salem had an RBI double and Austen Smith had an RBI and scored a run.
"We have a different energy right now and it started with the won over FSU yesterday," Gaspard said. "It relaxed our guys and we're really in a good place right now. I'm excited about the game tomorrow."
Alabama took a 3-0 lead when they scored three runs in the top of the fourth off Kennesaw State starter Gabe Friese. After Georgie Salem flew out to start the inning, Moore and Wade Wass singled putting runners on the corners for Smith. Moore scored on a Smith fielder's choice and Wass was safe at second on an error by the Owls second baseman. After Kyle Overstreet popped out to short, Casey Hughston doubled to left field to drive in Wass and Smith for a 3-0 Tide advantage.
The Owls responded by scoring a run in the bottom of the inning, when Max Pentecost scored on a single by Chris McGowan. After KSU loaded the bases with two outs, Guilbeau struck out Cornell Nixon to end the inning without any further damage.
With two outs in the Bama seventh, White singled and was driven in by Salem when he doubled down the third base line, putting the Tide ahead 4-1.
The Owls threatened again in the eighth inning, getting runners on first and second with two outs, but Matt Bahnick grounded out to second to end the inning. In the ninth, Guilbeau retired all three batters to finish the Tide's fifth complete game of the season.
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