After being out-slugged, Alabama out-pitched as No. 5 Vanderbilt completes sweep

Joey Blackwell

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Holding No. 5 Vanderbilt to two runs is a very difficult thing to do.

Alabama was able to do do Sunday afternoon, but it still wasn’t enough as the Commodores managed a 2-0 victory to complete the series sweep at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.

“Obviously another really tough loss to a really good team,” Alabama coach Brad Bohannon said. “We’re scuffling offensively right now, there’s no secrets. It’s tough to beat a top-five opponent when you only get 15 or 16 hits, and three of them don’t even leave the infield.

Pitching was the story of the day, as the three pitchers for Vanderbilt combined to give up just three Crimson Tide hits, while striking out 11.

Starting pitcher senior Patrick Raby (6-1) picked up the win, with sophomore reliever Tyler Brown (nine) getting the save.

For Alabama, senior Jeremy Randolph (1-1) had his first career start. In 2 2/3 innings pitched, Randolph allowed one run off of three hits, and had three strikeouts.

In the seventh, junior reliever Deacon Medders came into the game, and pitched lights-out. In three innings, Medders allowed no runs, only one hit, and had seven strikeouts.

“[I] was really pleased with the pitching,” Bohannon said. “I thought everybody that pitched today was outstanding.

“I thought we pitched really well against a great offensive club, and just couldn’t quite scratch enough offensively.”

The only scoring came in the top of the third, with junior right fielder J.J. Bleday hitting his 20th home run of the season, which tied junior Kody Hoese of Tulane for the lead in the NCAA.

Senior shortstop Ethan Paul also scored on a single by sophomore designated hitter Philip Clarke.

With the loss, Alabama dropped to 24-17, 4-14 in SEC play. Vanderbilt, still in the hint for the league's regular-season title, improved to 30-9, 12-6 SEC.

“The kids are competing, they’re working, they’re here early, they’re giving us everything we have,” Bohannon said. “We’re just In a rough patch offensively right now.”

Alabama returns to action Wednesday at Jacksonville State. The first pitch is scheduled for a 6 p.m. CT first pitch.