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Alabama Baseball Holds Off Late Rally by Murray State to Sweep Series

After falling behind in the third inning, a two-run home run by designated hitter Eric Foggo helped propel the Crimson Tide past the Racers.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — After falling behind 3-2 to Murray State on Sunday afternoon at Sewell-Thomas Stadium, Alabama baseball rallied with a two-run home run by designated hitter Eric Foggo to complete the three-game sweep of the Racers, 5-4.

The Crimson Tide has now won four games in a row after losing four heading into last week.

"Really glad to get a sweep today against a good Murray team," Alabama head coach Brad Bohannon said. "Today we made a lot of mistakes, and it's good to have some adversity — it's good that we got to play through some of that stuff.

"Just really glad that we did enough to get a win and to get a sweep. It's hard to beat anybody three times, it's hard to win four in a row."

Alabama jumped out to a two-run lead in the bottom of the first. Third baseman Zane Denton recorded the first RBI when he lined out to left field, advancing shortstop Jim Jarvis across the plate for the Crimson Tide's first run of the game.

One out later, catcher Dominic Tamez singled down the left field line, with first baseman Drew Williamson scoring.

In the top of the third, Murray State took the lead with three runs scored in the side. An RBI-single by designated hitter Carson Garner put the Racers on the board first, followed by a two-out, two-RBI single by right fielder Seth Gardner.

In the top of the fourth, Crimson Tide freshman relief pitcher Luke Holman entered the game, replacing starter Grayson Hitt. Holman surrendered two walks, but struck out two batters to prevent the Racers from adding to their lead.

In the bottom of the fourth, Alabama managed to get designated hitter Eric Foggo and center fielder Andrew Pinckney on second and third with nobody out. After right fielder Camden Hayslip struck out, second baseman Caden Rose flied out to center field, giving Pinckney the opportunity to tag home.

Holman held off Murray State again in the fifth, but the Alabama batters weren't able to gain any ground in the bottom of the frame. Brock Guffey replaced Holman at the top of the sixth, and picked up right where he left off with a 1-2-3 inning.

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In the bottom of the fifth, Foggo smashed a two-run home run over the wall in left field and amidst the young Crimson Tide fans playing in the playground. Alabama took a 5-3 lead, leading to a pitching change for the Racers.

Another 1-2-3 inning for Guffey on the mound maintained Alabama's narrow lead through the seventh-inning stretch. In the eighth, it was the same story: three up, three down as Guffey picked up his first and only strikeout of the game.

Closer Landon Green entered the game to replace Guffey in the top of the ninth. Guffey left the mound having pitched three innings, gave up no hits, no runs, walked none and struck out one.

"Brock Guffey did a great job," Bohannon said. "Came in and really settled the game."

Green surrendered a single to start the final side, then walked a batter to put the tying run on first. After falling behind in the count 3-0 to the fourth batter of the side with one out, Alabama replaced Green with Hunter Hoopes to try to put an end to the game.

Hoopes — who also pitched on Saturday — threw three strikes and struck out the first batter in center fielder Jake Slunder, evoking a roar from both himself and the Alabama crowd present.

"Being able to go from 3-0 to a strikeout like that, that was really huge," Hoopes said after the game with a huge grin on his face. "Emotions got the best of the me there, but I think that fired up the team and we were able to get out of it."

The next batter singled through the right side, scoring another run for the Racers and pulling them within 1. With runners on first and second, Hoopes forced third baseman Bryson Bloomer to fly out deep to the warning track in right, ending the game and giving Alabama the series-sweeping win.

Guffey (2-0) picked up the win after taking over for Hitt in the fourth, and Hoopes (2) picked up the save. Alex Jarrell (0-1), who gave up the home run to Foggo, was saddled with the loss.

With the win, Alabama moves to 9-4 on the season. Murray State falls to 8-3 with the loss. Up next, Alabama will have Monday off before hosting Middle Tennessee on Tuesday (3 p.m. CT, SEC Network+).

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