Crimson Tide Baseball has Harvard Seeing Red

Alabama Athletics

Joey Blackwell

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — A huge eight-run inning by Alabama baseball in the bottom of the eighth propelled the Crimson Tide to a 10-5 comeback victory over Harvard on Saturday afternoon in Sewell-Thomas Stadium.

"Just really really pleased," Alabama coach Brad Bohannon said. "I just thought it was a really good win for us. I thought [Harvard's] starting pitcher Owen Holt was outstanding. He was 90-94 in the top of the zone and those guys were hard to hit. I told the team you know I looked up in the top of the sixth and we were down 3-0 and I'm like 'hey we've actually played pretty well.'"

Sophomore right-hander Connor Shamblin started the game on the mound for Alabama and allowed three runs off of six hits in five innings pitched. All three runs for Harvard came from a three-run home run in the top of the fifth by junior center fielder Tommy Seidl.

"I thought Connor Shamblin gave us a really good start," Bohannon said. "Had a ball deflect off his glove and a single and a home run. I didn't think our at-bats were bad — I thought their starter did a good job."

The Alabama comeback began in the bottom of the sixth when junior right fielder Tyler Gentry scored on a wild pitch by sophomore lefty Harrison Stovern.

The next inning, the Crimson Tide chipped away at the Crimson's lead once again by adding another run, this time by an RBI-single by sophomore left fielder T.J. Reeves that brought senior shortstop Kolby Robinson in for the run.

Entering the bottom of the eighth, it was starting to look like the Crimson Tide was going to experience its first loss of the season. Down 3-2 and having trailed the entire game to that point, it was do-or-die time for Alabama.

After freshman pinch-hitter Owen Diodati stepped into the box and registered an RBI-single to tie the game, the Crimson Tide decided that a tie wasn't enough.

Alabama proceeded to add seven more runs to its score, with one play being a three-run infield inside-the-park home run by Robinson. On the play, the Harvard infield committed three throwing errors in wild fashion.

The play happened so quickly that even Robinson had difficulty recalling it.

"I have no idea," Robinson said. "It was crazy. I just put in play with two strikes and then I was just running and then every time I went to first base or I went to the bag [they] overthrew the next guy so I kept going. And then overthrew the guy going to third so I kept going to third then they overthrew the guy home and I just went.

"It was crazy."

Despite initially being credited with four errors on the play, the error count was brought down to three after review.

A two runs by Harvard in the top of the ninth weren't enough to overcome the deficit, and Alabama won by a final score of 10-5.

"I told the other coaches after [Shamblin] gave up the three 'hey if we can hold them to three here we're going to win the game,'" Bohannon said. "I knew they were a little light in the bullpen."

Sophomore right-hander Chase Lee (1-0), who relieved Shamblin in the sixth, picked up the win for Alabama. In one and two-thirds innings pitched, Lee recorded two runs off of three hits, walked none and struck out four.

"[Lee] made some huge pitches there in the eighth inning and I do think that was a huge part of us wining the ball game," Bohannon said.

Senior lefty J.T. Bernard is saddled with the loss for the Crimson.

Alabama moves to 11-0 on the season. Harvard drops to 0-2 with the loss.

The Crimson Tide and the Crimson conclude its three-game series on Sunday morning (10:30 a.m. CT, SEC Network+).

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