HOOVER, Ala- (WIAT) The Alabama baseball team was treating its first round SEC tournament game like an NCAA Regional, and that must-win philosophy worked. The Crimson Tide beat Kentucky 5-2 Tuesday night at the Hoover Met to advance to the double elimination round.
The Tide got on the board early, scoring three runs in the second inning, thanks to a bases loaded walk to Daniel Cucjen and a two-RBI single by Hunter Webb.
Kentucky got a run back in both the fourth and seventh innings to close the gap to 3-2.
Then the Crimson Tide gained some insurance runs at the most opportune time. In the top of the ninth inning Will Haynie hit a two-run home run to extend the lead back out to three, 5-2.
Nick Eicholtz got the win on the mound, allowing two runs on three hits in a little more than six innings of work. Tim Burrows earned the save and got the Tide out of a jam in the eighth inning.
The win gives Alabama (32-24) some breathing room to make the NCAA tournament. They have been on the bubble ever since being swept by South Carolina to end the regular season.
Alabama will now play top seeded Mississippi State Wednesday at 4:30 p.m in the second round.