TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- "This team seems to have a little flair for the dramatic" is how Alabama baseball coach Mitch Gaspard described the Crimson Tide's series clinching 4-3 victory over Auburn on Sunday.
Tied at three with the winning run on second, Tide freshman Casey Hughston hit a walk-off double to give Alabama the game and the series. It was the Tide's fifth walk-off victory this season and its third in Southeastern Conference play.
"When you walk off time and time again, you start to have a great belief that you can do it late in the game," Gaspard said. "That's what's happening now. When it gets late, we feel like we're going to win the game."
Added Hughston, "We fight. We're competitors. We keep punching until the last out. We never give up."
Pinch running for Wade Wass, who had a double with one out, Colton Freeman sprinted home to score the final run and Hughston was mobbed by teammates at second.
"It was awesome," Hughston said. "Best feeling in the world."
Alabama opened the game with two runs in the first and added another in the second. The Tide appeared to be in complete control, but a three run third inning from the Tigers tied the game.
From there, neither team could put anything together as both squad locked down defensively and pitched well.
"Tough emotional loss, no doubt about it," Auburn coach Sunny Golloway said. "Our guys played really hard. We start seven freshmen today and our freshmen played really good, swung the bad really good."
The Tigers started seven freshman in the batting lineup. Golloway said the move was about "building our program." Golloway said the team is "starting at Ground Zero."
"Lot of bad habits and a lot of bad things that we've got to get filtered out," Golloway said. "That's what we're here to do. We're going to continue to make changes and get our program right. We don't have the luxury of 1) playing at home in this series this year and 2) having veteran players. We don't have that luxury. We've got young freshmen and we've got to play with them. Our freshmen played toe to toe with their veteran players. It's going to change. It's definitely going to change."
With the win, Alabama moves to 24-11, 10-5 SEC while Auburn falls to 21-16, 6-9 SEC. Alabama is back in action Tuesday when Jackson State travels to Tuscaloosa. Auburn will face Samford in Birmingham on Tuesday.