University of Alabama

Bama rallies to beat Vanderbilt


NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Alabama scored six runs with two outs in the top of the eighth inning to down Vanderbilt in front of 2,971 fans at Hawkins Field in Nashville.

Josh Rutledge’s two-run single followed by Ross Wilson’s three-run home run highlighted the inning.

The Crimson Tide (25-13, 8-8 SEC) snapped a 4-4 tie with the six-run rally.

Rutledge had struck out in his four previous at-bats in the game and battled back from a 0-2 count to come with the clutch two-out hit.

Alabama senior right-hander Austin Hyatt earned the win. He went 8 1-3 innings for his ninth win in his last 10 decisions dating back to last season.

Vanderbilt (23-14, 7-8 SEC) combined some good fortune with a couple of seeing-eye singles to plate three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to take a 4-2 lead. Jason Esposito led off with a bloop single to center and Joe Loftus followed with a chopper that found hold and reached the outfield for another base hit. Brain Harris then reached on a RBI double after UA left fielder Taylor Dugas slipped a fell on a fly ball to left field. Pinch-hitter Alex McClure then dumped a two-run single to center to put the Commodores in front 4-2.

Alabama’s Kent Matthes hit his NCAA-leading 21st home run.

Alabama and Vanderbilt play again at 4 p.m. today.