A six run third inning by Alabama turned the balance of the game in favor of the Crimson Tide who went on to defeat USC 9-3 Tuesday afternoon in a play-in elimination game of the SEC Tournament in Hoover. The Gamecocks were the higher seed coming in and won four game SEC games in the regular season than Alabama, but the Tide played the much better game when it mattered most.
Gamecock starter CJ Weins got the first two hitters out to start the third, except a wild pitch on a swinging third strike allowed the second hitter to reach. Things fell apart for Weins from there. A second wild pitch moved the runner to second, and he scored on a double by Peyton Wilson.
The Crimson Tide eventually loaded the bases with two outs after a pair of walks. A two-run single made it 3-0, and then Jackson Tate cleared the bags with a three-run homer to make it 6-0.
Alabama added two more runs in the fourth for an 8-0 lead, and the Gamecocks would not come close to making a comeback. They did get a two-run homer from Braylen Wimmer in the fourth and a solo shot by Wes Clarke in the sixth, his 22nd home run of the season. After that blast, the Gamecocks did not get a runner into scoring position the rest of the way.
Weins, who set an SEC Tournament record with five wild pitches, took the loss to fall to 1-1. He only allowed one hit, but he walked three and allowed four earned runs. John Gilreath, Daniel Lloyd, Andrew Peters and Julian Bosnic finished up. Bosnic, in particular, was good allowing one hit and striking out seven over four innings.