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Alabama baseball falls in Iron Bowl series at Auburn to close season; scores, takeaways

Alabama baseball's regular season came to an end with another series loss on the road. Alabama lost to Auburn at Plainsman Park 4-2 on Thursday and 12-11 on Friday but turned it around on Saturday with a 12-5 victory.

The No. 24 Crimson Tide (33-21, 13-17 SEC) needed a strong road performance to improve its seeding in next week's SEC Tournament and its standing with the NCAA Tournament selection committee. Already eliminated from conference tournament contention, the Tigers (27-26, 8-22 SEC) finished their season with a series victory over their archrival.

Alabama's pitchers excelled while the offense fell flat Thursday. The opposite was true on Friday, as the offense caught fire late but could not climb out of the hole that was dug by a poor pitching night. The Tide was able to avoid the sweep and close out the regular season with a solid win Saturday.

Game One: Alabama baseball falls to Auburn, 4-2, in the first game of final series of the season

Game Two: Alabama baseball battles back but drops wild game at Auburn to lose the Iron Bowl series

Game Three: Alabama baseball avoids Iron Bowl sweep, wins season finale with Saturday win over Auburn

Here are some takeaways from Alabama baseball's series against Auburn:

Alabama's pitching finds its groove Thursday while the offense struggles

Alabama ace Greg Farone pitched a season-high 106 pitches on Friday. Across 5 ⅔ innings, Farone allowed three runs on six hits and had three strikeouts. Austin Morris and Aiden Moza came in after Farone and combined for 2 ⅓ innings pitched with one run allowed on four hits with two strikeouts in what was another solid outing for the Crimson Tide pitching staff.

Surprisingly, it was the Alabama bats that failed to muster any offense. Third baseman Gage Miller and outfielder William Hamiter recorded the lone RBIs for the Crimson Tide in the series-opening 4-2 loss.

"We just didn't have enough consistent at-bats one through nine tonight," Alabama coach Rob Vaughn said. "To our pitchers’ credit, Auburn didn’t have many consistent at-bats either, but they were able to set some stuff up and cash in on their opportunities."

Alabama's lack of consistency at the plate has to be a concern this late in the season as the SEC and NCAA tournaments approach. The Crimson Tide must regain some of its early-season offensive prowess to stay competitive starting Tuesday in Hoover.

Alabama baseball's comeback bid falls short on Friday

Alabama fell short in one of the wildest games it has all season on Friday night.

After a one-hour rain delay, Alabama started game two with a 2-0 lead. However, Zane Adams began to struggle from the mound in the fourth inning, and Alabama's bullpen got throttled to the tune of six Auburn runs in each of the fourth and fifth innings to give the Tigers a 12-2 lead.

The Alabama offense stayed flat through the fifth and sixth innings, while the Tigers rattled off 12 in a row. Auburn was one strike away from mercy ruling the Tide in the top of the seventh inning, but a two-RBI double by Hamiter kept Alabama alive and sparked a ferocious rally.

Alabama scored four runs in both the seventh and eighth innings to make it a 12-10 game. The Tide plated another run to get within one and had the tying and go-ahead runs in scoring position, but a strikeout ended the comeback bid and gave Auburn a 12-11 series-clinching victory.

May 11 2024; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Alabama catcher Mac Guscette (9) throws to first for an out after fielding a bunt at Sewell-Thomas Stadium Saturday. Alabama lost 6-3 as LSU evened the weekend series.
May 11 2024; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Alabama catcher Mac Guscette (9) throws to first for an out after fielding a bunt at Sewell-Thomas Stadium Saturday. Alabama lost 6-3 as LSU evened the weekend series.

Another big series for William Hamiter

Hamiter has been a breakout offensive star for Alabama since he took over for Evan Sleight as the starting right fielder.

After a pair of solid series against Mississippi State (5-for-8 with an RBI in two games) and LSU (5-for-12 with four RBIs in three games), Hamiter moved to the No. 4 cleanup spot in the lineup for the Iron Bowl series. He recorded a hit in all three games to increase his active hitting streak to nine games.

On Thursday, Hamiter was 1-for-4 with an RBI and walked once. He led the way in Friday's near-comeback with a 3-for-4 performance that included two doubles and five RBIs. In Saturday's win, Hamiter went 1-for-5 with two more RBIs and reached base on a hit-by-pitch in the first inning.

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What's next for Alabama baseball?

Alabama will play in the first round of the SEC Tournament on Tuesday at the Hoover Metropolitan Complex.

The Crimson Tide enter the SEC tournament as the No. 7 seed, facing the No. 10 seed South Carolina in the first round on Tuesday. The game will be streamed on SEC Network 40 minutes after the 9:30 a.m. CT matchup between the No. 11 LSU/No. 6 Georgia.

The tournament is double elimination after the first round, so if Alabama wins then it will advance to the quarterfinal round on Wednesday to face Arkansas.

This article originally appeared on The Tuscaloosa News: Alabama baseball loses Iron Bowl series at Auburn; scores, takeaways