Alabama baseball avoided elimination in 3-1 win over Rider on Friday at Love Field in Ruston, La.
The Crimson Tide's win over Rider (23-18) sets up another win-or-go-home game for Alabama (32-25) against the loser of Louisiana Tech vs. North Carolina State.
After another slow start, William Hamiter came alive to propel the Crimson Tide, while Dylan Smith threw a complete game.
Here are three thing we learned:
1. William Hamiter saves Alabama’s season
A go-ahead two-run home run to right by Hamiter gave Alabama its first lead of the tournament and may have saved the season.
Hamiter is now 3-for-7 in Ruston with a walk and has been the spark for an otherwise stagnant offense.
Alabama’s right fielder followed up his offensive display with a spectacular diving catch where he lost the glove but kept the ball inside.
2. Dylan Smith provides another gem
Smith threw 116 pitches in nine innings with seven strikeouts and no walks, giving up just seven hits.
It was Smith’s first complete game and just his second win of the season in 16 starts.
3. Controversial interference call draws attention
After a fiery pep talk in the dugout from coach Brad Bohannon, Alabama came to the plate with determination in the fourth.
With runners on first and third, Caden Rose hit a high chopper over the head of the pitcher and into the grass in front of the second baseman.
Drew Williamson avoided a collision in the base path on his way to second but was called for interference, stopping the run from scoring on the third out.
Alabama will face the loser of Saturday’s meeting between Louisiana Tech and North Carolina State on Sunday (2 p.m.) at Love Field.