Tribe Loses Finale to Tide
Tuscaloosa, Ala. (February, 24 2003) - The Southeast Missouri baseball team lost the finale of a three game series today in Tuscaloosa as the Tide scored nine runs, six earned, to defeat the Indians, 9-4 and win the series. The win secures Bama's streak of consecutive series wins over a non-conference opponent.
The Tribe opened up the scoring as they plated a run in the first. Senior second baseman Justin Christian got an infield single as he hit a chopping bouncer to the shortstop who double-pumped allowing Christian to reach. He then advanced to second as senior third baseman Denver Stuckey reached on a bunt when catcher Bobby Burns couldn't make the play. Senior left fielder Brian Hopkins then reached on an error from second baseman Allen Rice, scoring Christian for the game's first run.
The game remained that way until the bottom of the fourth inning as starter James Beever pitched masterfully shutting out the Tide through three innings. Bama, however, took the lead for good as behind two miscues in the field for the Tribe in the fourth allowed two runs in the inning. Senior lefty Tim Alvarez came in to relieve Beever and got the final two outs of the inning.
The Tide would get to Alvarez for the first time in the series as in the fifth, they got two more runs on another two Southeast errors. Alvarez got out of the inning, but the Tide held a 4-1 lead after five.
Southeast cut the lead to one in the sixth, as senior catcher Tristen McDonald singled up the middle and Hopkins homered over the right center field wall to make the lead 4-3.
Bama got right back in the scoring as they scored three more runs to take a 7-3 lead. Southeast scored once more in the seventh to cut the lead to 7-4, but a two late runs gave the Tide the 9-4 win.
Southeast got two hits each from Christian, McDonald, junior first baseman Gary Gilbert and freshman right fielder Aaron Fangman. Hopkins had two RBI's and a stolen base. The Tribe left eight men on base.
Junior fireballer Bill Clayton saw his first action of the season and aside from two runs on his only hit allowed, he stuck out four batters, hitting 90 plus miles per hour on the radar gun throughout. Beever got the loss but he pitched a masterful three and a third innings, striking out one, allowing only two runs, one earned and giving up only three hits.
Southeast finishes the series 1-2, and will prepare itself for a weekend series against Memphis. The scheduled game for Wednesday at Saint Louis University has already been cancelled. Southeast will have its home opener Friday afternoon at 3 p.m. against the University of Memphis.