Like his teammate and fellow pitcher the day before, Nathan Kilcrease took the Tide into the ninth inning in a second round win over the Ole Miss Rebels. A day earlier Jimmy Nelson pitched a complete game to ice Abarn and send them to the loser’s bracket. On Thursday, the Phenix City, Alabama native would go 8 1/3 innings before Jake Smith would take the mound to finish off the Rebels and get the save. It was Smith’s fourth save of the season, and Kilcrease’s sixth win. Kilcrease has now also pitched 25 2/3 innings without giving up a walk.
With the exception of the brief appearance by Smith, Alabama has only used two pitchers in as many games in this year’s edition of the SEC Baseball Tournament, an event that their very appearance in was in doubt until the final week of the season. Using just a couple of pitchers preserves the ever so important “fresh pitching” for the games to come.
Alabama will enjoy a day off with a Friday bye before taking the field again on Saturday, facing Friday’s winner between Florida and Vanderbilt. The game will be played early afternoon, depending on the outcome of game 11, with a first pitch of 9:30am.
In the double elimination format, Bama basically has the inside track to the championship game on Sunday now, with two opportunities on Saturday to win one that will get them in. Bama’s win streak currently stands at seven in a row.
Ole Miss will now face the boogs in game 9 on Friday at Regions Park, where Abarn’s blistering offensive firepower has managed four runs in two games (that’s an average of 2 runs a game). The first pitch of that game is scheduled for 3:00pm.