May 21, 1998
STANFORD, Calif. -- The University of Alabama (43-16) exploded for seven runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to defeated the University of Minnesota (45-13) in game #2 of the NCAA West Regional at Sunken Diamond.
Andy Phillips hit a double off the right field fence to drive home Paul Phillips and Darren Wood to give Alabama it's first, and only, lead of the game. G.W. Keller followed with an RBI single to left field before the Crimson Tide added two more. Matt Frick and Drew Bounds each homered off reliever Brad Pautz before Minnesota got out of the inning. The Gopher's starting pitcher, Ben Birk (8-2), had only given up four hits before the fatal eighth inning.
Jared Kingrey (8-3) pitched the complete game for Alabama, giving up two runs off five hits while striking out nine. G. W. Keller continued his 21-game hit streak, Alabama's high for the year. Bounds led the Alabama offense with two hits and three RBI's.
"The first game's always tough. I'm very pleased we won that game, Minnesota is a great team," said Alabama head coach Jim Wells.
Minnesota scored two runs in the second inning off a Matt Brosseau single to left field. Brosseau finished the game with two hits and two RBI's. "We got a little anxious and let the game get away," said head coach John Anderson. "Our kids looked too far ahead, but we're a young team and it's something we can learn for tomorrow." Alabama will face North Carolina State tomorrow at 7:00 pm while Minnesota will play the loser of the Stanford/Loyola Marymount game at 11:00 am.
Minnesota 020 000 000 x 2 5 0
Alabama 010 000 07x x 8 9 0
WP: Kingrey (8-3) LP: Birk (8-2)
2B: Scanlon (21), A. Phillips (9)
HR: Frick (21), Bounds (11)
Battery: Birk, Pautz, Dobis, and Negan (UM). Kingrey and Frick (UA)
NCAA West Regional
Thursday, May 21, 1998
ALABAMA HEAD COACH JIM WELLS:
"(Birk) was outstanding and Jerrod (Kingery) did a great job, too."
"The first game is always tough. I'm very pleased we won that game because Minnesota is a great team."
"In three days (Kingery) can come back. He proved that last year at the regionals and the World Series."
On his double in the eighth: "I just wanted to stay aggressive. I knew 3-1 count with the bases loaded was do or die right there. Luckily I got a great pitch."
"I knew I hit it pretty hard, I wasn't thinking about hitting it out of the park."
"We proved to ourselves that we can get the big hits at the right time."
MINNESOTA HEAD COACH JOHN ANDERSON:
"We got a little anxious and let the game get away. With six outs the kids looked ahead a little bit. It's something we can learn from and take with us tomorrow."
"Alabama's pitching staff did a great job. I give Kingrey a-lot of credit."
"I think we played well for the most part and I expect us to play well tomorrow. You neve like to be in the loser's bracket but it's exciting to still be in it and have a chance."
"My sinker worked well in the beginning, but I left is up late in the game. I think we did a good job, we just have to be a little more patient."