During Sunday’s game two of the Winston-Salem Super Regional, a home run derby broke out between No. 16 Alabama and No. 1 Wake Forest. A total of 13 home runs were hit between the two teams, four by Alabama and nine by Wake Forest, leading to a 22-5 win for the Demon Deacons.
The win punched Wake Forest's ticket to the College World Series for the first time since 1955 and ended the Crimson Tide’s season.
With the season on the line, Alabama gave the start to Jacob McNairy, whose last appearance was a three-hit shutout against Boston College in the Tuscaloosa Regional in the game that sent the Crimson Tide to the super regionals. Sunday did not go anything like his last start, as McNairy was taken out of the game in the second inning after allowing seven runs on six hits, four of the hits being home runs in his shortest outing of the season.
Alabama’s pitching wasn’t the only thing to not show up in Sunday’s competition, the offense failed to show up as well. The Crimson Tide offense was a key piece in getting them into the super regional, but on Sunday they were shut down. Alabama was only able to score five runs on eight hits, striking out 16 times.
Saturday’s 5-4 win by Wake Forest with both teams combining for a total of six home runs looked like a pitching duel compared to Sunday’s onslaught of home runs. A hitter-friendly ballpark combined with the wind blowing out was the perfect recipe for the long ball Sunday. Of the 27 total runs scored Sunday, all but four came by way of a home run.
Wake Forest came into Sunday’s game as one of the nation’s top home run-hitting teams led by Brock Wilken, who came into the game tied for third in the nation with 27 home runs on the season. Instead of remaining tied for third, Wilken improved his position into second, just one shy of the first-place spot with a three-home run performance. Wilken’s trio of home runs against the Crimson Tide also made him the ACC career home run leader with 70.
While Wake Forest finally broke their drought of making it to the College World Series, Alabama will add another year to their run of not making an appearance in the College World Series, which is now up to 24 years.
With Jason Jackson having a nice run as interim head coach, Alabama will have some big decisions in the offseason on whether to give Jackson the job or search for another head coach.
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