In their first game of the NCAA super regional against the No. 1 overall seed Wake Forest, No. 16 Alabama battled in front of a rowdy crowd at David F. Couch Ballpark in Winston-Salem, N.C., but came up short, losing 5-4.

Saturday’s exciting thriller between the two teams was delayed and pushed back two hours past the originally scheduled 11 a.m. CT first pitch due to a “non-game-related medical emergency,” but fans didn’t have to wait long after the first pitch for the action to get going.

On the first pitch of the game, Alabama leadoff hitter Jim Jarvis just missed a home run down the left field line, but the ball curved just left of the foul pole. In the bottom of the first inning on the first swing by Wake Forest, leadoff hitter Tommy Hawke crushed a solo homer to deep right field, giving the Demon Deacons an early 1-0 lead. Alabama dug themselves into an early hole after Justin Johnson led the second inning off with a solo shot of his own to extend the lead to two runs. Wake Forest would tack on another run in the inning by way of a wild pitch, putting the Tide down 3-0 to the No. 1 team in the country.

Alabama didn’t let the early deficit phase them as they clawed their way back to even with the Demon Deacons with a couple of home runs by Caden Rose and Colby Shelton off Wake Forest’s Rhett Lowder, who is second in the nation with a 1.77 ERA. The three runs given up by Lowder made for just the fourth time this season he has given up three or more runs. Lowder would finally get back in his groove and shut Alabama down until he exited the game in the top of the seventh finishing with six strikeouts.

Alabama got a gutsy performance out of their starting pitcher as well. Luke Holman battled for five and two-thirds innings, giving up four earned runs on six hits while striking out eight batters. Holman’s line could have been much different if it wasn’t for a controversial call by the umpire.

In the bottom of the fifth, one of the biggest plays of the game happened when Wake Forest designated hitter Danny Corona appeared to fail to check his swing and strikeout, but the umpire ruled that he did not go around. On the next pitch, Corona put one over the right field fence, giving the Demon Deacons a 4-3 lead and ultimately being the difference in the game.

In a post-game interview with ESPN, Corona admitted that he went around.

Caden Rose put the Crimson Tide within one in the top of the eighth with his second home run of the game, but that would be the last of the scoring for both teams with Wake Forest taking the first game of the super regional 5-4.

With Saturday’s loss, Alabama will have their backs against the wall having to win two games in a row against the No. 1 overall seed if they hope to return to the College World Series for the first time since 1999.

Game two of the series will be held on Sunday at 11 a.m. at David F. Couch Ballpark in Winston-Salem.

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