Crimson Chaos of Sewell-Thomas couldn’t heckle UT Martin
Alabama baseball falls to UT Martin 7-6
By WVUA 23 Digital Reporter Hunter De Siver
At 3 p.m. on Tuesday, students and fans at the University of Alabama trotted up the ramp of Sewell-Thomas Stadium for some school-day baseball, but despite the Tide’s best efforts, they fell to UT Martin 7-6.
Lawn chairs were unfolding, snacks were crumpling, beer tabs were popping, dogs were barking and dozens of feet were latching onto a concrete wall with the padding of right field on the other side.
After a one-two-three inning for UT Martin, it was time for the student section to work its magic.
Being an outfielder is difficult for many reasons. Spotting the ball when it is hundreds of feet in the air, running full speed to make a catch and launching the ball back to the pitcher are some of the most challenging parts of being one of the players not next to a base.
Outfielders also have to play with fans directly behind them.
In the 1990s, New York Yankees fans were deemed the “Bleacher Creatures” for their eccentric ways of heckling the opposing right fielder at Yankee Stadium.
The student section at Sewell-Thomas Stadium in the same spot, and Tuesday’s victim was UT Martin right fielder Wil LaFollette.
Students did everything in their power to break him. They yelled at him for how his batting gloves were in his back pocket, asked him questions about his mom and girlfriend, why he was wearing a bracelet, and on and on.
Anytime the ball was in the air and heading his way, the students would scream to distract him, but nothing seemed to work.
After he struck out and flew out twice, the students wouldn’t let him hear the end of it when he trotted back to right field.
After the sun set down to the height of the foul pole, the perfect sunny day for baseball turned darker.
At the end of the fifth inning, the Tide were up 3-2. UT Martin’s Casey Harford hit a homer to tie the game at three apiece.
Now facing less pressure, LaFollette was next up to the plate. With each step to the bag, the student section got louder. Just a few seconds later, LaFollette silenced them with a nuke of his own to give UT Martin the lead.
They would hit a home run once again in the next inning.
Down 5-3 in the bottom of the seventh inning, Tide third baseman Zane Denton tied it up with two-run shot of his own.
The hype at “The Joe” would only last a few more minutes as UT Martin catcher Cameron Brady silenced the students with a two-run home run in the top of the ninth inning.
Alabama would score on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth to make it a one-run game at 7-6.
Up to the plate was Alabama’s best player, Owen Diodati. Diodati was a pinch hitter this game but was unsuccessful in his first two at-bats.
The students were now on their feet expecting a Derek Jeter-type walk-off home run right at their feet in right field.
Diodati hit a walk-off home run earlier in the season, so it wouldn’t be crazy to think it might happen again. However, he grounded out on the first pitch and the ball game was over.
Chairs would then fold back up, snacks and beer cans were being thrown away in nearby garbage cans, and the dogs were getting ready to go for a walk back home.
Brad Bohannon, the Alabama baseball head coach said that his team’s efforts weren’t where they needed to be today.
“We didn’t hit well enough; we didn’t pitch well enough; we certainly didn’t run the bases well enough,” Bohannon said.
Alabama will host Troy at 4 p.m. today with hopes to avenge their recent losses.