HOOVER, Ala. (AP)Freshman Ben Hess struck out seven straight batters in relief after a two-hour rain delay and No. 11 seed Alabama beat sixth-seeded Georgia 5-3 on Tuesday to begin the SEC Tournament.
Alabama (33-26) advances to face No. 3 seed Arkansas on Wednesday in the double-elimination portion of the tournament. The Crimson Tide won a three-game series against the Razorbacks to end the regular season, including an 18-5 result in the finale.
Hess (3-1) took over for Alabama ace Garrett McMillan after the rain delay and struck out a season-high 10 in 4 1/3 scoreless innings. Dylan Ray earned his seventh save after two strikeouts in the ninth.
The teams combined for 28 strikeouts to set a tournament record for a nine-inning game. Every batter in the Georgia lineup struck out at least once.
Zane Denton hit an RBI single with two outs in the first inning to give Alabama a 3-0 lead. The Crimson Tide added two runs in the second on a wild pitch and sacrifice fly.
Sophomore Luke Wagner (5-2) allowed five earned runs in 1 1/3 innings in his third start of the season for Georgia (31-27). Jaden Woods had seven strikeouts in four innings.
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