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SUNDAY, APRIL 8, 2007
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Alabama’s changes can’t top No. 1 Vandy
Tide strands 8 runners in 4th SEC loss

By Josh Cooper
jcooper@decaturdaily.com · 340-2460

NASHVILLE — Before Saturday’s game at No. 1-ranked Vanderbilt, Alabama coach Jim Wells decided to throw a changeup.

Wells took center fielder Emeel Salem out of the leadoff spot and moved him to third in the order. The hope was that the jilt in the lineup could provide a spark to Alabama’s lagging offense.

The experiment didn’t work as Alabama lost to the Commodores 4-2, losing for the sixth time in its last seven Southeastern Conference games.

“Emeel is our best player and usually your best player is the guy who has to get it done for you,” Wells said.

“We were just trying to change it up and sometimes you normally do when you’re in the quagmire we’re in.”

The Tide had its chances.

In the top of the sixth and trailing 3-1, Alabama had the bases loaded against Vandy (29-4, 7-4 SEC) with one out, but got only one run out of it.

Overall, the Tide (19-14, 4-7) left eight runners on base.

“We’ve been able to stay in the ball games to where they’ve been winnable,” Wells said. “But still you’d like to break out and get more than three hits and score.”

Alabama’s Bernard Robert went 5 2/3 innings, allowing four runs on eight hits to take the loss.

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