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MONDAY, APRIL 9, 2007
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Crimson Tide beats No. 1 Vandy in 10th inning

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

NASHVILLE — Alabama first baseman Matt Bentley was a little shocked following the Tide’s 5-3, 10-inning win at Vanderbilt.

Bentley scored the go-ahead run, stealing home in the 10th to give Alabama (20-14, 5-7 SEC) the come-from-behind victory over the top-ranked Commodores (29-5, 7-5).

“You never thought that was going to happen,” the 6-foot-4, 216-pound Bentley joked. “Once I took off, I just had my head down and was going full speed.”

With the score tied at 3, Bentley on third, shortstop Greg Paiml on first and hard-throwing Vanderbilt closer Casey Weathers on the mound, both base runners took off.

The play was designed to get Weathers to balk, but with the runners moving around him Weathers stood on the mound without moving a muscle.

By the time Weathers realized what was happening, Bentley was almost at home plate.

“We were trying to create something because we’ve been struggling offensively,” said Alabama coach Jim Wells. “It just happened to go our way and sometimes that can be a good thing to get a break.”

Alabama tied the game in the ninth when right fielder Kent Matthes knocked in Brandon Belcher from second base off Weathers.

Tommy Hunter got the start, allowing three runs in 6 2/3 innings. Alex Avila was 2-for-4 with two solo home runs for the Tide.

Even with the loss, Vanderbilt took the series, winning two of three games.

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