HOOVER, Ala. (AP) — Jackson Tate hit a three-run homer, capping a six-run third inning, and No. 10 Alabama eased by No. 7 South Carolina 9-3 on Tuesday in the first round of the SEC Tournament.
Alabama (30-22) will play No. 2 seed Tennessee on Wednesday. South Carolina (33-21) was knocked out of the tournament.
Alabama starter Tyler Ras (7-4) struck out four in six innings while allowing three runs. Tate ended the game with a diving catch in left, giving Brock Guffey his second save of the season.
Alabama second baseman Peyton Wilson was 3 for 5 with two doubles, and Owen Diodati and Sam Praytor each had two RBIs. The six-run inning was Alabama's best in a tournament game since 2002.
South Carolina DH Wes Clarke hit a solo home run to deep left in the sixth for his NCAA-leading 22nd of the season. Clarke is tied for the national lead with Florida State's Matheu Nelson. Clarke is the sixth different Gamecock in program history to reach the mark in a single season.
South Carolina starter CJ Weins (1-1) allowed four runs in 2 2/3 innings.