May 7, 2012 9:41:59 AM
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- University of Alabama center fielder Taylor Dugas set the all-time school career hits record Saturday in a 3-2 loss to Mississippi State University at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.
Dugas' bunt single in the fifth inning gave him the record with 323, as part of a 2-for-5 day.
"Taylor Dugas has just been dynamite for us for four years, and what a great accomplishment that through all of the great players that have been through Alabama," Alabama coach Mitch Gaspard said.
Dugas, who tied Andy Phillips' 13-year record with a RBI double in the third inning, broke the record with a bunt single in the fifth.
Dugas, who owns the record for most singles (226), doubles (67), and triples (16) at the Capstone, took part in graduation ceremonies prior to the game, earning his degree in general health studies.
"That is why he came back, first of all, to get his degree, and then he gets the hits record in the same day," Gaspard said. "I couldn't be happier for him and his family. He does things the right way and is very deserving of all of the accomplishments that have come his way."
The Chicago Cubs drafted Dugas in the eighth round of the 2011 Major League Baseball First-Year Player draft, but he surprised many when he decided to return for his final season at Alabama.
"That was one of the things I wanted to accomplish in coming back," Dugas said. "Another was to win a lot of games and we are struggling to do that right now. It is a little bittersweet. It is never fun after a loss, but it is an accomplishment to be mentioned with Andy Phillips and all of the great hitters that have been through here. It is pretty amazing. We just have to get some wins."
When asked after the game, MSU starting pitcher Kendall Graveman had no problem giving up the record-breaking hit.
"Taylor Dugas did what he was supposed to do and laid down a perfect infield bunt," said Graveman, a Alexander City, Ala., native. "He is a great ballplayer and deserves to have the record."
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