Alabama used a huge first inning, and a big eighth inning to beat Jacksonville State 15-10 in a game at JSU on Tuesday night. The Tide opened the game with eight runs in the top of the first, before the Gamecocks ever got to the plate, and coasted to victory. 'Bama added single runs in the fifth and sixth, then put the game away with five runs in the eighth. Tucker Hawley, the second of the Tides six pitchers got the win, giving him a record of 4-1 on the year.
Of the Tides 18 hits, eight of them came in the first inning. Mikey White led off the game with a walk, and with one out Ben Moore singled. Wade Wass hit his team leading 18th double to bring in White. Kyle Overstreet walked, followed by a two run single by Austen Smith. Casey Hughston singled in a run, and then Matthew Goodson hit a sacrifice fly to center field for an RBI. Daniel Cucjen then got his first of four hits. The parade continued with White drilling an RBI single, as did Georgie Salem. Moore singled again, driving in the eighth run of the inning. In all 13 Tide batters came to the plate in the teams biggest inning of the season.
Nick Eicholtz started on the mound for 'Bama and was up and down. Eicholtz loaded the bases in the bottom of the first on two walks and a hit batter, but got two strikeouts and a fly out to end the first. The freshman from Odessa Florida allowed only a single hit in the second before being touched up for four runs in the third inning on one walk and three hits.
'Bama added a run in the fifth when Hughston led off the inning with his second triple of the season, and scored on an RBI ground out by Cucjen. JSU answered with two runs of their own off of Hawley on four hits in the fifth inning, cutting the lead to 9-6. 'Bama stretched the lead to 10-6 in the sixth when Salem walked and scored on an RBI single by Wass.
Jay Shaw relieved Hawley to being the seventh, and allowed on run on two walks and two infield singles, shrinking the lead to 10-7. Ray Castillo pitched the bottom of the seventh for 'Bama and struck out the side on 13 pitches. In the top of the eighth inning the Tide batted around again, scoring five big insurance runs. Moore started the inning with a walk, then Wass singled, followed by a long two run double to center by Overstreet, on a ball that just missed leaving the park. Hughston's third hit drove in a run, and Goodson drew a walk. Cucjen then lined his fourth hit of the game to right. White's second hit of the night was a two run single, ending the Tides scoring for the night.
Mitch Greer pitched the eighth inning, and allowed only a walk, and struck out two batters. With a 15-7 lead, closer Thomas Burrows was called on to get some work since he last pitched on May 4th against Florida. Burrows was not as sharp as he has been, walking the first two batters he faced. A double and two infield singles followed, giving the Gamecocks three runs, and doubling the number of runs that Burrows has allowed all season. The freshman lefty had two strikeouts, and got the last out on a fly ball to right, ending the game with 'Bama on the right side of a 15-10 score.
*Daniel Cucjen was 4-5 with and RBI, Stolen Base and run scored
*Casey Hughston was 3-5 with 2 RBI, a triple and 3 runs scored
*Wade Wass was 3-5 with a double, 2 RBI, 2 runs scored
*Mikey White was 2-5 with 3 RBI, a walk and 3 runs scored
*Ben Moore was 2-4 with 2 runs scored and an RBI
*Kyle Overstreet was 1-4 with a double, 2 RBI and 2 runs scored
*Austen Smith was 1-4 with a run scored, 2 RBI and a hit by pitch
*Matthew Goodson was 1-3 with an RBI, Sac Fly, Walk and run scored
* Georgie Salem was 1-5 with an RBI, run scored, and a walk
Mid week games can be tricky, but for the most part 'Bama has done a good job of taking care of business, losing only three while winning 11. The team now has an overall record of 33-19 heading in to the last regular season series of the season. The Tide will host Mississippi State on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and an important SEC match up. 'Bama sits seventh overall in the SEC right now and could finish anywhere from second to tenth, depending on what happens this weekend. The only thing they can control is their series with the Bulldogs, and for the best case scenario to happen, they must sweep the 'Dogs. MSU finished as national runner up last year, and is always a formidable foe. 'Bama played much better in the LSU series and on Tuesday night, and hopefully have shook off the late season slump from a couple of weeks ago. A good showing with Mississippi State and in the following weeks SEC tournament in Hoover could get the team back into consideration to host a regional, but a lot of things would have to line up for that to happen. Good things can still happen for this team, rather they host a regional or not.
Thursday's first game will be at 6:35 p.m.,Friday's game is at 6:05 p.m. and Saturday's first pitch is at 3:05 p.m. Friday's game will be televised on CBS Sports and Saturday's can be seen on CSS. Spencer Turnbull and Justin Kamplain will start the first two games, and Saturday will be announced, depending on Jonathan Keller's recent sore arm.
Bama Baseball Fever, Catch It!
Roll Tide Y'all Roger
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