The Tide bats were hot again as Alabama scored in double digits for the second time in three games as they easily rolled over Troy 14-4 to win the Tuscaloosa Regional. Alabama was up 8-0 before Troy registered their first hit.
Alabama exploded in the second inning. They batted around scoring five runs off of six hits and it ended up being enough to put the game away. Troy starting pitcher Steven Morelock only lasted 1 & 1/3 innings.
Alabama pitcher Bernard Robert got some help in reigning in the Trojan offense in the second inning from CF Emeel Salem who robbed Troy of a homerun with an acrobatic grab and from LF Brandon Belcher who made a phenomenal diving catch to keep Troy at bay.
Not content with five runs, Alabama lit up the Troy pitching staff again and added another three runs in the third inning.
Catcher Kody Valverde's performance stood out amongst many great performances tonight. Valverde finished the evening 5 for 6 with 2 runs and 2 RBIs.
Though Troy never gave up and played valiantly, they were clearly outmatched tonight and Alabama put the game completely out of reach with a four run eighth inning that put them ahead 14-4. Troy managed one run in the bottom of the ninth, but it proved too little too late.
Coach Jim Wells congratulates his team during his post game talk.
I ended up not taking my camera as promised because it was raining and I didn't want to risk damage to my admittedly mediocre digital camera. The game started 20 minutes late due to rain. I did manage, however, to snap a few fuzzy pictures with my cameraphone.
Former Tide QB Spencer Pennington made the All-Regional team as a first baseman.
Seven Alabama players made the All-Regional team including former Crimson Tide quarterback and current first baseman Spencer Pennington.
Others making the All-Regional Team:
Kody Valverde - C
Greg Paiml - SS
Matt Downs - 3B
Emeel Salem - OF
David Robertson - P
Wade LeBlanc - P
Catcher Kody Valverde was the Regional MVP going 10 for 13 with 5 runs and 8 RBIs over the three games.
Alabama will play North Carolina in the Super Regional. It seems unfathomable that Alabama won't host the Super Regional being the #4 National Seed but that announcement will be made later this week.
I ran into Tyrone Prothro at a gas station after the game.