The Alabama Crimson Tide completed a three game sweep of the Maryland Eastern Shore Hawks on Sunday with a convincing 19-0 victory. In the three games 'Bama outscored their opponent by a cumulative score of 36-0. The Tide in essence put the game away in the first inning by scoring three times. Georgie Salem walked, stole second and advanced to third on Mikey White's single. Casey Hughston continued his torrid start by tripling over the first base bag, scoring both runs. Kyle Overstreet lifted a sacrifice fly to right field to complete the first inning outburst.
Hoover's own Geoffrey Bramblett drew the start on the mound for the Tide and was never challenged, pitching six innings, allowing only two hits, walking two, hitting one and striking out three. In his last two starts (stretching back to regional play in Tallahassee last year) the sophomore has now pitched 15 consecutive scoreless innings.
The Tide broke the game wide open in the third inning tallying six runs, with the runs being driving in by an Overstreet single, a Chance Vincent two run single, and a two run double down the line by Will Haynie. J.C. Wilhite also contributed a sacrifice fly for an RBI. 'Bama added on in the fourth when Salem doubled, and later scored on Hughston's sacrifice fly.
Alabama added insult to injury in the seventh inning, crossing the plate nine times off a parade of Hawk relief pitchers. Two walks, two hit batters and six hits plated the runs. Hughston stroked a double and a single in the inning, driving in two. Overstreet also had a double and a single in the inning, scoring three runs. Riley Colburn's first career hit, a single scored another run, as did Daniel Cucjen's line drive single.
After Bramblett, pitching coach Dax Norris called on Jay Shaw, Mitch Greer, and Thomas Burrows for one inning apiece. Shaw didn't allow a base runner, striking out one. Greer hit a batter, but then made a nice play to turn a double play. Burrows allowed a harmless two out single in the ninth, but struck out the side in the All-American's first appearance of the young season.
With such a lop-sided weekend, you would expect there would be a lot of heroes, and there were. The brightest star was Hughston, who after striking out in his first two at bats on Friday, went 11-11 with a hit-by-pitch and sacrifice fly the rest of the weekend. The pride of Baker High in Mobile had three doubles, a triple, six runs scored and eight runs driven in. Kyle Overstreet was 6-11 with nine RBI's on the weekend. White had a 6-10 series with a double and triple, scoring five runs. Salem had three hits in eight at bats, scored five runs and swiped three bases.
On the pitching side, obviously no one gave up a run, with starters Taylor Guilbeau, Will Carter, and Bramblett combining on 19 shut out innings. Over the three games nine pitchers toed the rubber for the Tide, with some seeing their first collegiate action on the mound. Fourteen position players saw the field and got much needed experience as the season goes forward.
Coach Mitch Gaspard was happy to get some games under the teams belt, and having the ability to get game action for so many players.
The schedule toughens up quite a bit next week, when the Tide travels to Houston to take on the third ranked Cougars.The team will have to adjust to much tougher competition, and the hitters will have to be ready for pitches in the 90 plus MPH range, rather than the 70-85 MPH offerings of the Hawks. Second baseman Overstreet stated, " we hit the harder throwing teams better than we do these soft tossing guys." Friday and Saturday's games both begin at 6:30 p.m. CST and Sunday's first pitch is set for 12 noon.
Feel free to leave any questions about the team in the comments and I'll be happy to answer.
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