Freshman right-hander Jake Walters received his first start on the mound for the Crimson Tide on Tuesday, and pitched five shutout innings, allowing two hits, walking two, and striking out a team-high nine batters. Walters was the winning pitcher and now has a 2-0 record on the season. With the injuries mounting for the Tide staff, the start by the Thompson High School product was much needed.
Walters struck out the side in the first and second inning, and two more in the third. Casey Hughston put the Tide on board first with a long, long home run over both fences in right center field in the second inning. 'Bama added five runs in the fifth to take a seemingly comfortable 6-0 lead. Riley Colburn led off that inning with an infield single, followed by a hit-and-run single by Chandler Avant. Avant stole second and Georgie Salem walked to load the bases. Mikey White then blasted his fifth triple of the season in the right-center gap, clearing the bases. Hughston dumped an RBI single into short left field and was followed by Chance Vincent's RBI hit to center for the fifth run of the inning.
Alex Watkins replaced Walters to start the sixth, but struggled, allowing a single, back to back triples, and a walk before being replaced by Jay Shaw. Shaw allowed a hit and a walk, but struck out two and finished the inning with the Tide up by a 6-4 score. Alabama got one more run in the sixth when Avant, Salem, and White singled back to back to back, with White's hit driving home Avant.
Mitch Greer pitched a perfect seventh inning. After giving up a lead off single in the eighth, he was replaced by Colton Freeman. Freeman faced one batter, who walked, and was replaced by J.C. Wilhite. Wilhite allowed a single to load the bases, and a sacrifice fly to score the Bulldogs' fifth run of the game.
The Tide got an insurance run in the eighth when White singled, stole second and scored on a single by Kyle Overstreet to make it a three run lead again.
Closer Thomas Burrows was called on to pitch the ninth and was greeted by three straight singles, cutting the lead to 8-6. Burrows recovered to strikeout the next two batters and coax a fly ball to Salem in center field to end the game. Burrows earned his fourth save of the season.
'Bama improves to 12-7 on the season and have won five of their last seven games.
- White was 3-4 with four RBIs, a triple, a walk, and two runs scored.
- Hughston was 3-4 with a home run, stolen base, two RBIs, and two runs scored.
- Avant was 3-5 with a double, a stolen base, and two runs scored.
- Chance Vincent was 2-4 with one run driven in.
It is said that there are five things a ball player needs to do to be considered one of the greats: hit, hit for power, run, field and throw. Very few - think Willie Mays and Mike Trout - possess all five of these tools. 'Bama has a special player that does all these things: Casey "Casey Baseball" Hughston. The sophomore from Mobile flashed all five in last night's game. Hit: he collected three hits and is hitting .473 on the season. Power: he hit a long home run to lead off the second. Run: Hughston legged out an infield single and stole a base (8-8 in stolen base attempts for the year). Field: the right fielder made several nice plays and has not made an error all season. Throw: Hughston showed off his rocket arm by throwing a runner out at the plate in the fourth inning.
The Tide will be in action again this weekend at "home" hosting Texas A&M at the Hoover Met for a three game series. Friday's first game is at 7:00 p.m. Saturday's first pitch is at 3:00 p.m. Sunday's game will be at 1:00 p.m. All times are CST, and all games will be available to be streamed on SEC Network+, as well as local radio.
** The RBR B'ham BBQ Baseball Bonanza tailgate will be Saturday at 11 am in the parking lot of the Met. **
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