On a rainy night at the Hoover Met the Crimson Tide rode a second inning three run home run from Will Haynie and sterling relief pitching to a 5-1 victory over the Blazers on Tuesday night. The Tide improved to 19-16 on the year while the Blazers fell to 21-14. UAB won two out of three from the 12th ranked Rice Owls this past weekend.
Nick Eicholtz took the mound for his second start of the season and threw the ball well, but had some control issues. He pitched 3.2 innings, allowing all three Blazer hits while walking four, hitting one, and striking out five. The sophomore Florida native has been working his way back from an arm injury, and looks to be close to being back to form.
The Tide got all the runs they needed in the bottom of second on a long three run home run from catcher Haynie. Cody Henry reached base with one out after being hit by a pitch, followed by a J.C. Wilhite single. Haynie then drove a 3-1 pitch deep over the left field wall for his fourth home run of the season, and second against the Blazers.
Eicholtz allowed the only run in the fourth when he walked the lead off hitter, who advanced to third on a wild pick off attempt at first base. Eicholtz struck out the next two batters, but then gave up two straight singles, bringing Jay Shaw out of the bullpen. Shaw got a ground ball to end the fourth, then pitched a perfect fifth inning with a strikeout.
The Tide put the game out of reach in the bottom of the fifth, scoring twice, as eight hitters came to the plate. Chandler Avant led off with a single, and then with two outs, Casey Hughston drew a walk. Kyle Ovestreet bounced a single past the shortstop for one run, and then the hot hitting Henry lined an RBI single.
Mitch Greer, Thomas Burrows, Ray Castillo and Wilhite followed Shaw and all pitched hitless, scoreless innings in a well pitched game for the Tide. Burrows and Wilhite each walked a batter, the only base runners allowed by the relief corps, while striking out four.
'Bama collected 10 hits, five walks, and one hit batter. Tide pitchers allowed three hits, struck out nine, and walked six. Henry and Wilhite had two hits each, while Chance Vincent added a double. Georgie Salem, Mikey White, and Overstreet all had one hit and one walk. Haynie's home run and Avant's single rounded out the hits for the Tide. Eicholtz was awarded the win and is now 2-0 on the season.
- Haynie tied for the team lead in home runs with four (tying White and Hughston).
- Henry now has an eight game hitting streak, averaging .608 (17-28) with three doubles, a triple, seven RBIs, and seven walks.
- Overstreet has reached base in 24 straight games and has a six game hitting streak.
Henry continues to impress and is now hitting .329 after starting the season 1 for 20. Haynie continues to show that when he makes contact, he has legitimate power. He just needs to consistently put the ball in play. White, Overstreet and Wilhite have all been consistent, while Salem has started to turn the corner. Hughston needs to get back to his early season form, driving the ball with more power and driving in runs. Avant has had a season of streaks and needs to get back on an upward one. When he and Salem are reaching base at the top of the order, the offense can be dangerous.
The Tide travels to Columbia Missouri this weekend for a big three game series. Friday nights game is at 6:00 p.m, Saturday's second game is set for 7:00 p.m. and the finale on Sunday is a noon game. All times are CST and all games will be available to stream on SEC Network Plus, and local radio. 'Bama badly needs to win at least two of the three games.
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