Alabama used their successful formula of outstanding pitching and just enough offense to get by the Troy Trojans 5-3 on Tuesday night.
Little-used catcher Taylor Poe was the hero with a two-run single in the bottom of the eighth, his second hit of the night. Poe is now 5-12 with five runs driven in on the year, and all the production has been when the team needed them most: A two-run double to salt a game away against Georgia, and a home run and clutch single in a close victory over Alcorn State.
Freshman Brock Love got the start on the mound and lasted five innings, allowing four hits, two walks and two runs, while striking out nine.followed and was the winning pitcher, going three innings, allowing one run on four hits with four strikeouts. Mr Automatic, Thomas Burrows, came on in the ninth and earned his 10th save. Burrows has still not given up a run in his 12 appearances, covering 15.1 innings.
Troy touched up Love for two runs in the fifth on two singles and a double to take the early lead. 'Bama bounced back in the bottom half of the inning, scoring three times on an RBI single by Chandler Avant and a two run single from Chance Vincent. Keller replaced Love in the sixth and the first batter he faced, Joey Denison, blasted a home run to left. Two more singles followed before Keller recorded a strikeout and got a leaping grab of a line drive by Cobie Vance, which turned into a double play to end the inning.
The Tide plated the winning runs in the bottom of the eighth after Vincent walked and Chandler Taylor was hit by a pitch while trying to bunt. Cody Henry hit a long drive to right that advanced the runners, setting the table for Poe's big hit. Poe lined a single over third base, scoring both base runners for the final margin of victory.
Burrows was summoned to shut the door, and despite a walk and a single, did just that, recording one strikeout along the way. Burrows has now pitched 15.1 innings, allowing six hits, with eight walks and 27 strikeouts, and has yet to give up a run this season. Already the career save leader for Alabama, Burrows is now four away from tying Ben Short's season record of 14 saves.
'Bama out hit the Trojans 10-9, and both teams drew three walks. Troy struck out 14 times and left nine men on base, while the Tide struck out eight times and stranded seven runners. Poe, Salem and Vincent all had two hit nights, with Salem stretching his hitting streak to nine games. Vance, with his double play, and Georgie Salem with a running catch in left center, both saved runs with their defense, and team did not commit an error on the night.
The Tide has a quick turn around, playing host to 21st ranked South Alabama at 6:30 p.m. tonight. Freshman Kyle Cameron will start on the mound against Randy Bell for the Jaguars.
Alabama will travel to College Station Texas to take on the No. 1-ranked Texas A&M Aggies for a weekend series.
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