After a tough opening SEC series in Oxford over the weekend, the Tide came home and faced the overmatched Maine Black Bears on Tuesday night. The game was a walk in the park as the Tide used three home runs and five pitchers to defeat the visitors 16-0.
Maine has played a very tough early season schedule, with games at Florida State, Maryland, Mississippi State, and Miami to name a few. The team will not play a home game until the middle of April. Such is life in the northeast in the winter months. Bama improved to 18-4, and the Bears fell to 1-16 on the season.
The Tide scored in every inning but the first, with three runs in the second and third inning and five in the seventh. Five pitchers combined to shutout the Bears, allowing seven hits, walking only four and striking out thirteen. Tyler Ras was the starter and winner, going five innings, giving up three hits, walking one and striking out five. Brock Guffey, Garret Rukes, Dylan Oliver, and Deacon Medders pitched one inning each to secure the combined shutout. The scoreless game was the staff’s fourth of the season.
Bama got all the runs they needed in the second on a sacrifice fly by Kolby Robinson and a two-run triple by Jeaux Breaux. However, they continued to pour on the runs, adding four in the third. Morgan McCullough led off the frame with his first home run of his Alabama career. Tyler Gentry followed with a double, and then scored in front of the most exciting play of the night. T.J. Reeves blasted a long drive to center field, that hit off the top of the fence. Center fielder Kevin Doody quickly picked the ball up, but the speedy Reeves was well on his way to an inside the park home run, sliding in head first and beating the throw for his second round tripper of the year.
And one stayed in so T.J. could show off his wheels!— Alabama Baseball (@AlabamaBSB) March 20, 2019
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Gentry added a solo shot, his fifth, in the fourth to make the lead 7-0. Breaux singled in two more runs in the fifth, before coach Brad Bohannon started emptying his bench. Johnny Hawk drove in a run in the sixth on a single. The Tide added five more in the seventh, on a RBI double by Hawk, a two run single by Isaiah Byars, and bases loaded walks to both John Trousdale and Reeves. Gentry finished his big night, and the game’s scoring, with a sacrifice fly in the eighth, scoring Brett Auerbach, who had doubled.
The Tide used 16 hits, 11 walks, and two Black Bear errors to score their most runs of the season. The ole bugaboo — runners left on base — was still a problem, with the Tide stranding 12.
Who Did What
Gentry was 3-5 with his home run, three runs driven in, and two runs scored. Drew Williamson was 3-3 and scored twice. Breaux was 2-4 with a triple and four RBI, while Hawk was 2-3 with two walks, a double, two runs scored, and two driven in. McCullough was 2-4 with his home run and one driven in. Reeves drove in three with his 1-4, two walk night, and also scored three times. Ras evened his record at 1-1 on the year. Fourteen position players and five pitchers saw action in the game.
Bama did what they were suppose to do, defeat an overmatched opponent soundly, and is now 7-0 in midweek games. There are seven more Tuesday/Wednesday games remaining on the schedule. If the team can finish 14-0 in those games, and play tough in the SEC, that will go a long way toward securing an NCAA Regional bid.
What’s Next ?
The Tide will host 9th-ranked Arkansas this weekend in their second SEC series. The Hogs were runners up in the College World Series last season. Friday’s game will begin at 6 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m., and Sunday at 1 p.m. All games will be available on SEC Network Plus, Watch ESPN App.
Roll Tide, Bama Baseball Fever, Catch It
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[ED. NOTE: Alabama is one victory away from tying the win total from the 2017 season. ~cb969]
While we have a moment, don't forget to get your tickets for next Tuesday's @MAXCreditUnion Capital City Classic in Montgomery!— Alabama Baseball (@AlabamaBSB) March 20, 2019
Alabama vs. Auburn at 6⃣ p.m. CT
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