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Bama Baseball Off To Hot Start

The Tide went on the road for the first time this season and came away with a three game sweep of the South Alabama Jaguars.

Mariah Garza

Brad Bohannon and his Crimson Tide baseball team took to the road for the first time this season, traveling to Mobile to play the always tough South Alabama Jaguars. With inclement weather predicted for Sunday the series was compressed to two days, with a single game Friday night and two games Saturday. Weather has plagued the team all season, forcing two double headers, and one incomplete game that had to be completed on the next day. Bama won 7-3 on Friday and took the games on Saturday by scores of 10-5 and 6-1. The Tide used outstanding pitching and explosive hitting to dominate the series.

Game One: Won 7-3

Senior right hander Sam Finnerty took to the mound on Friday night and further established himself as the ace of the staff. Finnerty pitched six innings and was the winning pitcher, making his record on the year 3-0.

The Tide scored twice in the second on an RBI double by Justin King and a sacrifice fly from Kolby Robinson. Finnerty had his only slip in the third wen he allowed a single, a walk, and a three run home run to Ethan Wilson. Bama tied the game in the sixth on another Robinson sacrifice fly. The Tide retook the lead in the seventh when Morgan McCullough drew a two out walk and raced home on a triple by Keith Holcombe.

Casey Cobb took over on the mound in the seventh and pitched three almost flawless innings to earn his first save in the Crimson uniform. Cobb allowed one hit, struck out three batters, and walked no one. Finnerty allowed four hits with one walk and four strikeouts over his 93 pitches.

Bama had nine hits, drew 10 walks, struck out seven times, and left 11 runners on base. USA had five hits, drew only one walk, and struck out seven times. King was the only Tide player with multi hits with his 2-4 night, including a double with a walk, and a run driven in. Freshman first baseman Drew Williamson was 1-2 with a double and drew three walks, and scored a run. Robinson drove in two runs with his two sacrifice flies.

Game Two: Won 10-5

Freshman right hander Conner Shamblin started game two on the mound for the Tide. Last Sunday Shamblin was outstanding, pitching five hitless innings in his second start of the year. Today, however, was not his day. Three walks, a single, and a sacrifice fly scored a Jaguar run in the bottom of the first, and chased Shamblin from the game after only 23 of an inning. Kyle Cameron replaced him and stranded the bases loaded with a strikeout to end the inning.

Bama tied the game in the second when Tyler Gentry singled and eventually came around and scored. USA took the lead in the third off of Cameron with a lead off double and an RBI single. King blasted his first home run of his Tide career in the top of the fourth to tie the game. Bama grabbed the lead in the fifth after Brett Auerbach doubled and scored on a single by McCullough.

Deacon Medders replaced Cameron with one out and two on in the fourth and got a strikeout and ground out to get out of a jam. Gentry clubbed his team leading third home run of the year in the seventh, a two run job, to stretch the advantage to 5-2. The Tide tacked on three more in the eighth, highlighted by a run scoring triple by McCullough and RBI double from Gentry.

Medders cruised through the fifth, sixth, and seventh, before running into trouble in the eighth. Two singles and a walk loaded the bases with no outs and brought Chase Lee into the game. Lee got a strikeout, gave up a run scoring single, and run scoring fly ball, before a ground out ended the inning with the Tide still up 8-4. Reserve catcher Johnny Hawk slammed a two run home run in the top of the ninth to give Bama more breathing room. Jacob McNairy threw the ninth for the Tide and allowed one run on two hits and a walk, closing out the 10-5 Bama win. Alabama had 15 hits, five walks, nine strikeouts, and left 11 on base. USA had 10 hits, drew five walks, struck out 10 times, and stranded 10 runners.

Gentry led the hit parade with a 4-5 game with three runs driven in, a home run, two doubles, and two runs scored. McCullough was 3-6 with a triple and a double, two runs driven in, a run scored, and a stolen base. Robinson continued his brilliant start to the year with his 3-3 game and a sacrifice bunt. Medders evened his record at 1-1 with the victory.

Game Three: Won 6-1

Redshirt junior Brock Love got his first start of the season on the mound in game three, and was simply outstanding. Love has missed much of the last three seasons with injury, preventing him for living up to his vast potential. The former number one player in the state showed why in Saturdays late game. Love pitched 4 23 innings, allowing one hit with no walks and 11 strikeouts. The one hit was a infield single and a bang-bang play at first base. Once Love reached his 80 pitch count limit he was replaced by Wil Freeman.

The Tide jumped out early, scoring four times in the second inning. King led off with a walk, advanced on a single by Williamson, and scored on a double by Robinson. Gene Wood brought in another run with a sacrifice fly, followed by a Jeaux Breaux run scoring double and a Auerbach RBI single.

South Alabama relief pitcher Jase Dalton controlled the Tide for 4.1 innings, allowing four hits, but no runs. The Tide finally added a couple of insurance runs in the seventh off of Dalton’s replacement, Zach Greene. A King double and a Williamson run scoring single led to the runs, along with one unearned run. Freeman departed after 2.1 innings pitched, allowing 2 hits and one runs. Grad Transfer Jeremy Randolph pitched the eighth and ninth innings, allowing his first base runner of the year, and striking out four. In four appearances, covering 5.1 innings, Randolph has faced 17 batters, with 13 strikeouts, one hit, no walk, and only three other balls put in play.

Breaux led the hit parade with his 3-5 game including a double, a run scored, and a run driven in. Williamson finished 2-4 with a run and an RBI. Robinson was 2-3 with a run and RBI and also reached on a hit by pitch.

Bama had 11 hits, drew three walks, struck out nine times, and left nine on base. USA had only four hits, two walks, and struck out 17 times, leaving six runners on base.

In the three games the Tide had 30 hits, 20 walks, struck out 25 times, and scored 23 runs. Tide pitchers allowed 19 hits, walked only eight, and struck out 34, while allowing nine runs. That will win a team a bunch of games.


This Tide team is off to a hot start, and should have an outstanding record when they enter SEC play. With a deep, talented, pitching staff, coach Bohannon has so many options that he can attack teams with. With starting catcher Sam Praytor missing the last six games, the depth of the position players has been put to a test as well. On top of that red hot outfielder Keith Holcombe left the second game of this weekends series after crashing into the wall, and missed a game and a half. There are several pieces at Bohannon’s disposable to fill the holes. Auerbach has moved from third to take on the majority of the catching duties in Praytor’s absence.

Who Did What ?

  • Kolby Robinson 6-9, three RBI, two SF, one sac bunt, two runs, two HBP, double
  • Tyler Gentry 5-12, three RBI, Home Run, four runs, two doubles,
  • Morgan McCullough 5-14, three RBI, two runs, two walks, double, triple, stolen base
  • Drew Williamson 4-10, four walks, two runs, RBI, stolen base
  • Jeaux Breaux 4-15, three runs, RBI, double, stolen base, walk
  • Sam Finnerty W (3-0) 6 IP 4 H 1 BB 4 K
  • Casey Cobb S (1) 3IP 1 H 3 K
  • Brock Love W (1-0) 4 23 IP 1 H 0BB 11 K
  • Jeremy Randolph 2 IP 1 H 0 BB 4 K

What’s Next ?

Five games at home next week. The Birmingham Blazers come to town Tuesday for a 5 p.m. game, followed by South Dakota State on Wednesday at 6 p.m. Northern Kentucky is the weekend opposition, with games at 6 p.m on Friday, 2 p.m. on Saturday, and 1 p.m on Sunday. All can be seen on the ESPN Watch App, SEC Network Plus.


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