Coach Brad Bohannon continued his early season lineup tinkering on Wednesday afternoon when his Crimson Tide hosted Middle Tennessee State. The batting order responded with 15 hits and 12 runs in a 12-6 victory of the Blue Raiders. Bama improved to 9-0 while MTSU fell to 3-5 on the season.
Freshman Peyton Wilson got his first start behind the plate and was the star of the game, going 4-4 with two doubles, four runs scored, one RBI, and a stolen base. Wilson was one of four freshmen in the lineup, following up Tuesday’s win where four first year players also started.
Senior William Freeman was the starting pitcher, but struggled out of the gate, allowing three hits, four walks, and three runs in just 1.2 innings of work. Casey Cobb relieved Freeman and did yeoman’s work out of the bullpen, going 4.1 innings while only allowing one run, and allowing the Tide to catch up and eventually bludgeon the Raiders.
MTSU took a 3-0 lead after the top of the second, before Cobb relieved and put out the fire. The Tide bounced back with one in the third when Wilson hit the first of his two double, and later scored on an RBI ground out by Brett Auerbach. Bama cut into the lead in the fourth when Drew Williamson singled, one of his three hits on the day, and scored on a long triple off the bat of Jackson Tate.
In the fifth, Middle used small ball to add to their lead, using a bloop single, a ground out, and two bunts to plate their fourth run of the game. The Tide took control in the fifth, led by the two freshman at the bottom of the order, Wilson and Jim Jarvis. Wilson lined a sharp single to right, and when the ball was misplayed, motored around to third base to start the frame. Jarvis shot a double to center to score the speedy Wilson. Another freshman, Owen Diodati, joined the party and blasted a long double to score Jarvis. Tyler Gentry was hit by a pitch, which brought Sam Praytor to the plate with two aboard. They weren’t on base long, as Praytor blasted a 0-1 pitch deep into the night for his fourth home run of the season, and fourth in the past five games. The Praytor Tater tied him with Diodati for the team lead in long balls.
Landon Green and Ryan O’Connell followed Cobb on the mound and neither allowed a run, with O’Connell striking out all three batters that he faced. The Tide busted the game wide open in the seventh with a four spot. Gentry led the inning off with his third hit of the game, followed by Praytor being plunked by a pitch. Drew Williamson then singled to load the bases before a balk and a wild pitch brought two runs across. Wilson singled in a run, then stole second base, and scored on another Jarvis RBI hit. With a 12-4 lead going into the ninth, Bohannon brought left handed freshman Garrett Hester out of the bullpen for his first action of his career. MTSU used three hits and a walk to score twice, before Hester settled down and retired the side, securing the victory.
The Tide finished 15 of 38 at the plate, drew three walks, had two hit batters, six strikeouts, and left seven runners on base. Six of the Tide’s hits were for extra bases. MTSU was 10 of 34 batting, drew nine walks, struck out seven times, and left 12 runners on base.
Stars of the Game:
- Peyton Wilson: 4-4, two doubles, four runs, RBI, stolen base
- Tyler Gentry: 3-3, two runs, HBP, two runs
- Sam Praytor: 1-3, home run, three RBI, HBP, two runs
- Drew Williamson: 3-5, two runs
- Jim Jarvis: 2-3, two RBI, double, BB, stolen base, run
- Casey Cobb: Win, 4.1 IP, 4 H, 2 BB, 3 K
Another good win for the Tide against a team it should beat. The offense started slow, but turned it on in the middle of the game. With so many weapons, the Tide is never truly out of any game. They showed speed and power. The team typically draws more walks than they did today, but also gained two free bases via the hit by pitch. The defense had a shaky day, partly a function at some guys at new positions, and the two errors committed today doubled the team total for the season. For the second straight game, the starting pitching struggled out of the gate, but the deep bullpen came to the rescue and held things together until the offense could get rolling. The Tide is deep and versatile and are a fun group to watch. This should be a very exciting season to watch.
The Crimson Tide will welcome the Crimson of Harvard to campus this weekend for a three game series. Game one will be Friday at 3 p.m, followed by a Saturday game at 2 p.m., and a series finale at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday. All games will be available on the SEC Network Plus app.
Roll Tide, #BamaBaseballFeverCatchIt
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