Playing one night after their dramatic walk off win over South Alabama, the Alabama Crimson Tide defeated Jacksonville State by a score of 7-2 on Wednesday night. The game did not have near the excitement as the Tuesday night game, and was more of a ho hum affair. Connor Shamblin gave the Tide six strong innings on the mound and William Hamiter and Zane Denton lead the offense. Bama swept the two game season series with the Gamecocks after winning in Jacksonville in February.
Shamblin continued his strong start to the season going six full innings, allowing one run on three hits with no walks and six strikeouts. The Tide scored twice in the second with the aid of only one hit. Two hits batter, two walks, and a catchers interference led to the two runs. Peyton Wilson drove in one run with a bases loaded walk, and the other scored when Johnny Hawk’s bat hit the catchers mitt on a swing with the bases loaded. Denton had the only hit in the inning.
Bama added four runs in the fourth with two hits and three walks. Hamiter singled on run in and Denton knocked in two with his second safety of the night. The ‘Cocks finally scored off of Shamblin in the fifth one doubles by Isaac Alexander and Derrick Jackson. Another Hamiter single scored Jim Jarvis in the fifth after the third of Jarvis’s free passes of the night to end the Tides scoring.
Freshman Jake Eddington relieved Shamblin in the sixth and was greeted by a home run off the bat of former Bama player Alex Webb on the first pitch the right hander threw. Eddington bounced back to record two strikeouts and a fly out to end the inning. The freshman from Missouri walked the first batter of the eighth and allowed a single to the second, but then got two strikeouts and a fly out to squelch the rally.
Former Florida pitcher Hunter Ruth made his Crimson Tide debut in the ninth after battling back from injury. Ruth struck out the first batter he saw and then got to ground balls to Jarvis at shortstop to end the game with the Tide on top.
Alabama had seven hits, drew eight walks, got hit three times, and left 11 runners on base. The Gamecocks had five hits, drew only one walk, struck out 11 times, threw three wild pitcher, had a catchers interference call, and left three on base. Individually Hamiter had three hits including a double and drove in two runs. Denton had two hits and two RBI. Sam Praytor extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a third inning single. Drew Williamson had the only other hit for the Tide. Jarvis had his nine game hitting streak broken but walked three times in the game. Shamblin improved to 2-0 on the season with the win.
After the excitement of Tuesday night this game seemed very workmen like. The Tide didn't swing the bat particularly well, but the Gamecocks lack of strike throwing partially led to that. There simply weren't many pitches close to the strike zone to swing at. Shamblin continues to shine in the midweek role and has now thrown 15.1 innings allowing only nine hits with no walks and 15 strikeouts with an ERA of 1.17.
The Tide will welcome the 10-4 Stetson Hatters to town this weekend for a three game series. The Hatters will come in on a four game losing streak, but are a perennial NCAA regional participant. Stetson is hitting .256 as a team and sport a 3.34 team ERA. Alabama is hitting .285 as a team and has a 3.17 ERA as a team. The games will be at 6 p.m. on Friday, 2 p.m. on Saturday, and 1 p.m. on Sunday. All games are Central Time and can be seen on the SEC Network Plus. The series will be a tough one and as of now we still don't know if All American pitcher Connor Prielipp will be available for the Tide.
Alabama Baseball Fever, Catch it!