The Alabama Crimson Tide baseball team improved to 14-3 on the season by defeating the Stetson Hatters two games to one this weekend. The Hatters fell to 11-6. Stetson took the opener by a score of 4-2 before the Tide bounced back for a 4-3 win in 12 innings on Saturday and a 9-4 victory on Sunday.
Game One- Lost 4-2
Stetson’s Nick Durgin was a freshman All American last year and showed why on Friday night. Durgin carried a no hitter into the ninth inning against the Tide. Tyler Ras got the opening game start for Bama again as Connor Prielipp is still on the shelf. Ras allowed only one earned run in five plus innings, but his offense and defense both let him down.
The Hatters got two runs in the second when the leadoff batter reached on an error by shortstop Jim Jarvis, advanced on a throwing error on catcher Sam Praytor when no one covered second base, and scored on two ground outs. Jackson Olson, entering the game hitting .200, then hit a solo home run for another tally in the inning.
In the bottom of the second the Tide had a chance when Zane Denton was hit by a pitch and Owen Diodati hit a long blast to center field that Dylan Brazil could not corral, and was ruled as an error (for some unknown reason) putting runners on second and third with one out. An unproductive strikeout was followed by a walk to Jarvis to load the bases, but a ground out ended the threat. The Hatters got their other two runs in the sixth on two walks, another Jarvis error, and two sacrifice fly’s. Grayson Hitt replaced Ras in the inning and had his best outing of the season.
Meanwhile Durgin was carving up the Tide with ease, a walk, a hit batter, and a fielding error led to the only baserunners that Bama had for the next four innings. Having thrown 116 pitches through eight innings Durgin was sent back out by Stetson coach Steve Trimper to try for his no hitter. That ended quickly as Drew Williamson hit the first pitch of the ninth for a single and Denton hit the second one for a two run home run to give the Tide life. After a pitching change Diodati singled, two strikeouts followed, and Andrew Pinckney doubled to put the tying runs in scoring position for lead off hitter Peyton Wilson. Wilson grounded out to end the game, and the Hatters had a 4-2 opening series win.
The Tide finished 4-33 with two walks, a hit batter, 11 strikeouts, eight left on base, and four costly errors. Stetson was 5-32 with three walks, seven strikeouts, six left on base, and committed three errors of their own.
Game Two- Won 4-3 in 12 innings.
Dylan Smith has been brilliant on the mound for the Tide this year and did not disappoint on Saturday. Smith pitched eight strong innings to give the Tide a chance to win, and they did, but it took some extra time to do so.
Stetson took an early lead on two singles and a sacrifice fly in the second. The damage could have been worse but centerfielder Caden Rose made the first of his two sparkling plays by diving and robbing Brandon Hylton of a hit to lead off the inning. The Tide had a big second inning, scoring three times. Zane Denton hit his second home run of the weekend with one out and no one on. Owen Diodati was hit by a pitch, followed by singles by Andrew Pinckney and Jim Jarvis to load the bases. Rose was hit by a pitch to drive in a run and Peyton Wilson drove one in on a fielders choice for a 3-1 lead.
Stetson touched Smith for two in the fifth on a walk, a sac bunt, an RBI single, and a run scoring double. From that point on Smith, and later Chase Lee totally shut down the Hatters for the remaining seven innings. Smith completed eight innings, allowing six hits, three runs, one walk, and striking out 10 for the second straight game. Chase Lee replaced Smith to begin the ninth.
In the 11th Lee got into a little trouble when he hit two batters but stranded the runners to keep the game knotted at three. Despite having baserunners in the 10th and 11th it took until the 12th for the Tide to claim the win. William Hamiter led off with a single and moved to second on a walk to Sam Praytor. Drew Williamson, the clean up hitter, was called on to sacrifice bunt. The big first baseman laid down a perfect bunt and Hamiter was able to score when the third baseman threw the ball over the first baseman’s head, for the dramatic 4-3 walk off win by sac bunt.
The Tide was 11-43 in the game with three walks, four strikeouts, and four runners left on base. Hamiter led the way with a 3-6 day, while Pinckney, Wilson, and Jarvis had two safeties each. Stetson was 6-38, drew only one walk, and struck out 14 times. Lee improved his record to 4-0 on the season, three of which have been walk off victories. The win set the series for a rubber game on Sunday.
Game Three- Won 9-4
Antoine Jean drew the starting assignment on Sunday, trying to keep the Tides streak of eight straight weekend series wins going. The Hatters once again took an early lead, scoring once in the first with two walks and two singles.
The Tide sent 11 hitters to the plate in the third inning, scoring seven runs. Sam Praytor was hit by a pitch with one out and stole second base (!), and then was singled home by Drew Williamson. Williamson stole a base of his own and scored on a single by Andrew Pinckney. Jim Jarvis singled in Owen Diodati, who had walked earlier. Caden Rose singled a run in and also stole a base. Peyton Wilson walked and William Hamiter doubled in the final two runs of the frame.
The Hatters Eric Foggo hit a two run home run off of Jean in the fourth to cut the lead to 7-3. Jean finished six innings, allowing five hits, with two walks, and six strikeouts and three runs. Jacob McNairy replace Jean and allowed one run in the seventh before tossing a scoreless eighth inning. The Tide scored the final two runs in the game in the bottom of the eighth on singles by Wilson, Hamiter, and Williamson with an RBI ground out by Praytor and a wild pitch by Stetson. Landon Green pitched a perfect ninth inning to close out the win.
Jean improved to 2-0 with the victory. Hamiter and Pinckney both continued their hot hitting with 3-4 days. Hamiter’s included a double, a walk, and two runs driven in. Pinckney had and RBI, stolen base, and run scored. Wilson finished 2-4 with two runs, a walk, and a stolen base. Jarvis was 2-3 with a run, RBI, and sac bunt, while Williamson was 2-5 with a run, RBI, and stolen base.
Coach Brad Bohannon was glad to get the series win but was not particularly pleased with the teams play, especially on Friday night. Four errors, and being almost no hit are no way to get ready for the grueling SEC. For the weekend the Tide finished 30-113 for a .265 average and drew only eight walks, with five hit batters, 20 strikeouts and 26 runners left on base. Stetson hit 18-103 for a .174 average, drew nine walks, struck out 26 times, and stranded 16 runners on base.
Who Did What:
*Andrew Pinckney 6-13, double, RBI, Run, Stolen base
*William Hamiter 6-14, two RBI, double, run, walk
*Jim Jarvis 4-8, three walks, HBP, run, RBI, sac bunt
*Peyton Wilson 4-15, two runs, RBI, walk, stolen base
*Dylan Smith ND- 8 IP, 6 H ,1 BB ,10 K, 3ER
*Chase Lee, W (4-0) 4 IP, 0 H, 0 BB. 2 HBP, 4 K
*Antoine Jean, W (2-0) 6 IP, 5 H, 2BB, 6 K ,3 ER
With the last weekend prior to SEC play it was nice for the Tide to take the series and run their record to 14-3. Bama travels to Troy on Tuesday for their solo mid week game this week, followed by a trip to play the number one team in the country, the Arkansas Razorbacks. There are a few players that the Tide really needs to get back and healthy, mainly Connor Prielipp and TJ Reeves. The 30 game SEC grind is about to begin with 11 teams ranked in the top 25.
Bama Baseball Fever, Catch It!