Alabama used strong pitching from Connor Shamblin and Will Freeman along with three home runs to defeat Troy 9-1 on Wednesday at The Joe. The Tide is now 8-1 on the season and Troy fell to 7-2.
Shamblin hit the second batter he faced but that was the only Trojans batter to reach base in the first. Peyton Wilson then gave the Tide the lead with his third leadoff home run of the season, and fourth overall, in the bottom of the first. Shamblin had a perfect second and allowed a harmless single in the third before the Tide offense took over in the bottom of the third.
The frame started off innocently enough with a fly out by Jim Jarvis, but then the fireworks came. Wilson and TJ Reeves both singled. Reeves hit skipped past the center fielder for an error, scoring Wilson and sending Reeves to third. Drew Williamson just missed a home run, banging one off the top of the bullpen in right center, scoring Reeves. Sam Praytor brought him and Williamson home with his third long ball of the season, and was followed up by Zane Denton hitting his fourth home run of the year off the foul pole in left. William Hamiter and Owen Diodati singled before Jim Jarvis had a safety of his own to score Hamiter. The six run inning put the Tide up 7-0 heading to the fourth.
Shamblin allowed harmless singles in the fourth and fifth, and struck out four - all looking before giving up a solo home run in the sixth. After getting the next batter on a ground ball, he was replaced by Will Freeman, who retired the next two batters. Freeman had a perfect seventh, allowed a single in the eighth that was erased by a double play. The Tide added two insurance runs in the bottom half without the benefit of a hit. Wilson walked, Jackson Tate was hit by a pitch, and both advanced on a ground out by Davis Heller. A passed ball scored Wilson and then Praytor drove in his third run of the game on a ground out to end the scoring.
The top of the ninth had some excitement despite the Trojans not having a baserunner. Freeman struck out the leadoff man before Logan Cerny hit a long drive to right field. All six foot-three of Andrew Pinckney leapt and hit the ball with his glove, and caught the ball as it fell toward the ground. At first the umpires called it a ground rule double, but after review correctly called the batter out. A ground out then ended the game.
Shamblin was the winning pitcher and is 1-0 on the season, while Freeman earned his first save. Reeves had three hits and a walk, Wilson had two hits, scored three runs and a run driven in with his home run. Denton added double to his home run, while Praytor drove in three and extended his hitting streak to six games. Alabama finished with 12 hits, walked four times, struck out four times, left nine runners on base, and committed one error. Troy had five hits, zero walks, struck out eight times, left four on base, and committed four errors.
The Tide played a clean game, the only error was when Reeves slipped in left field and runner advanced, and did not walk a batter. Every starter but one had at least one hit. Overall just a good team win over a quality opponent. Next the team needs to get fully healthy. Staff ace, Connor Prielipp, will miss his second consecutive start this weekend with his minor medical condition. Reeves and Tate have both been bothered by hamstring issues, and Praytor has battled plantar fasciitis. Pitcher Dylan Ray is out for the season after surgery in the fall and Hunter Ruth has been injured as well.
Alabama travels to Charleston, SC this weekend to take on the College Of Charleston. The games will be Friday at 5 p.m. CT, Saturday at 1 p.m, and Sunday at noon. All games can be found on Flosports. The rotation this weekend will be Tyler Ras, followed by Dylan Smith and Antoine Jean. In the first two weekends, Jean was the Saturday starter and Smith was used on Sundays. This weekend they will flipflop.
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