The 23rd ranked Alabama baseball team went on the road to play the College of Charleston this weekend and took the series by a margin of two games to one. Bama outscored the Cougars by a collective 29-4 on the weekend, winning 8-0 on Friday, losing a heartbreaking 1-0 game on Saturday, and exploding for a 21-3 win on Sunday. Alabama is now 10-2 and CoC fell to 3-7 on the season. The Tide was 40-116 on the weekend for a .344 average, walked 24 times, had four hit batters, and struck out 17 times. In contrast Charleston hit 19-94 for .202 with four walks and 28 strikeouts. By all measures things added up to a Tide sweep, but alas it was not to be.
Game One, Won 8-0
For the second straight week Tyler Ras took Connor Prielipp’s Friday night turn in the rotation as Prielipp recovers from his “minor medical condition.” Also for the second straight week Ras pitched lights out. The New Jersey junior (3rd year sophomore) pitched six strong innings allowing only three hits while striking out six.
Peyton Wilson got things started for the Tide in the third inning, launching his fifth home run of the season, an opposite field blast to left for the switch hitter. William Hamiter continued his hot hitting singling in two more runs in the inning. In the sixth Zane Denton doubled and scored on a perfect suicide squeeze bunt by Jackson Tate.
Ras finished his six innings never allowing more than one base runner in any frame. In the top of the seventh freshman Caden Rose smashed his first career home run to push the lead to 5-0. Jacob McNairy followed Ras and despite giving up three infield singles in the bottom for the 7th got out unscathed, helped by Sam Praytor throwing a runner trying to steal.
The Tide put the game totally out of reach in the 8th, scoring three times with Rose and Wilson both driving in a run. McNairy had a perfect 8th before being replaced by freshman Grayson Hitt in the 9th. Hitt was electric, pitching a perfect inning on nine pitches with two strikeouts.
The Tide finished 11-33 at the plate, walked eight times, struck out four times, and left nine runners on base. The Cougars finished 6-32 with zero walks, eight strikeouts, and left five on base. Hamiter had three hits and drove in two runs, while Tate was the only other player with multiple hits, going 2-4. Rose drove in two. Ras improved to 2-0 with the win.
Game Two, lost 1-0
The Tide wasted a gem from junior (third year sophomore?) Dylan Smith on Saturday by squandering numerous scoring opportunities, and stranding 13 runners on base. Smith was dynamite but got no run support. The lanky right hander had all his pitches working during his career high seven inning stint. The only hiccup was a second inning solo home run that blew over the right field fence. Smith finished his seven innings allowing only four hits with zero walks and 10 strikeouts.
Bama had scoring opportunities all night but could not cross the plate. In the second Jackson Tate doubled and Jim Jarvis walked, both with two outs, but were stranded.In the fourth William Hamiter singled but got caught stealing on a failed hit and run attempt, followed by a walk and a single by Jarvis, but a strikeout ended that frame. Two batters walked with two outs in the fifth but both got left where the stood. Tate and Jarvis both singled in the sixth with one out, but Caden Rose failed a squeeze attempt and they were stranded on second and third.
The seventh was the last golden opportunity for the Tide. With one out Sam Praytor, Drew Williamson, and Zane Denton all singled with one out to load the bases. Hamiter hit a sharp line drive that the shortstop snagged and Tate struck out to leave the bases loaded. Landon Green allowed one hit to the Cougars in the 8th, but that was all. Bama went down weakly in the 8th and 9th and lost the heartbreaker 1-0.
Alabama finished 9-35 with nine walks, nine strikeouts, and left 13 big runners on base. CoC was 5-28 with no walks, 11 strikeouts, and stranded three base runners. All in all a game the Tide should have found a way to win. Tate and Jarvis led the offense with their two hits apiece.
Game Three, won 21-3
Whatever coach Brad Bohannon said to his squad after Saturday’s defeat needs to bottled and sold. The Tide came out on fire and used 20 hits to bury the Cougars by a score of 21-3. Antoine Jean had his best performance on the mound this season going five strong innings allowing three hits and two walks with four strikeouts and no runs.
Bama scored once in the second on a Jim Jarvis RBI single, and followed with a 10 spot in the third. Four walks, and error, an RBI single and a three run double by Sam Praytor, and a monster grand slam off the bat of Owen Diodati were the big blows in the inning that saw 15 Alabama players go to the plate. Jackson Tate singled home a run in the 4th and the Tide piled five more runs on in the 5th, as Bohannon started emptying his bench. Andrew Pinckney had a two run double. Will Patota drove in one with a bases loaded walk and Bryce Eblin’s first career hit and a Peyton Wilson single drove the other runs.
Freshman Eli Giles followed Jean and allowed three runs on three hits and a walk in the 6th. Brock Guffey, Jake Eddington, and Chase Lee finished off the game a one scoreless inning each. Tate drove in a run with a single in the 8th, and the Tide continued the scoring with three more in the 9th. Pinckney had another double, Patota had his first career hit, a two run double, Davis Heller added his first hit, and a CoC error helped plate the runs.
The Tide finished 20-47, drew 11 walks, had four hit batters, and left 14 on base. The Cougars were 8-34, had four walks, struck out nine times, and left eight runners on base. Jean got the win and is now 1-0 on the season. Pinckney three hits led six players with multiple hits in the game. Hamiter, Praytor, Denton, Eblin, and Tate added two each as 13 players had at least one safety.
Who Did What?
*William Hamiter, 6-12, 3 runs, 3 RBI
*Jackson Tate, 6-12, 2 RBI, double, run, sac, HBP
*Sam Praytor, 4-10, 4 RBI, double, 3 walks, HBP, 3 runs
* Jim Jarvis, 4-9, 3 runs, 2 RBI, 4 walks, stolen base
*Zane Denton, 4-11, double, 3 runs, 5 walks
*Andrew Pinckney, 4-6, 2 doubles, 2 runs, 3 RBI, walk, HBP
- *Tyler Ras, W, 6IP, 3 H 0BB 0 Runs
- *Dylan Smith, L, 7 IP, 4 Hits, 0 BB, 10 strikeouts, one run
- *Antoine Jean, W, 5 IP, 3 H 2BB, 4 strikeouts, 0 runs
The Tide has to feel like they should have had a sweep this weekend, but there were a lot of positives. The starting pitching remains outstanding, and the relief core was very good. Bama pitchers did not walk a batter until the fourth inning of game three. The hitters were solid all weekend, but situational hitting on Saturday was lacking. Bohannon spoke of his frustration of the team not being able to score unless they are hitting home runs. That changed on Sunday when the lone home run was Diodati’s grand slam, yet the team put up 17 more runs without the long ball. With Connor Prielipp being unavailable the last two weekends, Ras and Smith have really raised their level of play. Sunday’s game allowed Bohannon to use several players that have had limited action this year. Pinckney, Patota, Eblin, Heller, and Johnny Hawk all got their first hits of the season in the getaway game.
Another week of five scheduled games. The Tide will host South Alabama on Tuesday at 6 p.m. CT in a game that can be seen in the SEC Network, followed by a Wednesday 6 p.m. tilt with Jacksonville- on SEC Network Plus. The weekend will bring in a very good Stetson team for a three game series. Friday at 6 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m., and Sunday at 1 p.m., all on SEC Network Plus. With SEC play starting the following week the Tide needs to continue to build their win total as they head into the meat grinder that is the SEC.
Roll Tide, Alabama Baseball Fever, Catch It!