With a convincing 10-1 win over Samford on Tuesday, the Alabama Crimson Tide has now won five of their last six games to improve to 18-12 on the season. The Bulldogs fell to 13-13 with the loss.
Freshman right hander Ben Hess was the starting pitcher for the Tide for the fifth time this season. He continues to get stretched out in innings and pitch count, and tossed a career high 3.1 innings while throwing 65 pitches. The game started slowly with neither team scoring in the first three innings. In fact, entering the bottom of the 4th the Tide had not had a player reach base.
Hess ran into trouble in the top of the 4th when Samford loaded the bases with one out on two singles and a walk. Fellow freshman Braylon Myers ( no relation) replaced Hess and got a strikeout then a ground out to end the threat. In the bottom of the inning Bama got all the runs they would need with four men crossing the plate. Bryce Eblin started things off with a one out single and advanced to second on a ball in the dirt. Zane Denton flied out to right field for the second out but William Hamiter singled sharply to score Eblin. Tommy Seidl drew a walk and was followed by an RBI single from Drew Williamson. After Owen Diodati walked Andrew Pinckney singled in two more runs to give the Tide a 4-0 lead.
The Bulldogs got their only run of the game in the top of the 5th. A hit batter and a catcher’s interference put Will David in scoring position at second base where he scored on a single from Kaden Dreier. Jake Leger replaced Myers with two outs and used one pitch to retire the Dogs on a ground ball.
The Tide put another four spot on the board in the 5th. Jim Jarvis reached on an error by the first baseman and moved up an a single by Eblin. Denton drilled a double to score one and Hamiter followed with a blast over the visitors bullpen for a three run home run, his first of the season. Leger tossed a perfect 6th inning with a strikeout and Bama scored their last two runs of the game in the bottom half.
Will Portera, getting a rare start at catcher, singled to start the inning. Caden Rose pinch hit for Jarvis and hit a single of his own. Eblin laced his third hit of the game to drive in one and Camden Hayslip hit a sacrifice fly to score the last run of the game. Luke Holman took over on the mound in the 7th for the Tide and had two very sharp innings, his best performance of his freshman campaign. Holman allowed no hits or runs while walking one and striking out four, using his sharp curveball and 94 mile an hour fastball.
Coach Brad Bohannon continued to empty the bench in the late innings. Freshman Will Hodo took advantage of his chance by drawing a walk and hitting a long double. Overall 20 players saw action for the Tide in the game.
Alabama hit 12-35 in the game, drew seven walks, struck out eight times, left nine runners on base and committed two errors. Samford finished 5-33, drew two walks, struck out 10 times, left nine on base, had one hit batter, and committed two errors of their own.
Individually Eblin’s 3-4 night at the plate included two runs scored, a walk, and one run driven in. The sophomore infielder now has nine hits in his last three games. Hamiter finished 2-3 with four RBI, scored twice, and had his first home run of the season. Hamiter started at DH in just his fourth game back from a broken foot suffered in the 4th game of the season. Hamiter drove in four runs over six at bats in the Texas A&M series included a two run single that drove in the winning runs in Saturday’s game. Portera took advantage of his playing time with a 2-4 game and a run scored. Myers earned his first win of his career and is now 1-0. Will Lynch suffered the loss and is now 0-2.
Overall a good midweek victory over an overmatched team. With Eblin rounding into shape after missing 11 games of his own and Hamiter being back, the two have been a huge lift for the Tide on offense and give the team more depth and flexibility going forward. The schedule, never easy, is about to toughen up over the next two weeks. This weekend the Tide travels to take on 9th ranked Ole Miss in a three game series. Friday’s game time is 6:30 p.m. followed by games at 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The first two can be seen on SEC Network Plus and game three will be on the SEC Network. Then on Tuesday Belmont comes to Tuscaloosa before Bama travels to Knoxville to play the number one team in the nation, the Tennessee Vols.
Bama Baseball Fever, Catch It