The 20th ranked Crimson Tide baseball team got off to a great start by sweeping Richmond over the weekend. Everything was working for the Tide in 12-3, 13-1, and 14-1 wins. The pitching was sharp, the hitting was outstanding, and the defense was very good. Prior to Sunday’s game the coaches agreed on a run rule game and Bama was ahead 14-1 after seven innings. Richmond had to bus to Atlanta and catch a flight home leading to the decision.
Game One: Won 12-3
Junior left-handed pitcher Grayson Hitt drew the opening day start on the mound and showed why he has been shooting up the draft board projections since last summer. Over five innings Hitt allowed only one hit with three walks, eight strikeouts, and only one unearned run.
The Spiders actually took the early lead with a run in the second after a walk, a wild pitch, and a throwing error by freshman third baseman Colby Shelton. The Tide grabbed the lead in the bottom half of the inning. Tommy Seidl started things with a one out single, and advanced to second on a two out walk to Bryce Eblin. Florida transfer catcher Mac Guscette made his first at bat as a member of the team count with an RBI single to plate Seidl. Lead off man Jim Jarvis singled to score Eblin and Bama had the 2-1 lead and never trailed the remainder of the weekend.
Hitt cruised through the third, fourth, and fifth with little trouble while his offense piled on. The Tide tallied five runs in the third. Andrew Pinckney doubled to start the inning and advance to third on a single by Dominic Tamez. Drew Williamson drove in Pinckney with a single of his own. Seidl drove in Tamez with a sacrifice fly. After a fielders choice for Caden Rose, Eblin walked and both scored in front of a long home run blasted off the bat of Guscette. Seidl drove in another run in the fourth and Rose singled in a pair to push the score to 10-1 after four full innings.
Bama scored a single time in the 5th when Guscette doubled for his third hit and scored on Pinckey’s fourth hit of the game. William Hamiter hit a pinch hit triple in the eighth to score pinch hitter Will Portera, who had been hit by a pitch.
Luke Holman relieved Hitt in the 6th and tossed one scoreless inning before being followed by Hunter Furtado. Furtado pitched two innings and allowed only a solo home run to the Spiders shortstop Mikey Kluksa while striking out two. Kade Woods pitched the ninth and allowed a solo home run before striking out two batters to end the game.
The Tide hit 14-37 in the game, walked four times, had three hit batters, struck out eight times, and left nine men on base. Pinckney led the way with a 4-4 day with a double, an RBI, and two runs scored. Guscette went 3-4 with a double, home run, four runs driven in, and two runs scored. Seidl and Rose drove in two runs each. Hitt was the winning pitcher while Brock Weiarther took the loss. Bama pitchers held Richmond to 4-32 in the game while only walking three batters and striking out 13. The Spiders stranded five runners on base.
Game Two: Won 13-1
On Saturday sophomore Ben “Heater” Hess toed the rubber for the Tide to start the game. Hess is a big 6’5” fireballer who closed last season strong. The staff expects big things from him this year and he showed why on Saturday, pitching six efficient scoreless innings.
After Hess had a quick one, two, three inning in the first on only nine pitches the Tide scored in the bottom half on a solo home run off the bat of Andrew Pinckney. In the second Bama added four runs when Tommy Seidl singled, Drew Williamson walked, and Caden Rose slammed a long three run home run over the playground in left field. Jim Jarvis followed that blast with a triple and scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Colby Shelton.
The Tide kept pouring it on in the third. Dom Tamez led off with a double and after Williamson walked scored on a double by Ed Johnson. Rose than singled to score two for an 8-1 lead after three innings, Bama added three more in the fourth after two walks and a hit batter loaded the bases. Will Hodo drove in one on a fielders choice, Seidl plated another with a sacrifice fly to deep center field and Williamson singled for another.
Hess pitched six innings and allowed only three singles with no walks and six strikeouts, all while only throwing 65 pitches. Freshman Riley Quick made his debut and allowed one run on two hits while striking out two batters. Another freshman, Alton Davis II tossed the final two innings and struck out four while allowing two harmless singles.
Alabama finished 15-35 at the plate with seven walks, one hit batters, five strikeouts, and eight men left on base. Rose was the big stick with five runs driven in on his 2-3 day with a home run. Jarvis was 2-4 with two runs and a triple, Williamson was 1-2 with two runs, a run driven in, and two walks. Will Portera entered the game in the 5th and was 2-2 with a double and run scored. Hess was the winning pitcher.
Richmond hit 7-33 in the game with one walk, 12 strikeouts, and seven men left on base. Josh Willitts was tagged with the loss.
Game Three: Won 14-1 (7 innings)
While the SEC passed a 10 run rule for conference games, the rule doesn't apply to OOC games. However both teams can agree ahead of time to do so- especially if travel is involved. Richmond was to bus to Atlanta after the game to fly home so the coaches agreed to the rule for the Sunday game.
Super senior Jacob McNairy was the starting pitcher for the Tide as they went for the sweep of the Spiders. The Tide took the early lead in the second when Drew Williamson lined his first home run of the season. Richmond tied the game in the top of the third on three singles, the last of which pushed Mikey Kluksa across the plate.
Bama took control in the bottom of the third with five runs. Andrew Pinckney doubled with one out and scored on another double by Dom Tamez. Two walks and a hit by pitch to William Hamiter scored one run, and a single by Bryce Eblin brought in two more. The final run of the inning scored on a perfect safety squeeze bunt by Mac Guscette. Colby Shelton and Tamez drove in runs in the 5th, before the Tide put the game on ice with five runs in the 6th.
Three walks and two hit batters along with a two run single by Camden Hayslip highlighted the frame. Ed Johnson and Max Williams drove in runs in the inning. Freshman Brock Blatter followed McNairy on the mound and pitched two sharp innings, allowing one hit and no runs. Seton Hall transfer Zane Probst made his debut in the 7th and struck out the side with no hits and one walk. McNairy was the winning pitcher.
The Tide finished 13-29 in the game with six walks, five hit batters, eight strikeouts, and 10 men left on base. Pinckney was 3-4 with a double and run scored, Tamez was 2-4 with two driven in, a double, and a run scored. Williamson was the other multi hit player for Bama at 2-3 with his home run, a walk, and two runs scored. Overall the Tide hit 41-101 for a team average of .406 with 17 walks, nine hit batters, struck out 21 times, and left 27 men on base.
Richmond hit 7-27 in the game with one walk, six strikeouts, and six left on base. Brenden Agromaniz was the losing pitcher. For the weekend the Spiders hit 18-92 for an average of .195, while walking only five times and striking out 31 times and leaving 18 men on base.
The Tide was sharp in all three phases of the game this weekend. The starting pitchers combined for 15 innings pitched while allowing 12 hits, walking three, striking out 17, and allowing only one earned run. Situational hitting was a strong part of the weekend. The base running was aggressive with runners always looking to take an extra base. The defense made two errors in 75 chances for a .980 fielding percentage.
The depth of the team was on display as Coach Brad Bohannon and staff made use of 18 position players and 10 pitchers in the weekend series. A good mix of older veteran players with young freshmen and a few transfers seemed to have formed great team chemistry. Overall a great start over an overmatched, but decent, opponent.
Who Did What ?
- Andrew Pinckney 8-10, five runs, two doubles, home run, two RBI, one walk, 13 total bases
- Drew Williamson 5-8, home run, five runs, three RBI, four walks
- Dom Tamez 5-10, 4 runs, two doubles, two RBI, walk, HBP
- Caden Rose 3-8, home run, three runs, seven RBI, walk, HBP, two stolen bases
- Grayson Hitt W (1-0) 5 IP, one hit, three walks, eight strikeouts, 0 earned runs
- Ben Hess W (1-0) 6 IP, three hits, 0 walks, six strikeouts, 0 runs
- Jacob McNairy W (1-0) 4 IP, 6 hits, 0 walks, three strikeouts
A busy week for the Tide: five games in six days with a cross country flight thrown in. On Tuesday Bama will see Tennessee Tech at 3 p.m. followed by a Wednesday game at 3 p.m. with UT-Martin. Early Thursday morning the team will fly to Los Angles then bus to Malibu for a three game series with the Pepperdine Waves. The games are on Friday at 3:30 p.m CT, Saturday at 3 p.m CT, and Sunday at 3 p.m. CT. The home games will be available on SEC Network Plus while the Pepperdine games will only be on radio and can be found on The Varsity Network- check RollTide.Com with help finding the link.
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