The 22nd ranked Alabama Crimson Tide baseball team made a pit stop in Mobile on Tuesday on their way to Gainesville, FL to open the SEC season on Thursday with the Gators. The Tide took on the home standing South Alabama Jaguars and prevailed 4-0 to improve to 16-2 on the season. The home team fell to 8-9.
The Tide used another stellar pitching performance from Luke Holman and the hot bat of Will Hodo to take the victory, knocking a little of the sting off of their 15-3 loss on Saturday to Columbia.
Holman improved to 4-0 on the season, pitching 7 innings while allowing only three hits with no walks and nine strikeouts. This follows up his gem last week against Samford when he pitched 5 hitless, scoreless innings while walking only one and striking out 12. Overall in five appearances, four of which are starts, the sophomore has tossed 21 innings, allowed 10 hits, walked five batters, and struck out 30. Holman in holding batters to an average of .134 and has an ERA of 1.29.
The Tide didn't record a hit until the third innings when Tommy Seidl led off with a single. Caden Rose squared to bunt but the pitch was over his head so he pulled his bat back. Seidl got caught in no man’s land and was out in a rundown. After Rose grounded out, Colby Shelton singled with two outs and was followed by a home run by Will Hood, his fourth of the season.
Bama added a run in the 4th. Drew Williamson walked and then stole second before scoring on a single by Dominic Tamez. Meanwhile Holman was cruising through the Jaguar batting order with very little trouble. USA did have two singles in the third and a hit batter in the 5th, but never really threatened to score.
Alabama scored the last run of the game in the 5th. Seidl led off with a double but was thrown out at third when Rose grounded to shortstop. Rose swiped second for his team leading 7th steal of the season and scored on an two out hit from Hodo. Holman stayed in the game through the 7th, the longest stint by a Bama pitcher this year. The lead off man reached on an error and the Jags added a one out single, but Holman struck out the side to end his night after 87 pitches, 65 of which were strikes.
Freshman left hander Alton Davis II took over in the 8th and allowed no hits or walks - the only base runner reaching on an error. Davis struck out one and bounced back from his performance on Saturday when he didn't retire a batter. The lanky lefty was flashing a fast ball up to 95 mph in controlling the South Alabama hitters.
Holman and Hood were the story of the game. Hodo finished 2-4 with three RBI and had Ed Johnson and Seidl join him with multi hit games. Johnson finished 2-4 and Seidl was 2-3 with a double and a walk. Rose ran his consecutive game on base streak to 35 with his single.
The Tide finished 10-34 in the game with three walks, three stolen bases, two runners caught stealing, 13 strikeouts, and six runners left on base. USA hit just 3-32 with no walks, one hit batters, 10 strikeouts, and six men left on base. South Alabama used 10 pitchers in the game, with none pitching more than one inning.
Next up is a three game series with 6th ranked Florida in Gainesville. The games are scheduled for 6 p.m. CT on Thursday, 5:30 p.m. CT on Friday, and 3 p.m. CT on Saturday. The Thursday game will be on the SEC Network and the other two can be found on the SEC Network Plus. A threat of bad weather on Saturday could push the teams to play a double header on Friday, but that has not been determined yet.