The 22nd ranked Alabama Crimson Tide started slowly on Tuesday night but finished fast. The Tide run ruled the Blazers from Birmingham 12-2, to improve to 18-4 on the season. The Blazers fell to 5-15.
Super senior Jacob McNairy took the mound for the Tide for the tilt with their instate rival. McNairy allowed a lead off single and stolen base to John Marc Mullins before notching a strikeout for the first out. Three straight singles followed with Blayze Berry driving in Mullins for the first run of the game. Bama third baseman Colby Shelton grabbed a ground ball off the bat of Peyton Puckett, stepped on third for a force out and threw to first for a double play to end the inning.
McNairy settled in, and then he pitched four straight perfect innings after the first. The Tide finally scored in the bottom of the 4th after having seven base runners in the first three innings without denting the scoreboard. Shelton drew a one out walk followed by a double by Tommy Seidl. With two outs Jim Jarvis hit a line drive to left field that was misplayed for a two run error, and 2-1 Tide lead.
Alton Davis II replaced McNairy on the mound in the 6th and worked out of a bases-loaded jam by striking out out Brayton Brown looking on three.
In the bottom of the 6th the Tide broke the game wide open with five runs. Seidl singled with one out and scored on a double by Caden Rose. Jarvis and Andrew Pinckney followed with walks to load the bases. Will Hodo grounded out to second base to score a run. Drew Williamson then lined his 8th home run of the season into the plaza in right field to drive in three more runs to give Bama a 7-1 lead.
Davis allows a single and walked a batter to open the top of the 7th before being replaced by Braylon Myers. Myers retired three in a row on a strikeout and two fly outs. Bama added two runs in the bottom half. Shelton singled to start the frame before Seidl was hit by a pitch, reaching base for the fourth time. Max Williams, pinch hitting for Rose, singled to plate Shelton and Jarvis lifted a sacrifice fly to center field to score Williams.
Aidan Moza, a transfer from the Blazers, made his Alabama debut to start the 8th inning. The right-hander has been rehabbing a shoulder injury since the fall, and is now healthy for the Tide. Moza got a fly out to lead off the inning then struck out the next batter. However the third strike bounced away for a wild pitch and the runner reached base safely. After a fly out for out two, Brown doubled to score Berry, who had reached on the strikeout. Ben Abernathy then singled, and Moza had reached his allotted pitch count. Brock Blatter was next on the mound and after a walk to load the bases, struck out Mayes White looking to end the rally.
In the bottom of the, 8th the Tide scored three runs, and with the run rule in effect, walked off the Blazers 12-2. Mason Swinney started things off with a single, followed by walks to Ryan Guardino and Will Portera. Jaxson West singled for an RBI, and with two outs Williams walked to drive in another run. With the score 11-2, Jarvis lined a single up the middle for a walk off RBI and a 12-2 Tide win.
Bama hit 13-36 in the game, drew seven walks, had two hit batters, struck out only three times, and left 11 men on base. Birmingham hit 9-33 with three walks, eight strikeouts, committed two errors, and left 10 men on base. McNairy improved to 3-1 with the victory and Braxton Shelton fell to 0-1 with the loss. McNairy pitched five innings, allowing four hits, one run, with no walks and four strikeouts.
Individually Seidl finished 3-3 with a double, a hit by pitch, and three runs scored. Williamson continued his stellar season with with 2-4 night with three driven in with his home run and a run scored. Shelton was 2-4 with a walk and scored twice. Jarvis drove in two with his 1-3, one walk, one sacrifice fly game while also scoring a run. Williams drove in two on his 1-1 with a walk performance.
The Tide continues to win the games they are suppose to win, and mostly by large margins. The last couple of years, the Tuesday (and Wednesday) blues plagued the team. This year things have been different, and Alabama has improved to 7-0 in such games thus far.
The game was another great chance for coach Brad Bohannon to use much of his roster with 16 position players seeing action and five pitchers toeing the rubber. The Blazers used 12 position players and 10 pitchers in the game. Together the teams combined to have 43 players enter the game.
The second week of SEC play starts this weekend, and Bama host the Kentucky Wildcats. The games will be at 6 p.m. on Friday, 2 p.m. on Saturday, and 2 p.m. on Sunday. The Sunday game will be shown on the SEC Network while the first two contests will be available on SEC Network Plus.