The Alabama Crimson Tide baseball team swept Ole Miss in a series that was condensed to just Thursday and a double-header Friday due to a threat of bad weather.
Bama won 4-1 on Thursday night, and took a 12-2 seven-inning run-rule on Friday afternoon and a 5-1 victory on Friday night. The wins for the red-hot Tide gives interim head coach Jason Jackson a record of 8-2 and the team an overall record of 38-17 and 16-14 in the SEC.
Since Jackson has taken the helm, the Tide has won three straight SEC series: over Vanderbilt and Ole Miss at home, and Texas A&M on the road. This resilient group is the first Tide team to reach as many as 16 conference wins since the 2009 team finished 18-11 in the SEC and 37-21 overall. Mitch Gaspard’s last Tide team in 2016 finished 15-15 in league play and 32-26 overall, and found themselves on the outside looking in when it came NCAA Tournament time.
The current team will not have the same fate, as the Tide is safely in the Big Dance and is battling to be a host team. Many feel they have done enough already to be a top 16 club, but a couple of wins in next week’s SEC Tournament should lock it down. ‘Bama last hosted a regional in 2006.
Game One: Won 4-1
Sophomore right hander Luke Holman took the mound facing Xavier Rivas for the Rebels in game one. The Tide jumped on Rivas early, scoring twice in the first, but missed a chance to chase him early by leaving the bases loaded. Jim Jarvis led off the inning with a walk and advanced on a single by Tommy Seidl. Andrew Pinckney was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Dominic Tamez singled with one out to plate Jarvis and Seidl was plated on a two out, bases loaded walk to Ed Johnson.
Holman coasted through the first three innings, only allowing one single and two walks before his offense added another run. In the bottom of the third, Pinckney hit a ball all the way out of the stadium out into the road for his 15th long ball of the season and a 3-0 Tide lead.
Rivas had settled in after the first before allowing Pinckney’s home run. In the bottom of the fourth Caden Rose was hit by a pitch with two outs then stole second base and scored on a bloop single by Jarvis. The tally would be the last Tide run of the game.
The Rebels tried to make things interesting in the top of the 7th, chasing Holman after 6.2 innings and 103 pitches. Holman quickly recorded the first two outs but then walked the next two batters, bringing Kade Woods out of the bullpen. John Kramer yanked a single into the right field corner to score the only run of the game for Ole Miss. Woods then struck out the next batter and added a scoreless 8th inning. Alton Davis II took over in the 9th and despite two singles close the door with a strikeout and two fly outs to secure his 7th save of the year. Holman was the winner and allowed just four hits in his 6.2 innings with four walks, five strikeouts, and one run, improving to 7-3 on the season. Woods tossed 1.1 innings with one hit allowed, one walk, and one strikeout.
The game was played in a brisk two hours and twenty four minutes, a byproduct of the new pitch clock rules...and a lack of offense. The Tide was 6-29 in the game with four walks, three hit batters, 14 strikeouts, and eight men left on base. Pinckney finished 1-2 with a homer, a walk, and a hit by pitch. Caden Rose stole two bases and reached on a walk and hit by pitch. Six Bama players had one hit each. Ole Miss hit 7-32, worked five walks, struck out seven times and left nine men on base. Rivas was the loser despite only allowing four hits in seven innings while striking out 12 batters.
Game Two: Won 12-2 (7)
Hometown Senior right hander Garrett McMillian toed the rubber for the Tide inin Friday’s first game. Ole Miss countered with right hander JT Quinn. Bama jumped out to a quick 2-0 first inning lead again. Jim Jarvis led things off with a double and number two hitter Tommy Seidl to put two on with no outs. Andrew Pinckney laced an RBI double in the corner to score Jarvis. Colby Shelton walked to load the bases before Dominic Tamez hit a sacrifice fly to center field to score Seidl.
McMillian allowed a lead off single and a one out single in the top of the 3rd, but two fly outs retired the side. The Tide added four runs in the second on the back of two long balls. Caden Rose led off the inning with his 6th home run of the year. Jarvis and Drew Williamson singled before Colby Shelton blasted his 20th home run of the year for the 6-0 lead.
Bama added two more in the third. Bryce Eblin singled and Rose walked with no outs. With one out Seidl walked to load the bases and walk to Williamson forced in Eblin. Pinckney hit a sacrifice fly to center field to bring in Rose for the 8-0 Tide lead. McMillian kept the Rebels off the board until the top of the 5th. After a lead off walk and a single, a ground out advanced the runners before a sacrifice fly scored TJ McCants.
McMillian finished his outing throwing 99 pitches in 5.2 innings while allowing five hits, three walks, with three strikeouts and one run. Hagan Banks was called in and struck out the only batter he faced. Braylon Myers replaced Banks in the top of the 7th and allowed a one out home run to Jacob Gonzalez. The Tide needed four runs in the bottom half of the frame to invoke the run rule, and they delivered. Eblin, Rose, and Jarvis all singled with no outs to load the bases. Eblin scored on a wild pitch, and Seidl walked to reload the bases. Williamson singled in a run, Pinckney drove one in on a ground out, and Dominic Tamez ended the game with a RBI ground out for the 12-2 win.
Alabama was 14-of-29 in the game, with 11 walks, two strikeouts, two home runs, two doubles, and two sacrifice flies, with 10 men left on base. Shelton was 2-2 with three walks, his home run, and three driven in. Jarvis was 3-5 with a double and scored three runs. Rose was 2-3 with three runs, a home run, and a walk. Pinckney was 1-4 with a double, sacrifice fly, and three runs driven in. Seidl reached base four times and scored twice. McMillian was the winner and improved to 3-2 on the season.
Ole Miss finished 6-26 with three walks, five strikeouts, and seven left on base. Quinn was the loser, allowing seven runs on eight hits in only two innings pitched. Quinn fell to 4-3 on the year.
Game Three: Won 5-1
Super senior Jacob McNairy, fresh off of the best outing of his career last Sunday in College Station, took the mound for his last time in a regular season game in Friday’s game two. Jack Dougherty toed the rubber for the Rebels and this one settled into an old fashioned pitchers duel.
McNairy worked around traffic early on. Jacob Gonzalez led off with a single, before being forced out at second on a ground ball by Bo Gatlin. Kemp Alderman ripped a double to center field and Gatlin raced toward home. Two perfect throws, first from Andrew Pinckey to Jim Jarvis, followed by a Jarvis relay to Mac Guscette behind the plate caught Gatlin trying to score. After the tag Gatlin was injured and had to leave the game, and the Rebels challenged the out call. The call was upheld and the Rebels lost one of their allowed challenges and their DH in one fell swoop.
Gatlin’s replacement, Ethan Lege, double with one out in the third and scored on a single by Alderman. For the first time all series the Tide was behind. But not for long. Bryce Eblin tied it up for Bama when he hit a ball off the foul pole in right field for his second home run of the season.
Dougherty was replaced after five innings, having only allowed one hit, one run, walked one, and struck out five. McNairy pitched into the 6th and with two outs and two on was replaced by Aidan Moza. Moza allowed a single to the first batter he faced, Ethan Groff, but a perfect throw from William Hamiter to Guscette behind the plate cut down another potential Rebel run.
Moza continued through the 7th and 8th, allowing only one harmless single, before the Tide put the game away in the bottom of the 8th. Hamiter led off with a walk and was sacrificed to second on a perfect sacrifice bunt by Eblin. With two outs Jim Jarvis walked and Tommy Seidl bounced a single up the middle for the go ahead run. Drew Williamson took care of the insurance, crushing his 15th home run of the season 395 feet over the visitors bullpen for the 5-1 lead.
Moza worked a quick ninth on just seven pitches and the Tide had their second sweep of the season.
The Tide hit only 4-27 for the game, walked four times. struck out eight times. had two home runs, one sac bunt, made one error, and left three on base. Williamson drove in three runs and Eblin and Seidl one each. Jarvis, Seidl, Williamson, and Eblin were the only Bama players to record a hit. Overall Bama hit 24-85 for a .282 average with 19 walks, three hit batters, 24 strikeouts, five home runs, two doubles, and 21 men left on base. Moza was the winner in his best performance in a Tide uniform and is 3-1 on the year. The sophomore transfer pitched 3.1 innings while allowing two hits with three strikeouts and no walks or runs.
Ole Miss went 7-32 with two walks, two doubles, nine strikeouts. and left six on base. Brayden Jones was the loser and fell to 1-1 on the season. In the series the Rebels hit 20-90 for a .222 average, with 10 walks, four doubles, two home runs, 21 strikeouts, and 22 men left on base.
Who Did What?
- Jim Jarvis 5-11, five runs, two walks, two stolen bases, RBI
- Tommy Seidl, 3-10, three walks, four runs, two RBI
- Drew Williamson, 3-10, five RBI, home run (15) two runs, two walks
- Colby Shelton 3-9, home run (20), three RBI, HBP, run
- Andrew Pinckney 2-9, two walks, hit by pitch, double, home run (15), four RBI
- Luke Holman W (7-3) 6.2 IP four hits, one run, four walks, five strikeouts, 103 pitches
- Alton Davis S (7) 1 IP, two hits, one strikeout, no runs
- Garrett McMillian W (3-2) 5.2 IP, five hits, one run, three walks, three strikeouts, 99 pitches
- Jacob McNairy 5.2 IP, five hits, one run, two walks, six strikeouts, 93 pitches
- Aidan Moza W (3-1) 3.1 IP, two hits, no walks, three strikeouts, 31 pitches
What a wild ride for these young men over the last three weeks. First, they lost their head coach over gambling allegations and fell to 9-12 in the SEC after being swept in Baton Rouge. Then wondering if they were even going to make the SEC Tournament, rattled off three straight series wins, going 7-2 and finishing 16-14 in league play. They now boast the No. 11 RPI and are in legitimate consideration to host a Regional.
The grit and resiliency of this bunch along with the steady hand of Jason Jackson have put the Tide in territory they haven’t been in, in a while. Bama last hosted a Regional in 2006, last finished over .500 in the SEC in 2009, and last advanced to a Super Regional in 2010.
The pitching has been outstanding all year, but the last three series has seen ‘Bama turn it up another notch. The offense is deeper, and with more power than any Tide team since probably 2010. The 2009 team is the last group reach at least 100 home runs (107). The 2023 team has 98 long balls after Friday’s games. This team has a chance to do something special and be remembered among the most beloved in school history. Come along for the ride.
Hoover, the SEC Tournament, the best tournament in college baseball, with more talent than the actual World Series most years. The Tide can finish anywhere from 7th to 9th in the SEC depending on tomorrow’s other SEC games, and they have already clinched 4th in the West. Regardless, their next game will be on Tuesday against a team and time to be determined. At this point, the most likely scenario is the third game of the day which has a loosely scheduled time of 4:30 p.m. We’ll have the schedule posting up as we get that information in. Although, one thing is certain: in SEC Tournament play, games are rarely played at the listed time.
Get on the train and Roll with the Tide! #BamaBaseballFeverCatchIt