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Alabama Baseball heads to first Super Regional since 2010

The Alabama Crimson Tide baseball beat Boston College 8-0 on Sunday night/Monday morning to advance to the Super Regional round of the NCAA Tournament.

Syndication: Tuscaloosa News
Jacob McNairy was on fire on Sunday night over 7.2 innings pitched, allowing only three hits with three walks and 11 strikeouts.

The Alabama Crimson Tide defeated the Boston College Eagles on Sunday night/Monday morning by a score of 8-0 to win the Tuscaloosa Regional of the NCAA Tournament. The Tide now advances to take on top ranked Wake Forest in Super Regional play with a chance to go the College World Series in Omaha.

After a 16 year wait to host again, a few weather delays are just an annoyance. On Friday the Tide was scheduled to play at 6 p.m. put didn't begin until 9:16 p.m., finishing after midnight. On Saturday, the game was at 8 p.m and lasted until just before midnight. Sunday’s third game had an announced start time of 8 p.m. but after lightning and rain delays, the first pitch finally came at 9:36 p.m. and the game ended at 12:50 a.m. on Monday. None of these things bothered the resilient Tide, who have faced much more adversity than a few rain drops this season.

After two thrilling wins the Tide coasted in what turned out to be the championship game of the Regional. Bama was the designated visitor in the game, and in an odd twist were the visitors in two of the three games they played. The Tide scored all of the runs they needed in the top of the first: four of them to be exact, on only one hit. Eagle starter Andrew Roman did not even make it out of the first inning. After recording two quick outs, he walked Andrew Pinckney, hit Drew Williamson with a pitch, walked Dominic Tamez, hit Colby Shelton to drive in a run, then walked Ed Johnson to drive in another. Mac Guscette then lined a single off of third baseman Nick Wang’s glove that drove in two runs for an early 4-0 lead.

Super senior Jacob McNairy started for Bama and walked the first man he faced. With one out Patrick Roche singled. Joe Vetrano reached on an error to load the bases. Wang hit a ground ball to Shelton at third base and the freshman turned a double play by stepping on the bag and launching a throw to first base. The batter was called out and the double play ended the Eagles’ best scoring opportunity they had off of McNairy over his 7.2 innings pitched.

Alabama added a run in the second when Tamez doubled in Tommy Seidl, who had walked and then advanced to third on Williamson’s single. The Tide added a sixth run in the third on a RBI single by Seidl. McNairy retired 12 batters in a row from the second through the fifth inning. Meanwhile Bama squandered several opportunities to break the game wide open, stranding seven runners over the four inning stretch.

The Eagles reached McNairy for a leadoff walk and two-run single in the 6th inning, but a strikeout and pop up stranded the runners. McNairy walked Cameron Leary leading off the bottom of the 7th, but a slick double play turned by Jim Jarvis and a strikeout ended the inning. The Tide finally scored again in the top of the 8th, again with a great deal of help from the Eagles pitchers’ lack of control. Tamez and Shelton walked, leading to a pitching change from Julian Tonghini to Sean Hard. Hard had control issues as well and walked Johnson to load the bases. Guscette lined his second two RBI single to center field and the Tide led 8-0.

McNairy was sent back out for the bottom of the 8th and retired the first two batters on a fly out and a strikeout. With an 8-0 lead, after throwing 108 pitches, McNairy left the game to a standing ovation from the sellout crowd. The Athens, AL native toed the rubber at Sewell-Thomas Stadium for the last time, going out with a career performance. McNairy pitched a career high 7.2 innings, allowed only three hits, walked three batters, and struck out a career-high 11. Hagan Banks and Hunter Hoopes cleaned up the final 1.2 innings, and along with McNairy combined to shut out the hot hitting Eagles.

Alabama hit 8-33 in the game, drew 13 walks, had two hit batters, struck out eight times, and stranded 13 runners on base. All eight of the Tide runs were scored with two outs. Guscette was the big stick with a 3-4 game with four RBI, a walk, and a run scored. Tamez was 2-3 with two walks, two runs, and one run driven in. Johnson was 1-2 with an RBI and three walks. McNairy improved to 7-2 on the season with the win.

Boston College hit only 4-30 in the game, with six walks, 11 strikeouts, and nine runners left on base. Roche had half the hits and finished 2-3 with a walk. Roman was the losing pitcher and fell to 3-1. The Eagles were on their second game of the day and fourth of the weekend and the heat and humidity possible took a toll on Eagle players.

Despite the delays the weekend was a perfect one for the Tide. Win and advance is the name of the game and Bama has taken care of the first leg of their journey to fulfill all their goals. Next up is a trip to Winston Salem, NC to take on the top ranked Wake Forest team. The days and times have not been released yet but the teams will play a best two out of three series. First team to two wins advanced to Omaha for the College World Series.

The Tide had four member of the All Regional team in Guscette at catcher, Pinckney in the outfield, Rose as the DH (?), and starting pitcher McNairy. The picks are interesting in that Rose hasn’t played DH since being at the Capstone.

Who Did What In The Regional:

  • Mac Guscette 5-11, four runs, home run, two runs, one walk
  • Dominic Tamez 4-8, four runs, three walks, RBI
  • Caden Rose 3-11, four runs, three walks, two doubles, home run
  • Andrew Pinckney 3-11, three runs, four walks, two RBI, double, triple, home run
  • Tommy Seidl 4-14, two doubles, walk, two RBI, two runs
  • Luke Holman 6 IP, 5 hits, two walks, five strikeouts, two runs
  • Alton Davis W (1-2) save (8), 2.1 IP, one hit, one walk, three strikeouts

The last time Alabama reached the Super Regionals was in 2010 when they traveled to play Clemson. We will have a story on the series with Wake Forest when the dates/times are set. In the meantime, celebrate this great team that has exceeded most people’s expectations.

Roll Tide

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