(Games from April 26-May 2)
Overall Record: 28-15 (19-10 at home | 9-5 on the road)
SEC Record: 11-10
Record Last Week: 4-0 (3-0 at home | 1-0 on the road)
Streak: Won 4
Last Week’s Results (4-0):
Tuesday, April 27 – Won at UAB, 9-3
Friday, April 30 – Won vs. Missouri, 11-8
Saturday, May 1 – Won vs. Missouri, 5-2
Sunday, May 2 – Won vs. Missouri, 3-2
This Week’s Schedule (All Times Central)
Friday, May 7 – at Vanderbilt (32-9/14-7 SEC), Hawkins Field, 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 8 – at Vanderbilt (32-9/14-7 SEC), Hawkins Field, 2 p.m.
Sunday, May 9 – at Vanderbilt (32-9/14-7 SEC), Hawkins Field, 1 p.m.
Alabama wrapped up the past week at a perfect 4-0. The Crimson Tide first defeated UAB, 9-3, at Regions Field in Birmingham before sweeping the Missouri Tigers this past weekend in Tuscaloosa.
The bullpen played a key role in UA’s success over the four-game stretch with six pitchers combining to throw 19.0 of the 36.0 total innings, or 52.8 percent of the innings, during that time. The relievers allowed just one run and only 12 hits while limiting opposing hitters to a .185 average. Alabama’s relief arms also struck out 20 compared to just one walk on the way earning two wins and a save in each contest.
Alabama’s bats put together a big week, pairing with the bullpen to keep the Tide in each of the four games. The offense posted a .321 (43-134) average and recorded double-digit hits in three of the games, leading to 28 total runs. Five of the Tide’s eight everyday starters batted above .350, led by Drew Williamson who finished at .467 (7-15) with a team-high three doubles and five runs to go with an RBI and three walks. Close behind was Sam Praytor, who batted .429 (6-14) with one double, a home run and a team-high tying four RBI in addition to one run, two walks and a hit-by-pitch.
The Tide’s complete effort on Tuesday evening at Regions Field led to a 9-3 win over UAB. Jake Eddington picked up his first career win in a spot start. After finding out he would get the nod just minutes before first pitch, Eddington came out and worked 3.0 innings of two-run baseball with four strikeouts. The right-hander then turned it over to the bullpen with the duo of Eli Giles and Hunter Ruth combining for the final 6.0 frames. Ruth earned the save with 3.0 scoreless that featured four strikeouts. Alabama’s offense put together an equally impressive performance, collecting nine runs on 12 hits with eight of the nine starters recording at least one base knock. Six of those hits were doubles, a new season-high total for UA.
Despite falling behind early, Alabama battled for the eventual 11-8 comeback win over Missouri on Friday. Missouri jumped out front with four runs in the top of the first. The Tide countered with a pair in the home half, but the Tigers added one in the second and two in the third to maintain the lead. Alabama posted two runs in the bottom of the third but, once again, Missouri came back with a run of their own. That run would be the last one for the Tigers as UA went on to score seven unanswered runs, highlighted by a three-run sixth to put Alabama in front for good. The Crimson Tide bullpen took over in the fifth inning and proceeded to blank the Missouri offense. William Freeman was first out, tossing 3.0 scoreless with three punchouts to pick up the win. Freeman was followed by the Tide’s late-inning duo of Landon Green and Chase Lee, with each pitcher contributing 1.0 scoreless. Lee earned the save, working a 1-2-3 ninth with two punchouts. Alabama’s offense was led by Praytor and Peyton Wilson who each recorded a three-hit night. Praytor finished 3-for-5 with a team-high three RBI and one run scored while adding his team-leading 12th homer of the season. Wilson went 3-for-4 and finished a triple short of the cycle. The sophomore also tallied a team-high three runs scored to go with two RBI and a walk.
Dylan Smith was dominant in his start on Saturday, leading Alabama to a 5-2 win. Smith has been impressive all season but was able to pick up his first win thanks to his best start to date. The right-hander worked a career-high tying 8.0 innings of two-run baseball, allowing just six hits and issuing zero walks while striking out a career-best 11 in the effort. Green followed, making his second appearance in as many days and punching out two as part of a scoreless ninth for his second save. The Tide bats posted five runs in support of Smith. Alabama’s offense was led by Williamson, Jackson Tate and Jim Jarvis. The 6-7 hole hitters in Williamson and Tate each contributed three hits, including one double apiece. Williamson finished a perfect 3-for-3 with a walk and two runs while Tate wrapped up his day 3-for-4 with an RBI and a stolen base. Jarvis finished 1-for-4 with a triple, one run and a team-high two RBI from the eight-hole.
Alabama completed the comeback with a combined three runs across the seventh and eighth innings to down Missouri, 3-2, on Sunday afternoon. Missouri hopped out front first for a third straight day, scoring one run apiece in the first and second frames. Alabama was unable to get much of anything going until the Tide finally broke through for one in the seventh. UA then struck for two to take the lead in the eighth. Jarvis and Wilson each singled to start the inning, forcing a sacrifice bunt situation. William Hamiter laid down the bunt, but the Tigers elected to throw to third with the ball going into left field to allow Jarvis to score and Wilson to move to third. Zane Denton then capitalized on the opportunity with a sacrifice fly to bring in Wilson and put UA in front, 3-2, the eventual final. The bullpen shined after any early exit from the UA starter. The foursome of Ruth, Eddington, Freeman and Lee kept Mizzou scoreless across 7.0 innings, allowing just five hits and a walk while striking out six. Freeman picked up the win thanks to 2.0 hitless frames with two punchouts while Lee notched his sixth save of the season and second of the weekend.