Alabama’s offense was ready for Monday night’s game against Jacksonville State.
Leadoff man Joe Breaux sent the first pitch he saw into the student section in right field. Alabama followed up his solo shot with another run later in the inning, then backed that up with seven runs in the bottom of the second. The Crimson Tide (3-1) scored in each of the first four innings to beat Jacksonville State (2-2) 13-2.
“I don’t think we have a traditional team, pitching staff or batting order,” coach Brad Bohannon said. “We just tell them, ‘Whether you’re hitting first or third or fifth, be you.’ Joe is better when he’s aggressive. He’s really squared up a lot of balls through four games.”
The seven runs in the second inning started off when first baseman Drew Williamson drew a leadoff walk. He moved to second on a single, followed by a bunt. A walk to Breaux loaded the bases. A third walk to third baseman Brett Auerbach scored one run and second baseman Morgan McCullough drove in two more runs. Catcher Sam Praytor was hit by a pitch to load the bases again. Outfielder Keith Holcombe doubled down the right field line to score two more runs, and right fielder Tyler Gentry singled to drive in the final two runs of the inning.
Alabama scored one run in the third, two in the fourth and one in the eighth to push the score to 13-2.
“It was good for us because we struggled against Presbyterian in the first game (on Saturday), so it was good for us to put up a lot of runs, put a lot of good swings on it,” Gentry said.
The Crimson Tide used six pitchers, led by junior Wil Freeman. Sophomore Brock Guffey, junior Kyle Cameron, and junior Davis Vainer all threw two innings; Cameron picked up the win. Freshman Dylan Smith threw 1 2/3 innings of scoreless ball in his collegiate debut and junior Dylan Oliver secured the final out.
“I really haven’t had a bunch of surprises to this point, even though to this point, four games in, we’ve probably been getting more production in the lineup and in the bottom than I thought,” Bohannon said. “It’s still going to take us some time to figure out the roles on the pitching staff, but I think you guys have seen we have some length, some depth to our staff. That’s exciting.”
Northridge product Alex London started the game for Jacksonville State, throwing 1 1/3 innings. He gave up six runs, five of which were earned, on four hits and three walks before leaving the game. Hillcrest product Cole Frederick started at second base for the Gamecocks, going 2 for 3 with an RBI. ACA product Carson Crowe was 0-1 with a walk. Former Alabama player Alex Webb caught for Jacksonville State, going 0-2.
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