First-year head coach Brad Bohannon will wrap up fall practice with the Alabama baseball team next week. The Crimson Tide will play a three-game intrasquad scrimmage for its fall world series to finish out the offseason practice.
Players will be drafted onto the two teams over the weekend. That will end practice until the team returns for its preseason schedule.
“The last week, I just want them to have fun and compete,” Bohannon said. “I think I have a pretty good idea of where everybody is and what they need to work on. We’re going to kind of give them the last three scrimmages and let them have fun with it. I just want it to be competitive and have everybody finish on a good note.”
The rosters might be a bit thin, particularly when splitting up the pitching staff. Senior Jake Walters has been shut down for the fall with a back injury and won’t throw. Sophomore Sonny Potter had soreness in his shoulder and won’t pitch either.
Redshirt freshman Garret Rukes and redshirt sophomore Brock Love are both ahead of schedule in their rehab from Tommy John surgery but not ready to pitch in a scrimmage yet.
“We tried hard as a coaching staff just to watch the kids for a while. You want to figure out everybody’s strengths and weaknesses and how they respond to anything before you start changing anything or giving them information. So I really think it’s been the last couple weeks that we’ve really started teaching. The kids have responded well. They’ve been open-minded. Individually there are several kids that have really made some big strides.”
Bohannon said that in addition to some of the returning contributors who were standouts last year, outfielders Gene Wood and Joe Breaux had strong falls. Sophomore infielder John Trousdale also played well and freshman catcher Sam Praytor received praise as well. Senior first baseman Hunter Alexander said freshman pitcher Brock Guffey has held his own.
“He’s been throwing strikes, been competitive,” Alexander said. “That’s just one that stands out to me. Everybody is swinging the bat really well. We’re going to be able to hit this year for sure with a lot of guys returning.”
The stakes for the fall world series haven’t been decided yet. If it’s not a steak dinner or a championship belt, it’ll at least be bragging rights on the line.
“All we’ve gotten to play against is our teammates,” senior shortstop Chandler Avant said. “We kind of nag on the other team, talk a little trash. But other than that, when the spring rolls around, we’re one team.”