After a quiet first inning, Alabama’s bats came alive and the Crimson Tide reeled off 16 hits in a dominating 16-0 win against Maine at home on Tuesday night.
The 16 runs are the most the Crimson Tide (18-4) has scored in a game this season. It was also the fourth shutout Alabama has pitched this year.
“I was really excited about the way we swung the bats,” Alabama coach Brad Bohannon said. “We had a lot of hard contact, a lot of extra-base hits up and down the lineup. I was really excited to see that after a weekend at Ole Miss when we struck out a little too much and didn’t get some big hits when we needed them.”
There was plenty of fireworks for the fans in Sewell-Thomas to cheer for, but the loudest cheer came when freshman T.J. Reeves smacked a ball to deep center field. As Maine’s center fielder attempted to field the ball after it careened off the back wall, Reeves picked up steam as he raced around the bases. The fans’ cheers reached a peak when he streaked toward home and avoided the tag for an inside-the-park home run.
“When I saw the ball drop, another gear in me kicked in and I saw coach (Jerry Zulli) rolling me around third and I just went with it,” Reeves said.
It was Reeves’ first inside-the-park home run for Alabama, but not the first one he’s hit. The last one was in high school.
“It was my junior year in the playoffs, first round,” Reeves said. “It was kind of like the exact same spot in center field, too.”
After the scoreless first inning, Alabama scored a run in every inning, including three in the second and third innings and five in the seventh.
Tyler Gentry added to his team-high home run total with a right-field shot in the fourth inning, his fifth of the season. The sophomore right fielder was 3-for-5 with two RBIs and a double. Center fielder Joe Breaux had four RBIs on two hits, including a triple.
Freshman right-hander Tyler Ras started the game on the mound for and immediately found himself in a jam. The Black Bears started the game with back-to-back hits, but Ras responded by striking out two and popping up another to get out of the inning.
“It was a good start to the game,” Ras said. “The offense came out early and gave me an opportunity to settle in, once we got ahead and stayed ahead the whole game. Credit to the offense for helping me stay confident the whole game.”
He went on to pitch five innings, allowing just three hits and striking out five batters. It was his first career win.
The Crimson Tide hosts No. 9 Arkansas in the home SEC opener on Friday.