Alabama Baseball Sweeps Valparaiso to Start 2018 Season
It's time to get out your brooms as the Brad Bohannon era of Alabama baseball started off in convincing fashion. The Crimson Tide claimed all three games of the season-opening series against Valparaiso to start out the 2018 season 3-0.
Things were rolling quickly for the Crimson Tide, who won their season opener on Friday by a final score of 16-2. After being held scoreless through the first three innings, an eight run bottom of the fourth gave them a commanding 8-1 lead they would not relinquish. Friday's starting pitcher Sam Finnerty gave up one run in the first inning, but followed it up with five shutout innings.
The Crimson Tide then showed their resilience on Saturday with a walk-off 6-5 win over the Crusaders. Valparaiso chased Alabama starter Jake Walters after giving up in five runs through five innings of work, but the Crimson Tide battled back to tie the game, thanks in large part to a two-run homerun from Cobie Vance in the bottom of the sixth. This all set up an electric finish when junior outfielder Joe Breaux hit a single into right field to secure the win for the Crimson Tide in the bottom of the ninth.
Following the walk-off win, Sunday's series finale started off with a bang as both teams scored five runs by the end of the second inning. However, it was all Crimson Tide from the third inning on as they outscored the Crusaders 7-1 to complete the sweep by a final score of 12-6. Offensively, the Crimson Tide were led by two-sport athlete Keith Holcombe, as he finished a perfect 4-4 at the plate and was just a double shy of hitting for the cycle. After starter Sam Gardner was pulled in the fourth, relievers Davis Vainer and Brock Guffey combined to throw 5 1/3 innings of shutout baseball and only allowed two hits.
The Crimson Tide will look to keep their winning streak alive at home this week as they welcome the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders for a single-game contest on Tuesday. Looking ahead to the weekend, the Washington State Cougars will be in town for a three-game series starting Friday.
You can watch both of these matchups live on SEC Network+ or stream the Crimson Tide Sports Network broadcast on Tide 102.9/100.9 or the all new Tide 102.9 app.