Alabama Drops Series Opener to Stetson
The Stetson Hatters, 11-4 on the season, defeated the Alabama Crimson Tide 12-2 (4-2) in the first of a three game series. Stetson's Nick Durgin put on a pitching clinic, holding the Tide without a hit until the bottom of the ninth and adding 9 strikeouts
Stetson jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the second inning following a moon shot home run from Jackson Olson that found its way right into the heart of the Alabama right field pavilion. From there, Alabama kept Stetson in check, allowing just two more runs, but could not wake the bats up until the end.
The Tide was able to get runners in scoring position in the bottom of the second inning, following an error on an Owen Diodati pop fly that put him at second and Zane Denton at third, but Durgin continued dealing strikes and Alabama left its baserunners stranded.
The Tide's only hits on the night came in the ninth inning when Zane Denton hit a blooper over the second baseman's head and was brought home on a Drew Williamson home run. Diodati then hit a line drive through the gap for a single, and Andrew Pinckney put himself and Diodati in scoring position with a deep shot to left field, but were left stranded when Peyton Wilson grounded out to end the game.
Tyler Ras got the start for the Tide, putting in five innings and adding three strikeouts. While Ras pitched fairly well, holding Stetson to just three hits, the Hatters were able to capitalize on defensive errors that plagued Alabama all night. The Tide finished the game with four errors, two of which came from sophomore shortstop Jim Jarvis.
Freshman pitcher Grayson Hitt came into the game to replace Ras in the top of the sixth inning, but struggled from the start. Hitt walked his first batter, hit another, and struggled to find the strike zone consistently, and was pulled in the ninth inning in favor of fellow freshman Eli Giles.
Giles closed the game out for the Tide, allowing just one more hit in the final inning and earning two strikeouts. As a team, the Tide had seven strikeouts and allowed five hits tonight across three pitchers.
The Crimson Tide have an opportunity to bounce back against the Hatters in the second game of the weekend series Saturday March 13 at 2:00 P.M. Alabama will have to get started a lot sooner in that game if they hope to emerge with a victory.