Alabama Freshman Blake Bennett Leaves Program
Crimson Tide freshman Blake Bennett has announced his decision on Twitter to leave the Alabama baseball program and continue his career at Pensacola State. Bennett did not pitch for the Crimson Tide this season after battling numbness in his arm and fingers beginning in August of 2019.
In February of 2020 he was diagnosed with compressed blood vessels causing the numbness in his hand. Bennett endured a rib resection procedure on March 10, a process in which the doctor removes part of the first rib to alleviate the compression put on Bennett's blood vessels. Due to the injury and surgery, Bennett did not see any playing time in the 17 games Alabama played this spring.
Bennett, a 6-foot-1 left handed pitcher from Haleyville High School was Baseball America's 15th rated prospect in Alabama coming out of high school. He recorded 324 strikeouts and had a 1.61 ERA in high school. Bennett made Class 4A All-State Second Team twice while he was at Haleyville.
The numbness he experienced kept Bennett from competing for innings this season for the Crimson Tide. According to his father, Bennett chose to transfer to the Pirates in order to pitch more innings in the fall of 2021 to get his career back on track. Bennett is currently in Lakeland, Florida rehabbing after his recent surgery. He will be eligible to play for Pirates immediately and will benefit from the NCAA giving spring sport athletes an additional year of eligibility.
The Pensacola State Pirates were off to a 13-11 start last season prior to the cancellation of the spring season. The Pirates pitching staff as a whole notched a 5.02 ERA last season. With only one left-handed pitcher listed on the online roster, Bennett should be a welcome addition to the Pirates organization.