Alabama Takes Down High Point to Complete Series Sweep
Despite a last-minute schedule change for No. 20 Alabama (8-0), they were still able to pull off a series sweep while staying undefeated against High Point over the weekend.
The Alabama Crimson Tide were originally supposed to travel to Malibu, Calif., to play Pepperdine, but were unable to due to unpleasant weather. Instead, they were forced to play another team whose California trip got canceled, this team being High Point (3-4).
After two scoreless innings from both sides, Colby Shelton broke the tie with a solo shot to left field. After Shelton's homer, the Tide never lost the lead. Alabama ended up winning the game 4-2.
"I'm really glad to get the sweep, High Point's got a nice club." Alabama manager Brad Bohannon said to open his press conference. "They're gonna be very successful in the Big South... They're well coached and competed at a really high level and I'm excited to get a sweep."
Alabama's pitching was a huge reason for the win Sunday. Starter Jacob McNairy pitched five innings, striking out three while allowing the Panthers' only runs of the day. The three pitchers out of the pen combined for a total of seven strikeouts while shutting down the High Point offense. Most notably, Kade Woods pitched two innings, punching out five batters out of the six he faced.
"Yeah, just blessed to get the opportunity to have worked hard over break," said freshman RHP Kade Woods. "And that's kind of what I was told I had to work hard but honestly the field so I just kind of took that as a personal thing that I was going to better myself."
In his press conference, coach Bohannon sang his praises for two Tide freshman pitchers, Kade Woods, and Riley Quick, stating:
"You know, Kade and Riley, they're going to be pitching in big situations. You know, they need to have a tying runner on base when they're pitching and you know, glad to have those experiences now. The first time for that to happen when you're against one," said Bohannon.
Today wasn't Alabama's usual offensive output, only scoring four runs, a new season-low.
"You know, didn't think we weren't very sharp offensively today," stated Bohannon. "Sort of understand we're not going to score 10 runs every game.. and it can be a little tougher to hit when the pitchers were a little erratic. But, thought we chased too many pitches outside the strike zone, was really inefficient offensively, especially the bottom of the bottom was seventh we had a chance to work busted open, and pull away and we didn't do that."
After struggling early in the season, freshman third baseman Colby Shelton has been riding a five-game hitting streak, batting .400 and hitting two home runs in that stretch. The lefty also had one of the best games of his young collegiate career today, getting on base three times and making a diving catch at third early in the game.
Shelton commented on his improvement, saying, "[I] really haven't changed much just sticking with my approach, trying to see the balls in the zone."
As Alabama was trying to close out High Point, Jim Jarvis fielded a grounder up the middle and made an MLB-type throw to first for the first out of the ninth.
Bohannon gave Jarvis one of the highest compliments a baseball player could receive, saying, "I really, you know, spring training starting right now, Jim could go play shortstop in a big league game right now... game-saving play... he's just really, really elite defender."
Alabama is set to take a two-day break before they welcome Jacksonville State to Tuscaloosa for a mid-week game this Wednesday. Tune into Tide 100.9 or SEC Network+ to watch the Tide take on the Gamecocks.