Balanced Offense, Bullpen Arms Carry Alabama Baseball to 7-3 Win at Troy
Alabama baseball put forth a complete team effort in Wednesday’s 7-3 win over Troy at Riddle-Pace Field. The victory split the 2019 home-and-home series between the two in-state foes and moved the Crimson Tide to 28-21 overall for the season.
“We did a lot of things well tonight,” said Alabama head coach Brad Bohannon. “I’m really pleased with the bullpen – we gave up just one run in seven innings out of the pen – and we got some of those young guys in there that looked really sharp. Tyler Ras had four hits; (Tyler) Gentry had some really hard contact; there was a lot of good contact up and down the lineup. I liked our effort tonight. The kids continue to compete, and I’m really glad to get back in the win column.”
Alabama and Troy traded runs through the first four innings before a three-run home run in the seventh from sophomore Tyler Gentry put UA in front for good. The Crimson Tide added two more tallies in the seventh for insurance in the 7-3 Wednesday win.
Freshman Tyler Ras started for UA, part of the Tide’s seven total pitchers who saw work on the mound by night’s end. The six bullpen arms combined for 7.0 frames of one-run baseball with junior Casey Cobb (1-1) earning his first win of the season. The right-hander contributed 2.0 innings as the first man out of the bullpen. Crimson Tide closer Jeremy Randolph (8) picked up the save with the graduate striking out three in the ninth to strand the bases loaded.
Ras led all hitters with a 4-for-5 night that included two doubles, an RBI and one run scored. Leading the Alabama bats in RBI was Gentry with four, part of his 2-for-5 effort that also included the home run, a double and one run scored. Also posting a multi-hit night was junior Brett Auerbach and senior Joe Breaux, with Auerbach adding a run and Breaux notching an RBI.
Alabama was first to score on Wednesday evening, starting with a leadoff single from Auerbach. The junior then came around to score two outs later thanks to a double off the wall in right from Gentry, setting it at 1-0 after a half inning. Troy answered back with two runs in the bottom of the first, using four consecutive singles to cross a pair and make it 2-1, in favor of the Trojans.
The Crimson Tide was able to even things up in the top of the fourth with one run. Ras delivered a leadoff double to start the frame. A single moved him to third before a sacrifice fly to center from Breaux brought in the man from third. A play at the plate ensued, but a missed tag by the Troy catcher led to a standoff with Ras stepping on the plate for the safe call to make it a tie ballgame. The Trojans answered right back in the bottom of the fourth with one run to regain the lead at 3-2.
The scoring continued into the top of the fifth, with Alabama crossing three runs on the home run from Gentry. He was able to give the Tide the lead thanks to a hit-by-pitch to freshman T.J. Reeves and then a walk to junior Morgan McCullough to lead off the inning. The homer was the sophomore’s team-leading 11th of the season and made it 5-3 in favor of the Tide.
Alabama added two more in the top of the seventh for a four-run advantage. Reeves started the frame with a single and was followed by a McCullough walk to put two on. One out later, a walk to freshman Drew Williamson with runners on the move would have loaded the bases, but the Troy catcher’s unnecessary throw to third ended up in left field, allowing Reeves to score on the misplay. Ras followed with a single up the middle in the next at-bat to score one more and set it at 7-3, Crimson Tide, headed to the stretch.
Troy was able to load the bases and bring the tying run to the plate in the ninth, but Randolph’s three punchouts ended the threat and sent the Crimson Tide home with the win. The Alabama victory improved UA to 22-3 in non-conference games, including a 12-1 mark in the midweeks.
Alabama returns home for the weekend, hosting 18th-ranked Texas A&M at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. The series opener on Friday is set for a 6 p.m. CT first pitch with the final two games slated for 2 p.m. starts. Fans can catch the first two games of the weekend on SEC Network+ with the series finale being broadcast nationally on SEC Network.
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