Bounceback Win for Alabama Baseball as the Tide Dominates Oklahoma, 13-1
The Crimson Tide offense erupted for a season-high 18 hits and 13 runs on the way to a 13-1 win over Oklahoma on Sunday at L. Dale Mitchell Park. The win improves the Tide to 10-2 on the season.
“I’m very pleased with today’s effort; it was a good team win for us,” said Alabama head coach Brad Bohannon. “As bad as we were in all areas yesterday, we were equally as sharp today. I’m hopeful that we can carry this momentum into Wednesday against a very good Southern Miss team.”
Alabama’s offense came up big in the middle innings, putting up three in the third, fifth and sixth with a four-run fourth sandwiched in between to account for the Crimson Tide’s 13 total runs on the day. Over that stretch, the Tide bats collected 15 hits and three walks to put the game out of reach.
Eleven of the 14 Alabama hitters collected at least one hit, including eight of nine starters. Six players on offense had multi-hit efforts, with Cobie Vance leading the team at 3-for-4. The junior added two RBI, a pair of runs scored and one walk. Both Cody Henry and Chandler Taylor contributed a home run and three RBI apiece. Henry, a senior, registered a double and two runs scored in addition to his roundtripper while the junior Taylor contributed one run to go with his homer.
The Crimson Tide pitching staff shined on Sunday. Junior Sam Gardner (1-0) earned his first career win at Alabama, tossing 5.0 innings of one-run baseball in the starting effort. Gardner allowed three hits and two walks while striking out a season-high five across his 85 pitches of work. Sophomores Davis Vainer and Deacon Medders along with junior Dylan Duarte worked the final 4.0 scoreless innings to secure the victory on getaway day.
The Sooners took the early lead for the third straight day, scoring one in the bottom of the first. A pair of one-out singles and a walk loaded the bases for OU before a fielder’s choice groundout pushed the man from third home to make it 1-0 after an inning of play.
Alabama took its first lead of the weekend two innings later, collecting three runs in the third – all with two outs. A single from Vance was followed by a double from Henry, scoring Vance from second to make things even. A walk and a fielding error in the next two at-bats loaded the bases for UA before a Chandler Avant single to center crossed a pair of RBI for the senior to give the Tide a 3-1 lead.
The fourth saw Alabama put up a four-spot in the inning to extend its advantage to 7-1. Sophomore Walker McCleney led off the inning with a walk and advanced himself into scoring position on a wild pitch. One out later, junior Jett Manning doubled to right-center to bring the leadoff man across. Vance followed with a single in the next at-bat to score Manning before Henry cleared the bases with his second hit of a game, a two-run homer to right. The home run was Henry’s first of the season and gave Alabama a six-run lead.
One inning later, the Tide added three more two-out runs. McCleney got the rally started once again, singling to center. Freshman Sam Praytor and Manning followed with singles of their own, Manning’s adding a run for the Tide. Vance contributed the fourth single of the inning in the next at-bat, scoring Praytor and putting Alabama runners on the corners. A wild pitch ensued, with both runners moving up 90 feet as Manning came home to make it a 10-1 affair through five.
Alabama added three more in the sixth to set the score at 13-1. Junior Keith Holcombe was hit by a pitch and Avant followed with a single to put two on. Taylor then cleared the bases on a 3-1 pitch, homering over the right field wall for the junior’s team-leading fourth home run of the season.
Next up for Alabama is a midweek contest with Southern Miss on Wednesday, March 7, to start a nine-game homestand for UA. The Crimson Tide and Golden Eagles are scheduled for a 6 p.m. CT first pitch at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.