Early Offense, Solid Pitching Powers Alabama Baseball to 7-2 Win over Presbyterian on Opening Day
Alabama baseball used early offense paired with a solid effort on the mound to earn a 7-2 win over Presbyterian on Opening Day at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. With the victory, the Crimson Tide moves to 10-0 in the month of February under head coach Brad Bohannon.
“It was a really good start to the season,” said Bohannon. “I thought it was a well-rounded game for us. All the guys that pitched were around the strike zone. We had a lot of hard contact throughout the lineup. We had five different guys drive in runs, so I’m really pleased with how it went for us overall.”
Alabama struck early, scoring seven runs across the first four innings to build a lead that would prove too much for Presbyterian. The offense was led by senior Joe Breaux and junior Kolby Robinson, with each player totaling one run and three hits on the day, including a double for Breaux. Robinson added a team-high tying two RBI to match Sam Praytor in that category. The sophomore catcher recorded his two RBI on a two-run home run in the bottom of the first inning, the Crimson Tide’s first roundtripper of the 2019 campaign.
On the mound, Sam Finnerty (1-0) provided Alabama with a strong starting effort. The senior worked 5.0 frames of two-run baseball, walking one and striking out three before handing the ball over to the bullpen. The duo of junior Wil Freeman and redshirt freshman Chase Lee combined to throw 4.0 shutout innings, with Lee delivering a 1-2-3 ninth to seal the victory.
Alabama struck first on the day with Breaux roping a double to center on the first pitch of the game, putting the leadoff man aboard. Two outs later, Praytor cleared the bases with his home run to give UA a 2-0 lead after one.
The Crimson Tide added three more to widen the gap in the second. A pair of walks started the frame and a one-out single from Robinson brought in the inning’s first run. Another single in the next at-bat loaded the bases before a walk to junior Brett Auerbach crossed one more. After a Presbyterian mound visit, junior Morgan McCullough recorded a sacrifice fly to score the man from third, moving the Tide advantage at 5-0 through two full.
Alabama posted a single tally in the third thanks to an RBI-single from Robinson to make it 6-0. In the next half inning, Presbyterian got on the board with a solo home run. The Tide answered with one of its own the bottom of that fourth inning. A leadoff single from Auerbach followed one out later by a single from Praytor put runners on the corners. With two down, sophomore Tyler Gentry added a third single in the inning, sending a liner through the left side for an RBI to make it a 7-1 contest.
Presbyterian chipped away with one more run in the fifth, using a sacrifice fly to bring across a man from third, but that would be all for the Blue Hose. Freeman and Lee went on to limit PC to only two hits and a walk the rest of the day on the way to the Crimson Tide victory.
Alabama and Presbyterian return to the diamond tomorrow for a doubleheader at The Joe. The first game of the twinbill is set to start at 1 p.m. CT with the second matchup scheduled for 45 minutes after the final out of game one. The Crimson Tide will call on freshman right-hander Tyler Ras for the start while the Blue Hose will counter with junior southpaw Jake Rice. Each team’s starter for game two is still to be announced.