Alabama Baseball Opens With 11-0 Win

The Alabama Crimson Tide baseball team started off the 2011 season in a big way, shutting out the Alcorn State Braves 11-0 in the season opener Friday night at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.

Josh Rosecrans started off Alabama's 2011 scoring by smashing a single to right that got past the right fielder, turning a single into a two-base error, plating Taylor Dugas and Jared Reaves. Designated hitter David Kindred followed the scoring trend, plating Rosecrans on a sacrifice fly to left to close out a three-run first inning.

"Josh Rosecrans had a big night and kind of got us started and settled things down, Brock Bennett did some good things as well," Coach Mitch Gaspard said. "I thought our bench play was good too. All of our young guys who came in really contributed to the game. It was a good opening night."

The fourth inning began with Brandt Hendricks reaching first on a throwing error by ASU shortstop Angle Rosa. The Tide added another runner on a hit-by-pitch, with both runners advancing one base on a balk during the next at-bat. A wild pitch by Braves starter Steve Easter allowed Hendricks to score from third, giving the Tide a 4-0 lead.

Bennett continued the scoring in the bottom of the sixth, ripping a double to left-center off Braves reliever Brent Blaum, to plate pinch runner Allen Dye. Austen Smith, who pinch hit for Josh Sanders, continued the scoring, sending a grounder that lasered off the second baseman's mitt into right field, allowing Bennett to score to boost the Tide lead to 6-0.

UA continued to pile on runs, scoring five more to close out the game. All together, the Tide accumulated 11 hits on the night while getting a lights-out performance from its pitching staff.

Adam Morgan started the game and shined on the hill, going 5.1 innings, fanning six and allowing only one hit. Following a walk to open the game, Morgan retired 13 straight batters until Kenny Rowan got the Braves' lone hit of the night in the top of the fifth inning.

"It felt great to be out there," Morgan said. "After a whole fall of practicing and lifting, getting after it day in and day out, days and games like these, it's amazing to get out there and see what everybody can do."

Charley Sullivan, Adam Windsor and Nathan Kennedy combined to close out the game. The trio put in 3.2 innings of work, allowing only four hits while striking out four all together to help seal a Tide victory.

Alabama continues its series with Alcorn State Saturday afternoon with UA sending RHP Nathan Kilcrease to the hill to face off against Alcorn State RHP Troy Williams. The game is slated for a 2:05 p.m. CT start at The Joe.

Fans also may use a ticket to the Alabama-Arkansas basketball game, which begins at 6 p.m. CST, for free admission to the Saturday baseball game.

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