Alabama Baseball Back To Winning
With the win, Alabama (22-13) snaps a season-worst five-game losing streak and improves to 20-3 at home. Mississippi Valley State falls to 13-20 overall.
UA junior center fielder Taylor Dugas continued his solid play, going 2-for-4 with two runs scored and three RBI and junior shortstop Jared Reaves added two runs as well, going 2-for-5 with one RBI.
"That was just what we needed right now," Crimson Tide Coach Mitch Gaspard said. "After a tough week last week, we came back and had solid pitching all night and got the bats going. That was really good to see. We had pretty good production throughout the lineup and played a good clean game. That was our mission this week after we left Vanderbilt Sunday. It was just kind flush that down and get back on track this week. Obviously this was a good start tonight."
UA starting pitcher Charley Sullivan (2-1) provided four strong innings, allowing just one run on three hits with two strikeouts and no walks to earn the victory for the Tide. The Alabama bullpen also had a solid performance, turning in five innings in support of Sullivan without allowing a run on two hits. Brett Whitaker struck out the side in the eighth and Case Nixon came on to close it out in the ninth. Starting pitcher Mark Kaplan (0-1) took the loss for the Delta Devils after allowing six runs on four hits over four innings.
The Tide jumped on the Delta Devils early, scoring four runs on three hits in the first inning. Hunter Gregory got things going from the leadoff spot, drawing a five-pitch walk before stealing second then advancing home on Jared Reaves' RBI single. Dugas, hitting from the No. 3 spot in the order for the first time in 59 games, immediately followed with an RBI single that brought home Reaves to make the score 2-0.
The Tide added two more runs later in the inning courtesy of an Andrew Miller sacrifice fly and a Brett Booth RBI single to set Alabama's lead at 4-0.
Mississippi Valley State got on the board in the top of the fourth with a solo home run from third baseman Scott Hornstra, before the Tide answered right back with two runs in the bottom half of the inning. With runners on first and second, catcher Ladson Montgomery sent a soft-rolling bunt down the third base line that MVSU pitcher wildly overthrew first. The error allowed Booth and James Tullidge to both come home to make the score 6-1.
Alabama would eventually blow the game open in the seventh, plating four runs to make the tally 10-1 and end the scoring for the Tide. Dugas drove home Gregory and Reaves with a two-RBI single before Smith blasted a two-run bomb over the scoreboard in left field for his third home run of the year.
Alabama will close out the two-game series with the Delta Devils Wednesday. First pitch is scheduled for 3:05 p.m.
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