Alabama Baseball Completes Sweep

Alabama pitchers didn't get a third straight shutout, but the Crimson Tide did get a third consecutive baseball victory as Bama completed a sweep of the Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions on Sunday at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.



Alabama had a rough start to the season a week earlier, losing three games to Florida Atlantic. But with the Crimson Tide's 9-3 win Sunday, following shutout victories over Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Friday and Saturday, Bama has evened its record at 3-3.

Freshman left hander Justin Kamplain (1-1) collected the first victory of his Tide career, pitching five innings, allowing just one run on three hits while striking out a career-high six batters. Alabama pitchers combined for 10 strikeouts on the day, tying the season-high for the Tide.

"It was really good to see Justin Kamplain get his first collegiate win," Alabama Coach Mitch Gaspard said. "The big thing with pitching is that you have to pound the strike zone, and today he was fortunate. He was able to wiggle out of a few tough spots, but his command is going to have to continue to improve."

Alabama returns to action on Tuesday when the Crimson Tide hosts South Alabama at 6:05 p.m. CST.

On the offensive end Sunday, Alabama was led by junior infielder Brett Booth and senior first baseman Jon Kelton who each finished the day 1-for-3 with two RBI. Junior second baseman Kenny Roberts contributed a 2-for-4 effort with two runs scored and two stolen bases.

Junior designated hitter Cameron Carlisle added two runs and one RBI, finishing 2-for-3 on the day and left fielder Hunter Gregory added a pair of hits in four at-bats. Freshman catcher Ben Moore continued his hot hitting, registering a 2-for-2 day at the plate with three runs scored and one RBI.

Michael Newby (0-2) took the loss for Arkansas-Pine Bluff (0-7), getting touched up for nine runs (seven earned) on 10 hits in five innings of work.

"On the offensive end, we were good early, putting up a five-spot in the first and then a two-spot in the second, so we were able to get a comfortable lead," Gaspard said. "The bullpen, particularly in the back end with (Ian) Gardeck and (Jake) Hubbard, did a great job and (Trey) Pilkington in particular got us out of a little jam back in the seventh. Again, defensively we need to shore up a few things and get comfortable with what we were doing out in the field."

After being shutout in the first two games of the series, Arkansas-Pine Bluff got on the board in the top of the first on a two-out RBI single. The Tide responded by batting around for the second time in the series, while scoring five runs in the bottom half of the inning.

Senior center fielder Taylor Dugas reached first after being hit by a pitch, then moved to third on a Roberts single. After Roberts stole second, senior shortstop Jared Reaves brought home Dugas with a sacrifice fly to deep left field to tie the game at 1-1. Moore followed with an RBI single to score Roberts to make it 2-1, before stealing second base to move into scoring position.

After Carlisle walked, Booth rifled a single into left field to plate Moore to push the score to 3-1. From there, Gregory added two more to the board with an RBI single, bringing home Carlisle and Booth to give the Tide a 5-1 advantage after one inning of play.

Alabama added two more in the second on a Carlisle RBI single and Booth RBI fielder's choice, before notching another pair in the fifth behind a two-RBI single from Kelton, increasing the lead to 9-1. Arkansas-Pine Bluff countered with two runs in the seventh to round out the scoring at 9-3.

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