Quick Start Gives Tide Win Over Tulane
"When you get quality starting pitching like we did today with Charley Sullivan, it leads to good defense," Alabama Coach Mitch Gaspard said. "Charley did a really nice job, throwing strikes and pitching to contact, and we did a good job on defense and kept the game in our favor for nine innings."
Sullivan (2-1) finished the day with six innings pitched, allowing two earned runs on seven hits with three walks and a pair of strikeouts, to earn the victory on the mound. Jake Hubbard pitched three scoreless innings in relief, allowing two hits with a walk and a strikeout, to pick up his first save as a member of the Tide.
In his second start of the season as the designated hitter, Josh Rosecrans had three of the Tide's nine hits in the afternoon game, making the third three-hit game of Rosecrans' career. Jared Reaves extended his team-leading hitting streak to nine games, as he was 1-for-4 with a run scored and Ben Moore was 1-for-4 with a double and a team-high two RBI.
"Offensively, we were able to get an early surge in the first inning. We took advantage of their starter, who struggled a little in the first, and we were able to knock him out." Gaspard said. "We look for our guys to have quality at-bats and we got that today. When you do that night in and night out, you're going to have a lot of success. Today was the best we've been with consistency throughout the line-up."
Before Sullivan took the mound, the Tide offense gave the junior right-hander a five-run cushion. Tulane's starting pitcher Tyler Mapes (0-1) took the loss, after not making it out of the first inning. The Tide touched up the junior righty for five runs on five hits, as Mapes lasted just two-thirds of an inning.
Taylor Dugas walked to open the game and scored on a two-out single by Austen Smith. Rosecrans followed with a single up the middle to score Reaves and a Moore double to right field drove in both Smith and Rosecrans. "Rosecrans, in the middle of the order, had some real quality at-bats and got us going offensively," Gaspard added. The final run of the inning came on a sharp single up the middle by Brett Booth, scoring Moore from second.
Alabama put another run on the scoreboard in the third off Tulane relief pitcher David Napoli. With the bases loaded, a Cary Baxter groundball was misplayed by the Tulane third baseman, allowing Cameron Carlisle to score, making the score 6-0 in favor of the Tide.
Tulane's first run of the game came in the fourth inning when the Tide traded a run for a double play. The Green Wave threatened in the fifth, after Sullivan walked the bases loaded, but a pop out by Tulane catcher Jeremy Schaffer ended the threat.
Sullivan came for the seventh inning, but did not retire a hitter in the inning. After a walk and a single, Tulane shortstop Brennan Middleton doubled down the left field line to drive in the Green Wave's second run of the game. Hubbard replaced Sullivan, and the first hitter he faced, Brandon Boudreaux, flied out to right field. UA right fielder Cary Baxter came up throwing, and gunned down Bowen Woodson, who tried to tag and score from third. "Baxter made a tremendous throw from right field to can the guy at the plate late in the game," Gaspard said.
Looking to add to its lead, Alabama loaded the bases with one out in the ninth, only to see Smith and Rosecrans strikeout to end the inning. Tulane got two runners on in the bottom of the ninth, but Hubbard got a fly out and a ground out to preserve the win and notch a three-inning save.
Following the 9-7 win by Tulane in game one of the series on Friday night, Tulane had won the last 10 games played between the two schools. The last victory in the series for Alabama came during the 1965 season, when both teams were part of the Southeastern Conference.
Alabama and Tulane will wrap-up the three-game series on Sunday at 1 p.m., (CST) from Greer Field at Turchin Stadium. UA will throw freshman left-hand pitcher Justin Kamplain (1-1, 3.38) and the Green Wave will counter with freshman righty Alex Massey (1-0, 1.69).
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