Turnbull Honored As Top SEC Frosh
It seemed only right that Spencer Turnbull, a freshman right-handed pitcher from Madison, Miss., should have had something better than a no-decision.
On Monday, the Southeastern Conference agreed. Turnbull was selected the SEC Freshman of the Week for the performance he gave Alabama against South Carolina in Columbia. Although he did not figure in the decision – an eventual 1-0 loss to the Gamecocks – it was out of his control.
Alabama freshman right-handed pitcher Spencer Turnbull (Madison, Miss.) was named the Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week, as announced by the conference office on Monday afternoon.
In his only start of the week, Turnbull did not allow a hit in his seven innings of work against fourth-ranked South Carolina on Thursday night. In front of a national television audience on ESPNU, Turnbull turned in his best outing of the season, throwing a career-high seven innings, while limiting the Gamecocks to no runs and no hits. Turnbull had five strikeouts.
Turnbull had thrown 97 pitches, 53 for strikes, before lightning halted the game with Alabama batting in the top of in the eighth inning, and the score tied at 0-0. Turnbull gave up four walks and one hit batter, but did not allow a runner past second base in the game.
When inclement weather caused the game to be suspended, Turnbull's no-hit bid came to an end as play was halted until Friday evening. Alabama would lose the game, 1-0, after allowing a solo home run to lead off the Carolina eighth, the only hit of the game for the Gamecocks.
With Turnbull's announcement as the SEC Freshman of the Week, the Crimson Tide has earned five conference weekly awards this season, including a SEC Player of the Week honoree and four conference freshmen of the week selections.
Auburn's Blake Austin was named the SEC Player of the Week, while Mississippi State's Chris Stratton was named the conference's pitcher of the week.
Alabama does not have a mid-week game this week. The Tide returns to the diamond on Friday night when it hosts Mississippi State in game one of a three-game SEC series. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. CDT, at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.
Alabama is 17-28 overall and 6-15 in SEC games. All six wins have come in Tuscaloosa.
Alabama out-hit its opponents last week. (In addition to the three losses to South Carolina, Bama edged Samford, 5-4.) The Tide batted .237 for the week, while opponents batted .235. Much of that success for Alabama was the Tide collecting a season-high tying 14 hits in the second game against South Carolina. Bama also scored 11 runs in that game, the third time this year Alabama has scored in double digits. Unfortunately, in that game the Tide surrendered 12 runs, three of them in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Taylor Dugas continues as a bright spot for the Alabama offense. He batted .333 last week (5-15) with a double. He also scored four runs.
Dugas, who set the school record for doubles (66) and triples (16) earlier this season, now has 223 singles, passing Josh Rutledge (219) for most singles by an Alabama player in his career. He also has scored 227 runs, which ranks third in Bama history for a career, and has 319 hits, second to Andy Phillips with 322. He has also been it by pitches 38 times, fourth most in Crimson Tide history, including 17 times this season, also fourth.
Freshman Ben Moore continues to be Alabama's top hitter this season with a .352 average.
Following Friday's game, the Tide will host the Mississippi State Bulldogs at 2 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.
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