Alabama Baseball Gets Past Aggies
Senior right-hander Charley Sullivan (4-4) earned the win for Alabama in his fifth quality start and 11th overall of the season, striking out three in seven innings and allowing only two runs on six hits and a pair of walks. Junior right-hander Tucker Hawley relieved Sullivan in the eighth inning, going for one scoreless, hitless inning and allowing only one walk. Freshman righty Ray Castillo came out to pitch a scoreless, hitless final inning and only allowed one walk en route to his team-leading seventh save of the year.
The Alabama Crimson Tide returns to Sewell-Thomas Stadium Saturday at 2:05 p.m. CDT for the second game of their series with the Texas A&M Aggies. Alabama will start sophomore south paw Justin Kamplain (0-0, 5.40), and the Aggies will counter with Parker Ray (0-0, 0.69).
"I thought Charley Sullivan did just what we needed, he went out and gave us a solid seven innings," Alabama Coach Mitch Gaspard said. "I thought he competed extremely hard. He's been in a tough spot the last three weeks as he's had to face three potential first-rounders. I felt like he was going to pitch well tonight. He had a really good bullpen during the week. You could see he was really focused as he went into tonight. After that I thought Tucker Hawley was really sharp and Ray Castillo did his thing, what he's been doing, finishing it out. Charley made some pitches to keep that lead. Then he comes back and throws a clean seventh that allowed us to pitch the single innings by both Tucker (Hawley) and Ray (Castillo)."
The Aggies' Daniel Mengden (4-2) was charged with the loss in a quality start of his own, striking out six in seven innings pitched and only allowing three runs on four hits and two walks.
Sophomore right fielder Ben Moore led the offensive charge with a two-run home run in the first inning and a pair of walks and senior catcher Brett Booth added a solo home run in the second. Senior third baseman Kenny Roberts was 1-for-3 with a single and a run scored and freshman center fielder Georgie Salem stroked a pair of singles to extend his team-high hitting streak to eight games and record his 14th multi-hit game of the season.
After a solid first inning of work from Sullivan, the Tide opened an early lead. Roberts opened the game with a lead-off single into center field. After the next two Alabama batters were retired, Moore took a big cut at the 1-2 pitch and sent it off the scoreboard to put the Tide up, 2-0. Not to be out done, Booth followed up with a solo home run over the left field wall to lead off the second inning and stretch the lead to a 3-0 advantage.
"We had the early offense as Ben (Moore) had the huge two-run homer in the first and Brett (Booth) comes back and follows that up with a solo shot in the second," Gaspard said. "It was one of those games; you knew they were going to make a run at us. I thought it was really big when they got the two runs."
It took six innings for the Aggies to break their scoreless drought. After retiring the first two batters, Sullivan allowed the first hit of the frame on a Cole Langford single up the middle, the Troy Stein single to the same spot to set up runners on first and second. Hunter Melton capped off the inning for Texas A&M with a double deep to the left center gap, scoring both runners to cut the lead to 3-2.
From there, Alabama's Sullivan, Hawley, and Castillo combined for three scoreless innings to seal the win for the Crimson Tide.
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