Moore Grand Slam Keys Alabama Win

Alabama baseball is ranked eighth in the nation, but the magic number for the Crimson Tide Tuesday was seven. Ben Moore's grand slam home run keyed a seven-run seventh inning and Tucker Hawley pitched seven no-hit innings in relief as Bama took an 8-1 (seven-run margin) victory over Jackson State at Sewell-Thomas Stadium Tuesday night.

Alabama improved to 25-11 on the year. The Tide is leading the Southeastern Conference with a 10-5 mark. Jackson State fell to 23-16. The Tigers are 6-9 in SWAC play.

The Tide continues non-conference play Wednesday when Bama goes to downtown Birmingham to play the UAB Blazers at Regions Park, home of the Birmingham Barons at 6:30 p.m. CDT. UAB took a 2-1 victory over Alabama in Tuscaloosa April 8. The Tide goes back into SEC action this weekend with a three-game series at Tennessee.

Strikes were in short supply to Bama hitters leading off the seventh inning. In a 1-1 game, Daniel Cucjen and Mikey White both walked on four pitches. Georgie Salem was bunting and it turned out to be a base hit, loading the bases. Moore then clubbed the first pitch he saw over the left field wall to give the Tide a 5-1 lead.

Wade Wass followed with a double down the left field line. Two outs later, Chance Vincent singled up the middle, scoring Wass, and Vincent went to second on the throw. After Hunter Webb walked, Cucjen came up for the second time and singled through the right side, driving in Vincent and Webb scored on an error.

Hawley replaced starter Jake Hubbard, who was making just his second appearance of the season and his first college start, after Hubbard went two innings. Hubbard gave up a home run to Nick Marigny in the second to give Jackson State a 1-0 lead.

That was the only run of the game until the sixth when Moore led off with a single and Wass followed with a single. An out later, Casey Hughston doubled to right field to bring in Moore. Hughston had doubled in his final at-bat Sunday to give Bama a 4-3 win over Auburn.

Hawley, who got the win to improve to 3-1, pitched seven innings with no hits, two walks, and one strikeout. He retired the final 14 batters he faced. Hawley has not allowed an earned run in his past 25 1/3 innings, including a streak of eight no-hit innings. He has a 0.68 ERA.

Alabama Coach Mitch Gaspard said, "It was good to get Jake Hubbard back on the mound; he did a good job with the two innings he pitched. Tucker Hawley came in and did a nice job and finished the game. He made some quality pitches and went through quick clean innings for us."

Hubbard did not factor into the decision in his second appearance since having Tommy John surgery last season. He struck out three in two innings.

Alexander Juday (4-3) was charged with the loss for the Tigers, after giving up three runs on three hits and three walks in 1 2/3 relief innings. Jackson State's starter, Vincent Anthonia, did not factor into the decision after holding Alabama scoreless for 4 1/3 innings, allowing six hits with five strikeouts.

"Offensively it was a struggle for us tonight, from the change of speeds for us over the weekend to tonight affected us," Gaspard said. "We got going in the seventh inning with a huge grand slam from Ben Moore. Our team has to do a better job of taking advantage of opportunities. We have to execute better as well to take the stress out in the early innings. If we do that we will score a lot more runs and add to them as the game goes on."

Alabama banged out 14 hits against the Tigers with Salem, Moore, Webb, Cucjen, and Wass having two hits each.

Alabama Game Notes

*After their first meeting since the 1988 season, Alabama boosted its record to 15-3 all-time against Jackson State, including an 11-2 mark at home.

*Alabama head coach Mitch Gaspard took home the victory in his first career game coached against Jackson State.

*Alabama improved to 25-1 with it scores three or more runs in a game.

*Alabama moved to 19-5 in games played at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.

*With singles in the third and fifth innings, Hunter Webb put together his fifth multiple-hit game of the season.

*With a single in the bottom of the seventh, Chance Vincent extended his hitting streak to nine games, the longest stretch of his career.

*With every starter in the lineup recording at least one hit, Alabama posted its 19th game of the season with 10 hits or more.

*Georgie Salem recorded his 14th multi-hit game of the season and 32nd of his career.

*Ben Moore posted his 12th multiple-hit game of his season, for the 52nd of his career.

*Moore's grand slam gave him a new career-high with four RBI.

*Daniel Cucjen tallied his first multiple-hit game of the season and second of his career.

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