Alabama Homers Help Tide Get Sweep

When Alabama announced that it was moving its home baseball games to the Hoover Met in suburban Birmingham for this season while construction continues on the renovation at Sewell-Thomas Stadium in Tuscaloosa, a first thought was “not many home runs coming.”

Alabama used a grand slam home run in the first game and a solo shot in the second to make a doubleheader sweep of Savannah State in Hoover Tuesday. Casey Hughston’s grand slam homer keyed a five-run second inning in the 7-2 victory in the first game, while Chance Vincent’s solo shot in the fifth inning proved to be the winning run in a 4-2 second game Bama win.

The Crimson Tide improved to 6-2 with the twin wins.

Bama returns to action this weekend hosting Louisiana-Lafayette.

The home runs drew the most attention, but Alabama’s second game win included a quality pitching performance by starter junior right-hander Jake Hubbard.

Hubbard pitched six innings, limiting the Tigers to one run on three hits and striking out six. Alex Watkins and J.C. Wilhite combined to allow just three base-runners the rest of the way with Wilhite earning the save.

Second baseman Kyle Overstreet staked the Tide to an early 2-0 lead with a two-out, two-run double deep into the rightfield gap in the third. Overstreet’s double plated Georgie Salem and Mikey White, who had back-to-back singles earlier in the inning. First baseman Chance Vincent extended the Alabama lead to 3-1 with his first home run of the season in the bottom of the fifth, and later scored on Taylor Poe’s RBI-single in the bottom of the seventh.

Hughston, who is off to a terrific start to the season at the plate, was the big story of the first game, but four Alabama pitchers combined to leave 14 on base for Savannah State.

The teams were even at 1-1 after the first inning, but Bama put it away with the five-run second.

Hughston’s second home run of the season powered the Tide’s offensive attack, as the sophomore outfielder has now racked up a team-leading 15 RBI through the club’s first seven games. Georgie Salem turned in Alabama’s lone multi-hit effort, going 2-for-3 with a pair of runs scored, and three stolen bases.

Alabama starter Nick Eicholtz surrendered just one hit in three scoreless innings of work in his first outing of 2015. Freshman right-hander Jake Walters earned the win for the Tide, allowing two runs on four hits, while striking out five through 3 1/3 innings. Thomas Burrows entered the game with one out in the seventh, and retired seven of the last nine Savannah State batters he faced to ensure the victory for Alabama.


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