Bats Come Alive As Tide Blasts Samford

Alabama baseball tied its season high with 18 hits on Tuesday evening to cruise past Samford, 12-1 in Birmingham. With the win, the Crimson Tide improves to 16-15 overall on the season.

“Offensively, we got started in a hurry this evening,” said Alabama Coach Mitch Gaspard. “We had good offense throughout the entire lineup all night. The guys were able to put together a bunch of solid at-bats, and we played really well all around.”

The Crimson Tide offense scored runs in all but two innings on the night, highlighted by a four-run first to kick off the game. By night’s end, the Tide put together 12 runs, its most since March 27 in a 10-inning affair in game one of the doubleheader at Florida.

Georgie Salem led the Tide offense, with the junior recording two solo home runs on the evening to finish 2-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored. Alabama had six players record double-digit hits with Chandler Avant, Casey Hughston and Cody Henry all recording three apiece. By night’s end, Alabama put together 18 knocks to tie the season high that the Tide also recorded in game one of the doubleheader in Gainesville.

Salem gave the Tide its first run of the night, a solo shot out to right field for his first round-tripper of the season. The Crimson Tide would not stop there, as Mikey White drew a walk and then Hughston reached on a fielder’s choice to give the Tide runners on first and second with one down.

Kyle Overstreet would follow with a double to right to bring White across and then Henry would send a grounder to third to eliminate himself, but tally another run for Alabama. J.C. Wilhite would round out the rally, knocking a single to score Overstreet and give the Tide an early 4-0 advantage through one half inning.

In the top of the second, Salem struck again. This time he went deep to left on a solo knock to give Alabama a 5-0 lead through two. The Tide would add a pair in the third frame, leading off the inning with two singles and then a walk to load the bases. A double play would put runners at second and third with two down, but Chance Vincent would extend the rally, knocking a single up the middle to bring both runners across.

The fourth featured another pair of singles to start things off, but the second double play of the night put a runner on third for the Tide with two down. White would draw another walk to put men on the corners before a double steal allowed Riley Colburn to score from third and move the lead to 8-0.

Alabama kept the scoring streak alive, putting up one more in the fifth. A walk and then a single put runners on the corners for Wilhite. His sharp liner to third was bobbled by the fielder to allow Overstreet to score and set the game at 9-0.

The Tide was shut out in the sixth, but bounced back for two more in the seventh. A leadoff double and then a wild pitch put Henry in scoring position with one down. Vincent came through again, this time with a single back to the pitcher that plated Henry. Another wild pitch allowed Vincent to move into scoring position and then one out later Avant kept the scoring going with a single up the middle to plate a pair of runs and move the lead to 11-0.

Samford knocked a solo home run in the seventh, but UA added the game’s final run in the top of the ninth to close out the scoring at 12-1.

Not to be overlooked was the solid outing from a duo of Tide pitchers. Starter Jake Walters tossed five innings and recorded nine strikeouts to tie his season high, which the freshman also put together in the last start against Samford. Nick Eicholtz followed Walters to toss four innings and record five strikeouts, giving the Tide a combined 14 for the night. The 14 punchouts tied the previous season high that came in the first contest with Samford.

“We got two quality outings on the mound tonight,” Gaspard added. “Walters gave us another real good start, and it’s good to see Eicholtz get out there and pitch well. There were a lot of positives tonight, and now we need to carry this into the weekend against Georgia.”

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