If a team can win only one game of a three-game road series, at least it leaves a good taste on the bus ride home for the squad to win the final game. That’s what Alabama did Sunday at Ole Miss, erupting for 13 runs on 17 hits as Bama took at 13-4 win in Oxford.
Bama, which is battling for a berth in the SEC Tournament – which is played at the Tide’s 2015 home, the Hoover Met – improved to 23-20 overall and 8-13 in league competition. The Tide had lost a doubleheader to the Rebels on Saturday.
Geoffrey Bramblett celebrated his 20th birthday with seven innings of work, allowing three runs on eight hits while striking out six. He earned his team-leading sixth victory.
“Geoffrey, as he’s done so far this season, gave us a good start in a critical game,” said Alabama Coach Mitch Gaspard. “He managed the game really well, and he did a good job responding after the two-run homer. We were able to keep adding runs for him, and he limited their offense to get us the win.”
It was a perfect Crimson Tide storm to get good pitching and good hitting on the same day.
“I thought our team did a good job of taking care of business and focusing on what was in front of us,” said Gaspard. “We got off to a good start offensively, and we had real nice production throughout the lineup, one-through-nine. That offense really provided us the energy that we needed.”
Five Bama starters recorded double-digit hits, including a team-high four hits by junior third baseman Chance Vincent. He had one run batted in and scored two runs. Mikey White reached base in all five plate appearances, finishing 3-for-3 with a double, a team-high three RBI, and one run scored to go with his two walks.
The offense got home runs from Casey Hughston and Will Haynie. Hughston was 2-for-5 with two RBI and two runs scored. The two RBI came on his first-inning homer to right. Haynie finished Tide scoring with his solo shot in the ninth. The Tide catcher also added a double to his 2-for-5 day with two RBI and two runs scored.
That good offensive start Gaspard referred to was a four-run first inning for the Tide. Chandler Avant was hit by the first pitch of the game. Georgie Salem’s hit-and-run single put runners on the corners. White’s double to right made it 1-0. Salem scored on a fielder’s choice and White trotted home in front of Hughston after the home run to make it Alabama 4, Ole Miss coming to bat.
Ole Miss got a two-run homer in the second inning.
Haynie’s double to lead off the fourth resulted in him scoring on Avant’s sacrifice fly.
Ole Miss got another home run and one more run in the fifth to pull to within 5-3.
In the top of the sixth, Vincent singled. He tagged and went to second on a flyout. Salem’s single brought him home for a 6-3 lead.
Alabama blew the game wide open in the seventh, plating six runs on six hits. With one down, the hit parade began, as the Crimson Tide offense collected three consecutive singles. The third straight one was an RBI-knock by J.C. Wilhite that chased the Ole Miss reliever.
The new Rebels pitcher would only face three batters, striking out the first but then allowing two more singles. Vincent singled to left for his fourth hit of the day – scoring one – and then Avant followed with a two-RBI single through the left side to force another Ole Miss pitching change.
Salem would draw a walk to load the bases for White, and White delivered. He sent a single back up the middle to plate two and put runners on the corners. In the next at-bat, a wild pitch allowed Salem to score the sixth run of the inning and give Bama a 12-3 advantage.
In the eighth, Ole Miss would plate its final run of the game on what looked to be an inning-ending double play, but the fielder’s choice putout allowed the Rebels one more heading to the ninth. Haynie led off the ninth with a solo shot deep to center to finish the scoring at 13-4.
Next up for Alabama is the first game of a six-game homestand at the Hoover Met. The Crimson Tide will welcome the Southern Miss Golden Eagles for a Tuesday contest. The two teams will face off at 6:30 p.m. CT on SECN+.