The Crimson Tide used a pair of strong pitching performances from Jay Shaw and Alex Watkins to claim the pair of victories. Shaw entered game one in a relief role and claimed his first win of the season across 4 2/3 innings of work, allowing just three hits and striking out five. Watkins earned his first career start in game two and shined , tossing seven innings and allowing just one run while striking out nine Bulldog batters.
"Alabama A&M has had a good year," said Alabama Coach Mitch Gaspard. "They've played some good teams and have really played well, so this was two good wins today. Hopefully we can take this momentum, have a good practice Thursday and Friday and be prepared for the weekend at Auburn."
The Crimson Tide claimed a 7-2 win in game one of Tuesday afternoon’s doubleheader at the Hoover Met. Led by senior right-hander Jay Shaw, the Alabama bullpen turned in 7 2/3 scoreless innings in relief.
Trailing 2-1 in the bottom of the second, Alabama strung together four consecutive two-out singles to plate three runs and built a 4-2 lead that it would never relinquish. Shaw entered with one out in the top of the second, and went on to allow just three hits in 4 2/3 scoreless innings. The senior right-hander registered five strikeouts in his first victory of the season, retiring seven of the last eight batters he faced.
“When we went to the pen, I thought Jay did a super job and I thought J.C. (Wilhite) was really sharp as well,” Gaspard said. “Shaw was dynamite today. He did a super job of commanding all three pitches and getting us the win.”
Casey Hughston and Riley Colburn turned in two-hit performances for Alabama, with each recording a run and Hughston adding an RBI to the team total. Leadoff man Chandler Avant reached base three times with a single and two walks while leading the Tide with two RBI.
Alabama followed up the game-one win with a second, 7-2 win in the nightcap of Tuesday’s twinbill. Making his first career start, freshman southpaw Alex Watkins surrendered just one run on five hits over a career-best seven innings, while also registering a career-high nine strikeouts.
After the Tide bullpen worked 7 2/3 innings in game one, Watkins saved some arms, carrying a shutout into the seventh inning before allowing a two-out solo home run. The freshman worked from ahead for most of the outing, as the Tide put together a three-run second and led 4-0 by the end of the third.
Avant knocked in a pair of runs in the Tide’s three-run second, before Hughston extended the lead to 4-0 with an RBI-double in the fourth. Avant led the Tide with three hits in game two, finishing the night 3-for-5 with a run scored and two RBI.
Alabama will travel to Auburn for a three-game weekend series with the Tigers. The two rivals are scheduled for a 6 p.m. CDT start on Friday, followed by a 3 p.m. first pitch on Saturday, and a 1 p.m. Sunday finale.