“We saw what we wanted to see tonight from our guys,” said Alabama Coach Mitch Gaspard. “We brought a lot of momentum and energy into the game, and Will Carter was dynamite in helping us to get the win. He was outstanding, with good velocity and control in his first relief appearance.”
Entering in the top of the fifth to relieve starter Alex Watkins, Carter worked an impressive five scoreless innings in his first career appearance out of the bullpen as a member of the Crimson Tide. The right-hander limited the Bears offense to just two hits and a pair of walks while striking out a season-high nine batters on the way to his third win of the season.
Casey Hughston stayed hot in non-conference play, leading the offensive attack for Alabama. He finished 2-for-4 with three RBI and a stolen base. Hughston came through in a big spot early, capping a three-run third inning with a two-out, two-run single to give the Tide its first lead of the night. The sophomore later added an insurance run in the bottom of the seventh with another two-out single.
Mercer jumped out to the early lead, 1-0, thanks to back-to-back, one-out doubles in the second. The Crimson Tide would regroup to take its first lead with a trio of runs in the third. With two down and one on, an error by the shortstop put runners at first and second for Georgie Salem. The junior would knock a liner up the middle to tie the game and then Salem and Avant, who reached on the error, would advance into scoring position on the throw.
The Bears intentionally walked J.C. Wilhite in the next at-bat to load the bases and force a Mercer pitching change. Hughston stepped in and singled to right to bring his first two RBI across and set the Crimson Tide ahead at 3-1.
In the fourth, MU scored one on an infield groundout after the first two batters walked and doubled to lead off the frame. The Bears would then use a sacrifice fly to center to plate another and even the score at 3-3.
Alabama regained the lead in the home half of the fourth frame, using a one-out single from Will Haynie to score Wilhite, who reached on a triple in the prior at-bat. The 4-3 lead stuck until UA added one more in the seventh. Hughston knocked home the runner from third for his third RBI of the night with a single to right, setting the Tide ahead, 5-3, on the way to the win.
Salem and Will Haynie added two hits and a run apiece on the night, with Haynie also adding an RBI. Overall, Alabama collected nine hits against seven Mercer arms by night’s end.
“Offensively, we continued to have good at-bats throughout the ballgame,” Gaspard said of his hitters. “We had some key two-out hits that helped us bring home the win.”
Following tonight’s final midweek contest, Alabama closes out its regular season with a three-game series against seventh-ranked Vanderbilt inside the Hoover Met The two teams are scheduled for a 7 p.m. CDT start on Thursday and Friday airing on SECN+, with Saturday’s season-finale set for 3:30 p.m. on the SEC Network.