Three Alabama pitchers combined for a four-hit shutout and the Crimson Tide offense pushed across a pair of runs in the ninth inning as Bama finished the USA Baseball-Irish Classic in Cary, N.C., with a 3-1 record in the tournament and a 10-2 record this season.
“We were outstanding on the mound again today,” said Alabama head coach Mitch Gaspard. “Ray (Castillo) gave us a good start, Brock (Love) was solid in the middle and (Kyle) Cameron was really good on the back-end. They kept us in the game, and then the offense came through late.”
Alabama senior Ray Castillo was the Tide’s starting pitcher and was followed by freshmen Brock Love and Kyle Cameron. Castillo tossed four innings of one-hit baseball with three walks and three strikeouts before turning it over to Love. The freshman worked two innings, allowing two hits and one walk while striking out one batter.
Cameron (1-0) pitched the final three innings and got the win. He delivered 1-2-3 innings in the seventh and eighth, allowed one hit, walked one, and struck out three.
The Crimson Tide had scoring chances throughout the day but was unable to plate any runs until the final inning. In the top of the ninth, Cobie Vance was hit by the first pitch of the inning. Cody Henry followed with a double to right field to put the pair in scoring position. Henry was replaced by Hunter Webb at as a pinch runner at second.
Alabama got its first run when Chance Vincent had a deep sacrifice fly to left field, bringing Vance home. One out later, Connor Short singled to center to bring in the speedy Webb from second.
“We found a way late there,” Gaspard said. “It’s about winning games. Today wasn’t real pretty, but we walk away from the tournament 3-1, and 4-1 overall on the road this week. We’re looking forward to getting back home, and getting our offense back in-sync for the big weekend coming up with Oregon and Houston.”
The Crimson Tide will have four days before returning to action at Sewell-Thomas Stadium in a single game against the No. 8 Oregon Ducks at 6:30 p.m. CST Thursday. Following the lone game on Thursday, Alabama will host the Houston Cougars for a three-game series over the weekend.