Alabama used a three home run fourth inning and strong pitching to take an 8-1 win over Presbyterian Saturday as the Crimson Tide opened the season with its second consecutive win at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.
Alabama’s offense delivered 12 hits, including four home runs – two by Chandler Taylor --, and Jake Walters pitched six solid innings to get the victory.
“I was really pleased with the way these guys came out tonight after an opening-night win,” said Alabama Coach Greg Goff. “Sometimes teams get complacent, and I thought tonight our guys really came out and played harder and did a great job playing with a lot of energy and competing for 27 outs. It was a tremendous team win tonight.”
Walters struck out seven and allowed only three hits in his six innings of shutout pitching. After throwing 75 pitches, Walters was succeeded bu Sam Finnerty and Sonny Porter. In the final three innings Finnerty and Potter combined for five strikeouts.
The offense provided Walters with a cushion, scoring seven of its eight runs before he exited the game. Eight of the nine Crimson Tide starters reached base safely, with seven of the starters collecting at least one hit.
The heart of the order paced the offensive attack, with the three, four and five hitters batting a combined 8-for-13.
Taylor highlighted the Alabama offense, finishing 2-for-4 with a pair of home runs and paced the offense with a team-high four RBI and two runs scored. No. 3 hitter Cobie Vance tied for the team-high three hits in his five at-bats that included a double, an RBI, and a run scored. Hunter Alexander, who went 3-for-5 with a home run, one RBI and a run scored, contributed his first home run of his Crimson Tide career, going back-to-back with Taylor in the Tide’s five-run fourth inning.
In the fourth, Vance singled with one out and Taylor followed with a two-run home run over the right-center field fence. Alexander took the next pitch out to left field, the Tide’s first back-to-back home runs since Chance Vincent and Will Haynie did it at Auburn on May 8, 2015. Cody Henry continued his hot hitting with a single and then Connor Short finished the scoring with a two-run homer that made it 5-0.
The Tide made it 7-0 in the fifth. Taylor followed a Keith Holcombe walk with his second homer, a two-run shot to right field.
Presbyterian got back-to-back doubles in the seventh and Alabama closed out the scoring with Vance delivering a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded in the eighth.
With the win, the Crimson Tide claims its fifth consecutive season-opening series.
Bama will go for the sweep on Sunday with first pitch at 1 p.m. Alabama will start sophomore left-hander Dylan Duarte, Presbyterian left-hander Hayden Deal.