Tide shuts out SEMO

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Junior right-hander Brent Carter turned in his best outing of the 2004 season and the University of Alabama offense had its most productive inning of the year and that combination proved to be too much for the Southeast Missouri State Indians on Friday night at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.

Alabama (12-4) broke open a close game with nine runs in the sixth inning for a 10-0 win over SEMO in front of a paid crowd of 4,507 at the Joe in the first game of a three-game series.

The win was the 10th straight home win for the Crimson Tide.

The Crimson Tide managed just one run on four hits through the first five innings, but even that was enough for Carter, who had his best outing of the season.

Carter (4-1), a native of Americus, Ga., worked seven scoreless innings and allowed only one bloop single, with two walks and a season-high seven strikeouts.

"It was typical game for us," Alabama head coach Jim Wells said. "It was a one-run game in the sixth inning. It was nice to get the win and have the inning that we did. Carter pitched well and we were able to get him out after just 87 pitches."

Leading 1-0 in the sixth, Alabama scored nine runs on four hits off starter Bill Clayton to take a 10-0 lead. The nine runs were the most by Alabama in an inning this season.

Junior Mark Haske started the rally with an RBI double. Emeel Salem drew a bases loaded walk to give UA a 3-0 lead. Rocky Scelfo was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to force home another run to chase Clayton from the game.

Clayton (0-2) allowed seven runs and five hits in 5 1/3 innings. He added four walks, three strikeouts and hit four batters.

Allen Rice greeted reliever Stan Skakalski with a bloop single over the head of third baseman Gary Gilbert to give Alabama a 5-0 lead.

Sosa followed with a bases-clearing double down the left field line to score three more runs and extend the lead to 8-0. Welch capped the scoring with a two-run home run to right field to give the Crimson Tide a 10-run lead.

Welch's home run was his third of the season and second in as many games, marking the first time in his career he has homered in back-to-back games.

Alabama broke a scoreless tie with a run in the bottom of the fourth inning on a pair of two out hits from junior Zac Welch and freshman Michael McCallister.

Senior Carlos Sosa was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and sophomore Evan Bush launched a deep fly ball to right center field that was hauled in by Bryan Kurt. Sosa was easily doubled up at first base on a relay throw from Freddy Lopez to pitcher Bill Clayton at first base.

After the double play, Welch doubled over the head of center fielder Frankie Montiel and McCallister followed with a single up the middle to plate the first run of the game.

SEMO (4-6) avoided the shutout with a run in the eighth inning off junior right-hander Eric Mennen. Mennen allowed one run on two hits and added two strikeouts in two innings of relief work.

Shortstop Ernie Bracamonte laced a one-out double into the left field corner and moved to third base on Brady Noll's bloop single to left. Eric Horstman followed with a sacrifice fly to left to score Bracamonte from third base with the lone run of the game for SEMO.

Alabama managed only nine hits in the game, including two hits each from Welch and Haske.

The two teams meet again on Saturday at 4 p.m. Alabama will send freshman lefty Wade LeBlanc (3-1, 1.19 ERA) to the mound, while SEMO will counter with junior right-hander Anthony Maupin (1-1, 9.00 ERA).

Game Notes

  • Alabama had a new middle infield on Friday night against SE Missouri State. Junior Rocky Scelfo started for the first time at shortstop, while junior Mark Haske made his first start at second base. Scelfo had started the first 15 games at second base for the Tide.
  • Freshman Emeel Salem made his second start of the 2004 season for the Crimson Tide in center field against the Indians.
  • Sophomore left fielder Evan Bush extended his hitting streak to a career-high seven games with a second inning single. During the streak, the Rainbow City native is batting .391 (9-for-23) for the Crimson Tide. He has also hit safely in 11 of his last 13 games for Bama.
  • Alabama has won 10 consecutive home games after Friday's 10-1 win over SEMO.
  • The Crimson Tide has outscored the opposition 23-4 in Carter's last two home starts this season.

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