Tide downs GA State, 4-2

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - University of Alabama freshman left-hander Taylor Tankersley took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and struck out 10 batters in his debut, leading the Crimson Tide to a 4-2 win over the Georgia State Panthers Wednesday night at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.

Tankersley worked 6 1/3 innings and allowed only two runs on three hits for the Crimson Tide. The Vicksburg, Miss., native took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and a shutout into the seventh before turning the game over to fellow freshman Eric Mennen, who earned the save in his debut.

Tankerlsey, a 30th round selection by the Seattle Mariners last June, struck out 10 GSU batters and walked none. The 10 strikeouts are the most by a UA hurler this year.

"Tankersley pitched magnificently tonight," Alabama head coach Jim Wells said. "He was outstanding. Tonight shows a lot about this guy, especially the way he concentrated in his first game. He really got off to a good start tonight."

Mennen worked the final 2 1/3 innings, allowing one hit and striking out three batters in his debut. The freshman duo combined to strikeout 13 Panthers and also extended UA's consecutive innings streak without a walk to 43 1/3 innings.

Alabama (5-0) has not walked a batter in its last four games.

Senior centerfielder Scott McClanahan and junior shortstop Carlos Sosa provided the offense for the Crimson Tide.

McClanahan ripped a two-run home run over the left field scoreboard in the second inning to give UA a 2-0 lead. McClanahan also scored a key insurance run in the seventh inning on a two-out single to left by junior left fielder Travis Garner.

Sosa matched his career high with three hits, including his first career home run. Sosa's solo blast, which also cleared the left field scoreboard, gave UA a 3-0 lead in the fourth inning.

Georgia State catcher Garrett Greer spoiled Tankersley's no-hitter with a ground ball single up the middle to open the sixth inning. Second baseman Michael Nelson reached on an infield single to put runners at first and second with one out. Tankersley got out of trouble with a pair ground outs to preserve the shutout through six innings.

The Panthers (2-2) finally cracked the scoreboard in the seventh inning on Stephen Burroughs' two-run home run to left field.

Josh Vandiver was hit by a pitch and Burroughs followed with a home run to left field on the very next pitch. D

ating back to last year, Alabama has won nine consecutive games and 11 of its last 12 games.

Alabama will host the Arkansas State Indians in a three-game series this weekend at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. The three-game series begins Friday at 6:30 p.m. (CT) and continues Saturday (4 p.m.) and Sunday (2 p.m.).

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