Tide uses big inning to beat ASU, 11-3

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The University of Alabama baseball team scored a season-high six runs in the second inning en route to an 11-3 win over the Arkansas State Indians Friday night at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.

Alabama (6-0), winners of six straight games to open the 2002 season, scored a season-high 11 runs against six different Arkansas State pitchers.

Senior centerfield Scott McClanahan, freshman first baseman Spencer Pennington and junior designated hitter Beau Hearod tallied RBI singles and sophomore left field Grant Redding had a two-run single in the inning. Junior right fielder Travis Garner added an RBI with a bases loaded walk as the Crimson Tide jumped on ASU for a 6-0 lead.

All six runs were charged to starter Jody Petty, who lasted only 1 1/3 innings and allowed six earned runs and three hits. He walked two batters and hit two batters in the process.

"One of the highlights was the big second inning," Alabama head coach Jim Wells said. "We had a couple of big hits and a little help from them. A big inning like the second inning certainly helps your chances of winning the game."

Redding, McClanahan and Hearod had two hits each to lead UA's 10-hit attack. Redding, Hearod and second baseman Brent Boyd added two RBI each for the Tide.

The ASU (3-3) offense struggled against Alabama right-hander Josh Baker, but did not lack opportunity. The Indians left the bases loaded in the first and third innings and stranded a total of eight base runners through the first three innings en route to digging themselves a 6-0 hole.

The Indians finally cracked the scoreboard in the top of the fourth inning on Blake Denischuk's sacrifice fly that scored Brock Buckingham from third base.

The Indians could only muster the one run off Baker, who allowed one run on five hits in five innings. He added three strikeouts and four batters. Baker struck out the side in the first inning but also issued the Crimson Tide's first walk in 44 innings, dating back to the season opener against Louisiana Tech.

Alabama extended its lead to 8-1 in the bottom of the inning with three straight two-out hits. Redding reached on an infield single and scored on Boyd's double down the left field line. Hearod followed with sharp single up the middle to score Boyd with the 8-1 lead.

Arkansas State tallied two runs in the eighth inning of freshman left-hander Brent Carter. Carter shutout the Indians through his first 2 2/3 innings, but allowed three straight two-out hits in the eighth as ASU cut the lead to 8-3.

Carter allowed only two runs and five hits over the final four innings to earn his first career save in his first career appearance. Carter added five strikeouts, including striking out the side in the ninth inning. Pinch-hitter Neal Chambers accounted for the offense with a two-out, two-run double down the right field line.

Left-hander Brad Thomas was the most effective of the ASU's pitchers, holding Alabama scoreless over 3 1/3 innings and striking out six of the 11 batters he faced.

Buckingham and Denischuk had two hits each for the Indians. Alabama added three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to make the final score 11-3. Pinch-hitter Chad White and Boyd drew back-to-back bases loaded walks, scoring McClanahan and Allen Rice respectively. Senior catcher Jeremy Brown added an RBI single, scoring Garner from third base.

The Crimson Tide and Indians meet again Saturday at 4 p.m. and close out thethree-game series on Sunday at 2 p.m.

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