Tide routs Top 25 Oklahoma

OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLA. -- The No. 5 ranked University of Alabama baseball team scored its most impressive road victory over a rankled opponent in two seasons, routing the No. 17 Oklahoma Sooners 17-3 Tuesday night at the Southwestern Bell Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City.

The Crimson Tide handed LSU a 14-0 loss at Alex Box Stadium to end the 2000 regular season in its last impressive road win over a Top 25 foe. In addition, the 14-run margin of victory is the most in road win since the Crimson Tide beat Kentucky 26-7 last year in Lexington.

The 17 runs are also the most by Alabama against a ranked opponent since beating Central Florida 18-4 in Tuscaloosa during the 2000 season.

Alabama (22-3) torched six OU pitchers for 17 runs and 19 hits, the most runs or hits allowed by the Sooners this season. In the last two games, Oklahoma has allowed 28 runs and 35 hits in losses to Texas A&M and Alabama.

The Crimson Tide's 17 runs are the most against OU since Arizona State posted a 20-6 win in April 25, 2000. All 13 Crimson Tide players that had a plate appearance reached base and 12 of the 13 batters had at least one hit.

The victory gives Alabama its best 25-game record in school history. The previous best was a 21-4 record after 25 games in 1997, 1993 and 1955. Senior catcher Jeremy Brown had three hits and five RBI in his first three at-bats and scored four runs on the night. The four runs and five RBI are both career highs for the Hueytown native.

Sophomore Adam Pavkovich tallied three hits and scored four runs from the No. 9 spot in the batting order. The four runs were the most scored by Pavkovich in his career. The Venice, Fla., also smashed a solo home run to lead off the second inning, his third of the season and second in as many games.

"This was a good game for us tonight," Alabama head coach Jim Wells said. "We got a few breaks early in the game and took advantage of some errors and scored early and often. We swung the bats well and our guys did a good job pitching to hold them down after we scored early in the game."

Alabama jumped on OU starter Austin Mix for three runs on three hits in the top of the first inning as UA built an early 3-0 lead.

Scott McClanahan led off with single to left field and stole second base. Allen Rice's sacrifice bunt moved McClanahan to third and then Peter Stonard reached on an infield single to third, but McClanahan had to hold his ground on third base.

After Stonard stole second base, Brown dribbled a double past first baseman into right field, scoring McClanahan and Stonard to give the Tide a 2-0 lead. Brent Boyd reached when left fielder Jason Fransz dropped a pop fly down the line, allowing Brown score an unearned run for a 3-0 lead.

The Crimson Tide chased Mix with a four-run second inning to build a 7-0 lead after two innings. Pavkovich, UA's new found home run leader, led off the inning with a solo home run.

McClanahan walked and stole second and Rive flied out to center field for the first out. Stonard was intentionally walked to set up the double play, but the strategy backfired as McClanahan and Stonard executed the double steal and Brown singled to left to score McClanahan to give UA a 4-0 lead. Beau Hearod grounded out to first base against reliever Curtis White, scoring Stonard from the third base. Boyd followed with an RBI single to center to score Brown to give Alabama a 7-0 lead.

Mix (4-2) lasted just 1 1/3 innings and allowed seven runs on five hits. He also walked three and struck out one batter.

The Crimson Tide made it 10-0 in the third inning with three more runs. Stonard's RBI double scored Pavkovich and Brown added a two-run double off the right-center field wall to score McClanahan and Stonard with the 10-run lead.

OU (16-8) scored and unearned run off Jared Woodward in the third inning when Reggie Willits doubled and scored when Eddie Cornejo reached when White dropped a fly ball that would have been the final out.

The Crimson Tide upped its lead to 11-1 with a two-out rally as Pavkovich walked and scored after back-to-back singles by McClanahan and Rice, with Pavkovich scoring his third run of the game on Rice's single up the middle.

Alabama starter Jared Woodward (2-1) worked four innings as the Crimson Tide's designated starter and earned the win. He allowed one unearned run and two hits in his second win over Oklahoma in as many years. He added two strikeouts and one walk.

Brent Carter tossed three scoreless innings, allowing two hits and striking out four batters. Brian Reed worked the final two innings, allowing two unearned runs and striking out five OU batters. Alabama pitchers combined to strikeout 13 Sooners in the game.

The Crimson Tide extended its lead to 13-1 in the seventh inning on a pair of RBI singles by Hearod and White.

Alabama added four more runs in the eighth as it built a 17-1 lead. Gabe Scott drove in two runs with a bases-loaded single and Boyd and White added RBI singles, as UA scored all four runs with two outs.

OU's Charlie Frasier smacked a two-run home run in the eight off Brian Reed to cut the lead to 17-3 with a pair of unearned runs.

Following tonight's game, Alabama will travel to Columbia, South Carolina to meet the No. 4 ranked South Carolina Gamecocks in a three-game Southeastern Conference series. The opener is Friday, March 28 at 7 p.m. (ET).

Alabama will arrive in Columbia late Wednesday afternoon and workout Wednesday and Thursday night at Sarge Frye Field before the weekend series. ALABAMA vs Oklahoma (Mar 26, 2002)


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