Tide runs past MVSU, 10-7

TUSCALOOSA, Ala -- The University of Alabama baseball team tied a school record with nine stolen bases en route to a 10-7 win over the Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils in the final non-conference game of the 2002 season Tuesday night at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.

The nine stolen bases tied the single game record set previously against Central Florida (April 5, 1987) and Eastern Kentucky (March 19, 1996).

Alabama stole all nine bases in the first five innings as it built a 10-4 lead against MVSU. Junior right fielder Travis Garner and backup catcher John Marshall had two stolen bases each to lead the Crimson Tide. Brent Boyd, Jeremy Brown, Beau Hearod, Grant Redding and Allen Rice stole one base each.

Boyd and Brown executed a double steal in the first inning that lead to the Crimson Tide's second run. Garner and Hearod also perfected the double steal in the third, with Hearod stealing home on the play.

Alabama (44-9) also tied school record for most wins during the regular season and most home wins during the regular season.

The 44 wins tied the school record of 44 regular season wins set in 1997 (44-11). The Crimson Tide also won its 32nd home game of the season (32-2) to tie school record for regular season home wins set in 1997 (32-3) and 1999 (32-4).

Alabama's 32-2 (.941) record is the best regular-season home winning percentage in school history.

MVSU (10-40) jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning on Tim Klick's two-run double to right center field with two outs.

Alabama tied the game in the bottom of the first inning on a solo home run by Scott McClanahan and a sacrifice fly by Hearod to score Brown from third base.

McClanahan's first inning home run was his fourth lead off home run of the season and gives him a home run in four consecutive games. He has also homered in five of his last six games. The senior leads Alabama with 12 home runs this season.

Marshall's run-scoring single in the second inning broke a 2-2 and gave the Crimson Tide a 3-2 lead.

Alabama broke open a close game with five runs in the third inning. Hearod and Redding had RBI doubles in the inning, while the Tide scored three more runs on an error, a balk and a double steal where Hearod scored from third base.

The Delta Devils cut the lead to 8-4 in the fifth inning on a two-out, two-run single by Klick. The MVSU catcher had two hits and four RBI in the game.

Bama added two more runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to increase it lead to 10-4. Garner singled and later scored on an error by third baseman Jason Chabreck. Reserve third baseman Carlos Sosa reached on the Chabreck error and later scored on an error by shortstop Tee Thomas to cap the Crimson Tide's scoring for the game.

MVSU added two runs in the sixth inning on Thomas' two-run single up the middle, cutting the UA lead to 10-6. Thomas capped the scoring with an RBI single in the eighth inning to cut the deficit to 10-7. Thomas had two hits and three RBI in the game for the Delta Devils.

Eric Mennen made his first collegiate start for Alabama, but did not pitch the required five innings to earn the win. Mennen left after 4 2/3 innings, allowing four runs (2 ER) and five hits, while adding one walk and a career high six strikeouts.

Jared Woodward (6-1) was awarded the win, pitching thirds scoreless innings of relief. Freshman right-hander Josh Baker, out seven weeks with rotator cuff tendinitis, returned to the mound for the first time since Mar. 23 and allowed two runs and three hits in two innings of work. He added two strikeouts and worked a perfect seventh inning.

MVSU starter Matt Lantrip (0-2) pitched two innings and was charged with the loss, allowing three runs and three hits.

Alabama closes out the 2002 regular season with a three-game series at LSU. The series opener is Friday at 6:30 p.m. The teams will play at 2 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday. The Crimson Tide's magic number to clinch the Southeastern Conference championship is two games. Any combination of UA wins and South Carolina losses will give the Crimson Tide its league-leading 14th SEC Championship.

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