Matthes Stays Hot Against Canisius

Sophomore right-hander Tommy Hunter threw five scoreless innings and sophomore right fielder Kent Matthes added two hits and three RBI as the No. 20 University of Alabama beat Canisius 7-1 on Saturday afternoon at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.

Hunter (Indianapolis, Ind.) retired the first nine batters he faced and held the Golden Griffins to two singles through five innings for his second win of the season. He walked one and matched his career high with eight strikeouts. Hunter has not allowed a run in 14 innings this season and improved to 12-3 in his UA career on the mound.

Matthes (Orlando, Fla.) went 2-for-4 with a solo home run and two-run triple. He also scored two runs and turned in another highlight-reel catch in right field.

"It was good to get a lot of guys in the game once again," Alabama head coach Jim Wells said. "We played some younger guys early in the game and used four pitchers. Overall, it was another good game for us."

Alabama (5-1) snapped a scoreless tie with an unearned run in the bottom of the third inning. Senior center fielder Emeel Salem (Mountain Brook) reached with a one out single up the middle, stole second base and moved to third on a failed pickoff attempt by Canisius pitcher Alex MacKenzie. After sophomore shortstop Jeff Texada (New Iberia, La.) walked, freshman third baseman Jake Smith (Shannon) blooped a ball into right field to score Salem from third base, but Texada was forced out at second on the play.

The Crimson Tide added two more runs in the fourth inning to take a 3-0 lead. Sophomore catcher Ryan Rhoden (Tuscaloosa) led off the inning with a double to center field and moved to third on junior first baseman Matt Bentley's (Huntsville) single to left. Junior left fielder Kyle Moore's (Wetumpka) RBI single to right field scored Rhoden and freshman second baseman Brandon May's (Marietta, Ga.) infield hit scored Bentley to put the Crimson Tide in front 3-0.

Matthes' solo home run with one out in the fifth inning gave the Crimson Tide a 4-0 lead. It was his second home run of the season.

Matthes put Alabama on the board again in the seventh inning with a two-run triple. Smith opened the inning with a single up the middle and sophomore first baseman Alex Avila (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) followed with a walk. Matthes then laced a triple into the right-center field gap to give Alabama a 6-0 lead. Matthes scored on Rhoden's ground out to make the score 7-0.

Canisius (0-2) scored its only run in the eighth off Patrick Kelly. Alec Cabello led off the inning with a double down the left field line, moved to third on a ground out and scored on Branson Joseph's sacrifice fly to right.

The two teams close out this three-game series on Sunday at 11 a.m. (CST) in Tuscaloosa. The series finale will be broadcast on WVUA-FM (90.7) with Chad Anderson and can be heard on the internet at


*Three Alabama players celebrated birthdays on Saturday, including Bernard Robert (22), Wes Henderson (21) and Jeff Texada (20).

*Freshman Brandon May (Marietta, Ga.) made his first career start at second base. May was 1-for-3 with an RBI single in his first collegiate start for the Tide.

*Junior Kyle Moore (Wetumpka) made his first start of the season in left field. Moore was 2-for-4 with one RBI in the win over Canisius.

*Sophomore right-hander Tommy Hunter (Indianapolis, Ind.) matched his career high eight strikeouts against Canisius. Hunter also had eight strikeouts last season in an SEC Tournament win over LSU. In 14 innings this season, Hunter has not allowed a run and has recorded 17 strikeouts.

*Sophomore right fielder Kent Matthes (Orlando, Fla.) went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and three RBI on Saturday. Matthes hit a solo home run in the fifth inning and added a two-run triple in the seventh. In six games, Matthes is batting .400 (10-for-25) with seven runs scored, two home runs and a team-high 10 RBI.

*Sophomore catcher Ryan Rhoden (Tuscaloosa) was 2-for-4 with one RBI in the win on Saturday. *Alabama did not score in the first inning for the first time this season. The Crimson Tide has outscored its opponents 27-1 through the first four innings this season, including a 10-0 advantage in the first inning.

*Sophomore left-hander Miers Quigley (Roswell, Ga.) will start on the mound for the Crimson Tide on Sunday.

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