Matthes Two Homers Leads Alabama Win

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Alabama scored multiple runs in each of the first five innings and cruised to a 16-2 victory over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, to clinch the championship at the 2009 Whataburger Classic at Whataburger Field Saturday night.

Alabama senior Kent Matthes went 3-for-4 with two home runs and five RBI and Brandon May went 4-for-5 with two doubles, two RBI and four runs scored to pace the Tide's 21-hit attack. Junior Jake Smith was 3-for-5 with a home run and five RBI and junior Clay Jones was 3-for-6 with two extra base hits and four RBI in the win.

Although one game remains in the tournament and the all-tournament team will not be announced until that game is completed Sunday, Bama has finished its part in the tournament and won the title with its 3-0 record.

May brought a .154 batting average to Texas this weekend, but went 6-for-8 with eight runs scored and two RBI in wins over Texas Pan American and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi to raise his season average to.294.

"I got off to a slow start, but I never panicked," May said after Saturday's game. "I had enough confidence that things would click. It was a timing thing because of my (injured) wrist, but I knew once I got my timing down, I'd start hitting. I'm playing catch-up (with these guys). "I'm kind of behind. I was just trying to be aggressive and get a good pitch to hit.

Alabama (8-3) scored in each of the first five innings and scored in eight straight innings in the tournament, dating back to the seventh inning of Friday's win over Texas Pan American. In those eight innings, UA scored 26 runs.

The Tide picked up where it left off Friday night, scoring two runs on three hits in the first inning to take a 2-0 lead. Sophomore shortstop Josh Rutledge opened the game with a single to left and scored on May's RBI double into the right field corner. Matthes ripped a one-out double into the left field corner to score May with the second run of the inning. TAMUCC center fielder Jeramie Marek hauled in two deep fly balls off the bat of Clay Jones and Ross Wilson to prevent the Tide from further damage.

Alabama put three more runs on the board in the second inning on Alex Kubal's RBI single and a two-out, two-run triple by Jones to put the Tide in front 5-0.

TAMU-CC starter Roy Ferdin (1-2) lasted only two innings and was charged with five runs and seven hits in the loss.

Smith's three-run home run off the video board in left field gave the Tide a comfortable 8-0 lead in the third inning. It was his second home run of the tournament.

Stephen Flora's solo home run on a pitch with two outs put the Islanders on the board in the third inning.

Matthes joined the hit parade with a two-run home run in the fourth inning to give the Tide a 10-1 lead.

The Crimson Tide plated five, two-out runs in the fifth to extend the lead to 15-1. Rutledge stroked a two-out single to drive in the first run and May and Jones followed with back-to-back run-scoring doubles.

Matthes capped the inning with a two-run home run, just short of the video board in left field to give UA a 14-run lead. He went 3-for-5 with two home runs and five RBI in the win. He recorded the fourth multi-home run game of his career and second of the season. Matthes leads the NCAA with nine home runs this season.

"He has been unbelievable," May said. "I told him tonight, he was putting up Gordon Beckham-type numbers (Georgia's 2008 SEC Player of the Year) from last year. I am happy for Kent and I hope he keeps it up. He has done very well."

Alabama freshman left-hander Adam Morgan held TAMU-CC to one unearned run and six hits over 5 2/3 innings for his second straight win. He added a season-high six strikeouts and walked two batters. In his last two starts, Alabama has scored 36 runs in beating Illinois-Chicago and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.

The Islanders took advantage of an error and two walks to plate an unearned run in the sixth and Alabama capped the scoring with Smith's RBI single in the eighth.

Alabama closes out its five-game road trip at the 2009 MAX Capital City Classic on Tuesday at Montgomery's Riverwalk Stadium. Alabama will meet arch-rival Auburn in a non-conference game at 6:30 p.m CDT. The Crimson Tide will be the designated home team for the game. Alabama returns home on Wednesday to face the Samford Bulldogs at 6:35 p.m. CDT at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.

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