Grand Slams Power Tide Past Troy

Alabama tied the school record with two grand slams and scored five or more runs in four different innings en route to a 22-4 win over Troy on a chilly Tuesday night at Sewell-Thomas Stadium in Tuscaloosa. The Crimson Tide extended its winning streak to a season-high five straight games.



Alabama posted its third 20-run game of the season and finished the night with 19 hits. Junior first baseman Clay Jones had four hits and three RBI for the Tide, while senior right fielder Kent Matthes slammed two home runs to extend his NCAA-leading total to 19 home runs this season.

Junior third baseman Jake Smith and Matthes hit grand slams in the first two innings as the Tide chased Troy starter Tim Wheeler after one inning of work.

The Crimson Tide (21-10) got off to fast start, scoring five runs in the bottom of the first inning on back-to-back, two-out home runs by Smith and Clay Jones.

Taylor Dugas led off the inning with a double and after two quick outs, Wheeler issued back-to-back walks to Kent Matthes and Brandon May to load the bases. Smith then slammed a 1-0 fastball off the video board for his 10th home run of the season. It was the fourth grand slam by an Alabama player this season. Clay Jones followed with a solo home run to left to give the Tide a 5-0 lead.

Troy (18-13) answered with two runs in the top of the second inning on solo home runs by Brett Henry and Chad Watson to close the gap to 5-2.

Alabama scored six more runs in the second for an 11-2 lead, highlighted by Kent Matthes' grand slam home run. It was Matthes' NCAA-leading 18th home run this season. Smith added a sacrifice fly and junior catcher Cody Trotter had an RBI single in the six-run inning.

The Crimson Tide added another run in the third on Matthes' sacrifice fly to score sophomore shortstop Josh Rutledge to give UA a 12-2 lead.

Troy pushed a run across in the fourth inning on a pair of singles by Watson and Steven Feilx and an RBI ground out by Miles Hoyle to close the gap to 12-3.

Alabama had another five-run inning in the bottom of the fifth to extend its lead to 17-3. Jones had a two-run single and Trotter added an RBI single as UA scored all five runs with two outs.

Troy scored an unearned run in the sixth to make it 17-4, before the Tide added five more runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to increase its lead to 22-4. Matthes hit a two-run home run, his second of the game, and Wes Henderson added a pinch-hit, two-run double.

Senior right-hander Casey Kebodeux (2-0) pitched three innings in relief for the win for Alabama, while Wheeler (2-3) was the losing pitcher for Troy.

Alabama will host No. 2-ranked LSU this weekend in a three-game SEC series at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. The Crimson Tide and Tigers will open the series Friday at 6:35 p.m. (CDT). The teams will also meet on Saturday at 6:06 p.m. and Sunday at 2:06 p.m. The Saturday and Sunday games will be televised by Cox Sports Television and Comcast Sports South (CSS). Saturday's game was pushed back two hours to accommodate television. For tickets, call the Athletic Ticket Office at 205.348.2262 or online at www.RollTide.com

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