Alabama Baseball Scrimmage Impressive

It was something old and something new, both good, in Alabama's baseball scrimmage Saturday. Junior catcher Chris Smelley went 3-for-3 and knocked in two runs for the winning team. Senior first baseman Clay Jones added an RBI double and junior shortstop Josh Rutledge connected with a solo home run.

Chris Smelley is a transfer to Alabama from South Carolina, where he was a quarterback for the Gamecocks football team.He did not play baseball at South Carolina.

Jones and Rutledge are part of the Crimson Tide infield that returns intact from last season and is expected to be a strength of the Bama baseball team.

The scrimmage was part of the Alabama baseball team hosting its annual Fan Day on Saturday, with more than 600 fans attending the 27th annual Grand Slammers preseason barbecue at the CAVE in Coleman Coliseum.

The annual event also included a skills clinic for many local kids and a nine-inning scrimmage at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.

"Overall it was a great day," Alabama Coach Mitch Gaspard said. "We appreciate the support of the Grand Slammers and all the loyal fans that came to support our team today. There is a lot of excitement about Alabama baseball and think that showed today."

The clinic was held in the Hank Crisp Indoor Facility and featured hitting, pitching and defensive drills. Following the clinic, Alabama fans met the team and at the Grand Slammers barbecue. Coach Gaspard introduced the 2010 Crimson Tide team and coaching staff and gave a preview of the upcoming season.

The day concluded with a nine-inning scrimmage at Sewell-Thomas Stadium, with the Crimson team posting a 6-3 victory.

"It was a cold day, but I thought the energy level was good," Gaspard added. "We wanted to make the scrimmage like a real game using the video board and music. I appreciate all the fans that braved the cold weather to help make this a successful event."

The Crimson team scored single runs in second and sixth innings to take a 2-1 lead and then added three runs in the seventh to make it a 5-1 game.

The Gray team scored two runs in the ninth inning on redshirt freshmen left fielder Kent Myer's two-run double. Junior right fielder David Kindred added an RBI double in the second inning.

Junior left-hander Jonathan Smart and sophomore left-hander Adam Morgan were the starting pitchers and both pitched four innings. Sophomore Tyler White and freshman Adam Windsor pitched in relief for the Crimson squad, while freshmen Tucker Hawley and Adam Windsor pitched for the Gray team.

Alabama will open the 2010 season on Saturday, Feb. 20 against the South Alabama Jaguars at 2:05 p.m. at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. Season tickets are now available for the 2010 season by calling the UA Athletic Ticket Office at 1-877-TIDETIX.

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