Bama Bats Hot In Win Over Georgia
Alabama first baseman Clay Jones hit his team high fourth homer, and drove in six runs to give him a team-leading 14 RBIs. In all, the Tide pounded out 14 hits.
Lefty Taylor Wolfe, a Columbus, Ga. native and true freshman, started for the first time on the hill for Mitch Gaspard's Tide and went four innings, gave up four hits, two earned runs, two walks and tallied seven strikeouts. Wolfe struck out the side in the second inning. Wolfe picked us his first collegiate victory over Georgia, his homestate university. (College pitchers do not have to go five innings when the coach designates before the game that a starter will pitch less than that.)
"We got a good start out of the freshman," said Gaspard. "and (the offense) got started early. "I think our first five hitters are as good as anybody in the country. They just wear you down as the game goes on.
"The bullpen was clean. It was a good, solid midweek win against an SEC opponent." Said Jones: "We‘ve been working hard in the (batting) cage. I got some good pitches to hit, and found the barrel. We‘re all swinging the bats well, and hopefully, we can keep it rolling."
Jones' younger brother, Ben, is the starting center for the Georgia football team.
Gaspard was able to play 20 men in the victory.
"We're going to do that," he said. "As long as the bench is producing, there's no reason not to play them."
The Tide wasted little time warming it's bats up on this cold night. Josh Rutledge singled and stole second in the home half of the first. Ross Wilson, who played his high school football at Regions Park for Hoover, then walked, and cleanup man Clay Jones plated Rutledge with a single through the right side. Jake Smith lined an RBI single to left center scoring Wilson, Bama led 2-0 after an inning.
Jones drove in Rutledge again in the third, when both reached on errors and Rutledge stole second Freshman Brett Booth, who also quarterbacked in this park while at Tuscaloosa County, drove in Jones for a 4-0 Tide lead.
The Bulldogs (6-3) cut the lead in half on a two-out, two-strike, two RBI double off the wall in left center by Brett DeLoach in the fourth. After a sacrifice fly by Rutledge scoring Andrew Miller (a receiver in high school for Bama quarterback A.J. McCarron), Jones struck again the fourth with another RBI single scoring Taylor Dugas. (Continuing the theme, Dugas was an option quarterback in his high school days in Louisiana. Further continuing, former American Christian and South Carolina quarterback Chris Smelley had a single as a DH).
Jake Smith slammed a two-out, two RBI double of his own, and after four innings and 90 minutes, Bama led 8-2.
The Tide bullpen gave up nothing in five frames, including a three-up, three-down effort by Nathan "Peanut" Kilcrease in the eighth. The 5-foot-6, 160-pounder has retired all 15 batters he's faced this season.
Alabama (6-0) was to travel much of the night before taking on the College of Charleston (8-1) on the road Thursday night.
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