Alabama Baseballl Wins Sixth In Row

After escaping a bases-loaded jam in the top of the seventh inning, Alabama scored three runs on three hits in the bottom of the frame to post a 5-1 win over Mississippi Valley State on Wednesday night at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.

Alabama (27-15) managed only two runs and three hits off MVSU starter Britt Goodman through six innings, before scoring three runs on three hits in the decisive seventh inning to extend its winning streak to five games.

Meanwhile, the Crimson Tide pitching staff limited the Delta Devils to just one run on three hits in six innings. Alabama used eight pitchers in the game, with freshman right-hander Tucker Hawley and senior right-hander Jake Smith each pitching more than one inning.

"I thought our pitching staff did a good job tonight," Alabama Coach Mitch Gaspard said. "We planned to use a lot of guys and we did. Anytime you can hold a team to one run and six hits, you did a good job on the mound.

"I was a little disappointed with our offense in that we did not do more than we did, but hats off to their pitcher he did a really nice job tonight and competed well on the mound."

Mississippi Valley State trailed 2-1 entering the seventh inning before loading the bases with one out against sophomore right-hander Tyler White. Jack Edmondson led off the inning with a single and moved to second on a wild pitch. Jerry Hildreth followed with a pinch-hit single to left to put runners on the corners with no outs.

Allen Cheek, who pinch hit for Nick Fangonilo, bunted the ball back to White who ran down Edmondson between third and home for the first out of the inning. Chris Herron followed with an infield hit to load the bases.

Alabama then turned to Smith, who struck out Donquarious Farmer and Luke Walker to end the threat and preserve the one-run lead.

Junior shortstop Josh Rutledge was hit by pitch to open the bottom half of the inning. Junior second baseman Ross Wilson legged out an infield hit to put runners at first and second with no outs. Senior first baseman Clay Jones struck out before sophomore left fielder Jon Kelton singled to left field to score Rutledge and put the Tide in front 3-1.

Kelton's single chased Goodman in favor of senior right-hander Cody Parker, who made his NCAA-leading 32nd relief appearance. Parker struck out junior DH Chris Smelley for the second out.

Alabama freshman Andrew Miller, a left-hand hitter, was then inserted as a pinch-hitter and the Delta Devils countered the lefty Keaton LeBlanc. Miller stroked a 0-1 pitch to right field to score Wilson and Kelton to give the Tide a 5-1 cushion.

Smith worked a scoreless eighth inning and finished with a season-high 1 2/3 innings and four strikeouts. Junior right-hander Nathan Kilcrease retired all three batters he faced in the ninth and added two strikeouts.

Jason Townsend, the fourth of eight pitchers used by Alabama, was the winning pitcher. Townsend (2-1) retired all three batters he faced in the fifth inning. Alabama pitchers struck out 13 MVSU batters in the game and 26 in the two-game series.

Mississippi Valley State (20-22) took a 1-0 lead in the first inning off UA starter Adam Morgan, who threw 18 pitches in the designated start. Herron led off the game with a double and moved to third on Farmer's sacrifice bunt. Herron scored on Walker's infield ground out to the Delta Devils a 1-0 lead.

Alabama (27-15) tied the game in the second inning when Jones swatted his team-leading 12th home run of the season. The Crimson Tide has homered in six of its last seven games and Jones has three home runs in the last two games.

The Crimson Tide took a 2-1 lead with an unearned run in the fifth inning. Rutledge and Wilson reached on consecutive errors and Rutledge scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch.

Alabama is on the road this weekend for the third time in four weeks, when the Crimson Tide travels to Columbia, S.C., to face the No.. 3 South Carolina Gamecocks. The three-game SEC series opens Friday, at at 6 p.m. (CDT). The teams will also meet on Saturday, May 1, at 12 p.m. (CDT) and Sunday, May 2, at 12:30 p.m. (CDT). Saturday's game will be televised regionally by Comcast Sports Southeast and shown on


Alabama extended its winning streak to five games with its 5-1 win over Mississippi Valley State. The five-game winning streak is the longest by the Crimson Tide since winning eight straight games from March 12-20.

*The Crimson Tide leads the all-time series with the Delta Devils, 13-0. The two teams first met in 2002 and have met at least once in each of the last nine years. Alabama also improved to 50-3 all-time against teams from the Southwestern Athletic Conference, including a 22-game winning streak that dates back to 1988.

*Alabama used eight different pitchers in the game on Wednesday night. The list included junior left-hander Adam Morgan (1 IP), freshman right-hander Tucker Hawley (2 IP), freshman left-hander Matt Taylor (1 IP), junior right-hander Jason Townsend (1 IP), senior left-hander David Head (1 IP), sophomore right-hander Tyler White (0.1 IP), senior right-hander Jake Smith (1.2 IP) and junior right-hander Nathan Kilcrease (1 IP).

*Smith worked a season-high 1 2/3 innings and recorded a career-high four strikeouts. Alabama pitchers had 13 strikeouts on Wednesday and fanned 26 MVSU batters in the two-game series. The Tide has recorded double-digit strikeouts in seven of its last 10 games.

*Senior first baseman Clay Jones hit his team-leading 12th home run of the season in the second inning. He has three home runs in the last two games. Alabama has hit at least one home run in six of its last seven games and has totaled 12 home runs. Jones was 9-for-15 (.600) with four home runs and 10 RBI in four career games against Mississippi Valley State.

*Junior second baseman Ross Wilson went 2-for-4 with one run scored to extend his hitting streak a season-high eight games. He is batting .379 (11-for-29) during the streak.

*Sophomore center fielder Taylor Dugas was hitless for the second night in a row, but extended his on-base streak to 31 consecutive games when he was hit by pitch in the first inning. He added his SEC-leading 45th walk in the third inning.

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