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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Junior first baseman Austen Smith, freshman second baseman Kyle Overstreet and sophomore right fielder Ben Moore combined for eight runs batted in, as the Alabama bats led the Crimson Tide to victory over Tulane, 12-6, at Sewell-Thomas Stadium on Sunday. Alabama moves to 8-3 after the win and Tulane drops to 6-6.
“The biggest thing today was the win,” UA head coach Mitch Gaspard said. “We needed to get a win after this weekend. After really struggling on the offensive end of things the first two games, it was nice to get some flow in the line-up.”
Trailing 5-4 heading to the bottom of the sixth inning, Alabama batted around and exploded for six runs in the inning after two were out. Georgie Salem walked and Mikey White doubled of the wall to spark the rally. Moore then delivered a double that bounced over the left field wall to score both Salem and White, giving the Tide a 6-5 advantage. After Booth and Roberts walked to load the bases, Smith singled to center field to make it 8-5, then Overstreet capped the inning with a two-run single, making the score 10-5 in favor of the Tide.
Smith and Overstreet had two hits and three RBIs each and Moore pitched in with a 2-for-4 performance that included two RBIs and two runs scored. Freshman shortstop Mikey White, senior third baseman Kenny Roberts and senior designated hitter Andrew Miller all drove in a run for the Tide as well. Booth reached base four times in the game, including three walks and being hit by a pitch, and scored three times. Roberts was 1-for-3 with two walks and three runs scored.
“Ben (Moore) and Smith (Austen) had a good day, but some other guys had some good swings too,” Gaspard said. “We give a lead up, but we have the ability to respond and take it back. I thought Ray Castillo did a really good job again out of the bullpen for us.”
Freshman righty Ray Castillo (2-0) set career highs in innings pitched (4.1) and strikeouts (6) to earn the win, allowing a solo home run to right in the game. Brady Wilson (0-1) was charged with the loss for Tulane after throwing 2.1 innings, allowing two runs on two hits with three walks and three strikeouts.
UA sophomore righty Spencer Turnbull got the start, lasting 4.2 innings despite tying his career-high in strikeouts with six. Turnbull gave up five runs on eight hits with three walks. Tulane starter Kyle McKenzie want 3.1 innings, giving up four runs (two earned) on five hits with four walks and four strikeouts.
The Green Wave loaded the base in the first inning and were able to push a run across on an infield ground out, before Turnbull struck out two to get out of it. Turnbull settled in from there, keeping the Tulane lineup in check through the four innings.
Alabama was the beneficiary of miscues by the Green Wave defense in a four-run fourth, as a throwing error on Roberts’ at-bat allowed Booth to score from second and Moore from third on Smith’s RBI single the next at-bat. The freshmen got in on the scoring as well, with an Overstreet RBI sacrifice fly and a White bases-loaded walk to put the Tide up 4-1 after four.
After Tulane put up four runs of their own in the top of the fifth, Turnbull was chased in favor of Castillo, who held the Tulane offense to only one run for the rest of the day.
The Tide capitalized on Castillo’s command of the mound, batting around the lineup in both the fourth and sixth innings.
The lone run off Castillo came in the eighth inning when Tulane’s Bowen Woodson hit a two-out, solo home run in the eighth inning. Once again, Alabama responded, scoring two more runs in the bottom of the eighth inning, thanks to a bases loaded balk and a sacrifice fly to cap the scoring at 12-6.
The Alabama Crimson Tide returns to action on Tuesday, March 5, when it meets the Auburn Tigers in the MAX Capital City Classic. First pitch is set for 7:00 p.m. CT, from Riverwalk Stadium in Montgomery.
Christopher Walsh covers Alabama football for BamaOnline, 247Sports, and is the author of 18 books.
We need Turnbull to get his act together.
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