Baseball Posts Comeback Victory in Season Opener against VMI
Feb. 15, 2013
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Freshman shortstop Mikey White went 4-for-5 and had the game-winning RBI in the seventh inning in his Alabama debut, as the Crimson Tide defeated the VMI Keydets, 8-3, in the season opener for both teams from Sewell-Thomas Stadium in Friday night. The winning pitcher was freshman right-hander Ray Castillo (1-0) and the losing pitcher was the Keydets’ Rian Ellis (0-1).
“For starters, I thought a couple of freshmen were keys to the game,” UA head coach Mitch Gaspard said. “Ray Castillo’s outing – to keep the game right there at 3-0, really on the heels of Kenny [Robert’s] great play at third after the leadoff triple and Mikey White had a tremendous night for his debut with us. I thought the biggest thing tonight was just we showed some fight and some grit that we have talked about and that we had wanted to see. After game one, I am pretty pleased with the effort that we saw. Now it’s putting those type games back-to-back and execute and do some of the good things that we did tonight.”
Spencer Turnbull gave up a walk and a hit to his first two batters faced, but struck a batter out and drew a double play to get out of a first inning early jam. VMI struck first in the second inning, scoring two runs on two hits and one error. VMI added to the lead on a triple and sacrifice fly to center in the fourth inning.
After a leadoff triple by VMI’s Matt Winn opened the fifth, a great diving play by UA third baseman Kenny Roberts produced the first out of the inning. Castillo struck out Jordan Tarsovich, then after a walk to Ray Lopez, Castillo ended the inning with a swinging strikeout of Rob Dickinson.
White made a statement with two outs in the seventh inning, where he delivered a game-winning RBI single up the middle. Moore added to that lead when he stroked an RBI single of his own, putting the Tide up 5-3. Castillo pitched through the seventh inning, retiring seven straight to end his outing.
The Tide stretched the lead to 6-3 in the eighth when Booth scored on a passed ball. After Blanchard drew a walk on a 3-2 count, he stole second and third to put himself in position for a Mikey White RBI single. Salem scored the third run in the inning when VMI failed to pick off White at first base. Sophomore left hander Justin Kamplain threw a scoreless ninth inning to seal the victory for the Tide.
Alabama and VMI are scheduled to play game two of the series on Saturday, with first pitch scheduled for 2:05 p.m., from Sewell-Thomas Stadium. The Tide will start sophomore left-hander Jon Keller (0-0) and the Keydets will counter with junior lefty Campbell Henkel.