Feb. 20, 2011
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The Alabama baseball team (3-0) defeated the Alcorn State Braves (0-3) Sunday afternoon to complete the weekend sweep at Sewell-Thomas Stadium, by a final score of 8-1.
Sophomore Tucker Hawley (1-0) got the start for Alabama and won his first game as a starter for the Crimson Tide. Hawley went five innings and allowed six hits, one unearned run, while striking out five batters. The big righty threw 44 of his 62 pitches for strikes and didn't walk a batter. Mundo Sanchez (0-1) took the loss in his first career start for the Braves.
"We had a good start today out of Tucker Hawley and the bullpen came in and did a nice job as well, so it's three games in a row where I feel our pitching threw a lot of strikes and did a really nice job," UA head coach Mitch Gaspard said. "We did a nice job defensively as well. Going into the weekend our biggest concern was probably how we were going to play defensively."
The Alabama offense was paced by designated hitter David Kindred who went 2-for-2 with a pair of doubles, a run scored and two RBI. Shortstop Jared Reaves also played well, hitting 2-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI. Reaves finished his first series in a Crimson Tide uniform 7-for-11 with five runs scored and three RBI.
Alabama got the scoring started in the second inning when Kindred took a fastball down the third base line for a one out double. Third baseman Brett Booth followed that with another double to the left-field corner earning his second RBI on the young season.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Alabama offense found its stride notching five runs on five hits, including four singles. Freshman first baseman Patrick McGavin led off the inning and struck out swinging but reached base on an error by the catcher and was awarded second base because of interference. Then, Josh Sanders collected his first hit in a Crimson Tide uniform to get runners on the corners. After a groundout by Taylor Dugas, Alabama had three straight RBI singles from Jon Kelton, Reaves and Josh Rosecrans. Then, David Kindred's second double of the game plated two more for the Tide.
Alcorn State scored their only run in the top of the sixth when Darryl Parks scored on a Tide error. Alabama added two more runs in the bottom of the sixth on no hits when Austen Smith scored on a wild pitch and Sanders stole home on a double steal.
All three relief pitchers made their first appearance of the season for Alabama. Sophomore Trey Pilkington, freshman Jay Shaw and junior Jason Zylstra combined to throw four innings of shutout baseball for the Crimson Tide. The Alabama bullpen didn't yield a single run in 10.2 innings in the series and gave up only seven hits.
The Crimson Tide will take the field again on Tuesday, Feb. 22, when they will host the Alabama State Hornets at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 3:05 pm CT, and left-hander Taylor Wolfe is expected to make his first start of the season for the Crimson Tide.