Feb. 24, 2012
Box Score |
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Alabama baseball team exploded for 14 runs on 13 hits to notch its first victory of the 2012 season, defeating the Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions 14-0 on Friday night at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. With the victory, the Crimson Tide now stands at 1-3 on the season while Arkansas Pine-Bluff falls to 0-5.
“Tonight, I thought that we competed better with our at-bats and that we did a better job with two strikes and we were able to get some two-out hits as well,” UA head coach Mitch Gaspard said. “On the pitching side I thought (Taylor) Guilbeau wasn’t super-sharp tonight, but that’s kind of him, he always finds a way to get outs. He got through six innings and he extended his pitch count a bit tonight.”
Junior second baseman Kenny Roberts was one of four UA players to register both multiple hits and multiple RBI on the night Roberts was 2-for-4 with a double, a triple, two runs scored and three RBI. Senior center fielder Taylor Dugas had a single, a double with two runs as part of a 2-for-4 night, while outfielders Cary Baxter and Hunter Gregory each totaled two runs and two hits, with Baxter adding two RBI as well.
UA freshman catcher Ben Moore recorded the first home run of his Alabama career as part of a 1-for-3 performance, to go along with three runs scored and three RBI.
Crimson Tide freshman lefty Taylor Guilbeau (1-1) earned the first victory of his UA career, pitching six scoreless innings, allowing just two hits while striking out four. Alabama relievers Spencer Turnbull, Jake Hubbard and Ian Gardeck each pitched a scoreless seventh, eighth, and ninth inning, respectively, to close out the game for the Tide.
“I think that the bullpen was good; the last inning was kind of a tough spot for Gardeck,” Gaspard said. “We’re trying to just get him some innings and appearances right now, and 14-0 is kind of rough spot for a closer to come in. Otherwise, I thought that the pitching was solid, we played a clean game after the first play.”
Jordan Sechler (0-2), who allowed six runs on eight hits, took the loss for the Golden Lions.
After two scoreless innings, Alabama got on the board in the bottom of the third, notching a pair of runs to take a 2-0 lead.
Gregory reached on a fielder’s choice, stole second, then scored on Dugas’ two-out double down the right field line. Roberts followed with an RBI double of his own, plating Dugas from second to make the score 2-0 after three innings.
The Tide added another run in the fourth on a sacrifice fly by sophomore third baseman Brett Booth, before notching three runs in the seventh. Booth opened the inning with a double down the left field line, then scored on Baxter’s RBI single. The Tide then added another run on a two-out triple by Roberts, scoring Baxter from third, to push the advantage to four runs before an RBI double by senior shortstop Jared Reaves brought Roberts across to give Alabama a 6-0 lead.
From there, the Tide exploded for eight runs in the eighth inning keyed by Moore’s first career home run, a three-run shot to left field that gave the Tide a 14-0 advantage. The eight-run eighth marked the most runs by the Tide since scoring eight times in the fourth inning against Mississippi State on April 25, 2010.
Alabama will send right hander Charley Sullivan (0-1) to the mound for game two of tomorrow's series, set to begin at 2:05 (CST). Arkansas-Pine Bluff will counter with senior righty Michael Newby (0-1).