March 9, 2014
Box Score |
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The Alabama pitching staff posted three consecutive shutouts for the first time since 1912, as the Crimson Tide completed the sweep of the Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils with a 3-0 victory on Sunday at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. With their fifth straight win, Alabama bolsters their record to 9-5, while the Delta Devils drop to 0-15.
"First of all Jonathan Keller was really sharp. That was his fourth real good outing and he gave us six solid innings," Alabama head coach Mitch Gaspard said. "I was real encouraged with Ray Castillo's outing in the eighth inning. It was nice to get (Kyle) Overstreet his first appearance this year and get his first save of the year. Pitching on the weekend was tremendous, not giving up a run."
The third consecutive shutout marks the second time the Tide has accomplished that feat, as the only other three-game scoreless stretch came in 1912 against the Marion Institute. With the three shutouts, the Alabama pitching staff reaches 30.2 consecutive innings without surrendering a run. Bama had a 14 inning no-hit streak snapped when Parker Thurman singled in the top of the fourth off Jon Keller.
Making his first start of the season, Keller (4-0) got the win after throwing six scoreless innings, allowing one hit with a season-high seven strikeouts. Ray Castillo blanked the Valley for the next two innings, allowing a hit and a walk with three strikeouts. Kyle Overstreet got the first save of his career, throwing a scoreless ninth inning in his first career appearance on the mound.
In his first start of the year MVSU's Brady McBride (0-1) took the loss after allowing three unearned runs, on five hits with a walk in four innings.
Ben Moore had two of the eight hits produced by the Alabama offense, which included a pair of doubles to go along with two RBI and a run scored. Will Haynie recorded his third multi-hit game of the season with a 2-for-3 performance and Georgie Salem extended his hitting streak to seven games with a pair of singles from the leadoff spot.
"On the offensive end, today it was a struggle," Gaspard said. "Anytime you change speeds as they did, we didn't do a very good job adjusting to the different speeds we've been seeing. We've got to be better at that and we've got to get better on the offensive end."
Alabama scored all three runs in the third. After Chance Vincent reached on a fielder's choice and Mikey White reached on an error with two outs, Moore stroked a two-run double to the wall in left field, scoring both runners. Wade Wass followed with an RBI single to the left center gap to plate Moore for the final run of the game.
The Alabama baseball team returns to action Tuesday night as they host the Samford Bulldogs at Sewell-Thomas Stadium, with first pitch slated for 6:05 p.m. Following the midweek matchup, the Crimson Tide begins their SEC campaign with a three-game weekend set at home against the Kentucky Wildcats. First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m. on Friday, 6:05 p.m. on Saturday, and 1:05 p.m. on Sunday.
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Alabama Game Notes
*Alabama posted a shutout in three consecutive games for the second time in school history and the first since 1912, when the Tide shutout Marion Institute in each game of a weekend set.
*The Alabama pitching staff currently boasts an active streak of 30.2 consecutive shutout innings.
*With the series sweep, Alabama moves to 20-1 all-time against Mississippi Valley State.
*Alabama head coach Mitch Gaspard improves to 8-1 when facing the Delta Devils.
*The Tide wins its fifth straight game to continue their longest win streak of the season.
*Alabama reaches 9-0 in games where the lineup provides three runs or more.
*The Alabama pitching staff's streak of 14 straight hitless innings, dating back to the eighth inning against MVSU, was broken up in the fourth inning on a two out single by Parker Thurman.
*Georgie Salem extended his hitting streak to seven games, which is the longest of the season by any player on the team.
*With a 2-for-4 day, Salem leads the team with sixth multi-hit game this season.
*Ben Moore's two-run double in the third inning clinched his third multi-RBI game of the year, the 22nd of the career, and was his third straight game with RBI.
*Moore also extended his hitting streak to five straight games, and pushes his 2014 multi-hit game total to five.
*Wade Wass' stolen base marks the first of his career.
*Will Haynie notches his third multi-hit game of the 2014 season, with three in the past four games.
*With the win Sunday, pitcher Jon Keller is now tied for the most wins (4) in the SEC.
*Kyle Overstreet made his pitching debut for the Tide in the ninth inning on Sunday, earning the save after giving up one hit.
*The Alabama defense records its first errorless series of the 2014 season.