March 14, 2014
Box Score |
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Behind Alabama's first triple play in nearly 15 years, right-hander Spencer Turnbull out-dueled No. 20 Kentucky's A.J. Reed to lift the Crimson Tide to a 3-0 victory Friday night at Sewell-Thomas Stadium to open Southeastern Conference play.
Alabama (11-5) and Kentucky (13-5) return to The Joe on Saturday for a doubleheader, with first pitch scheduled for 12:35 p.m. CT. Game two will begin 45 minutes after the completion of game one.
"Welcome to the SEC," Alabama head coach Mitch Gaspard said. "That is a typical Friday night game with two big horses on the mound. Both guys pitched extremely well. [Spencer] Turnbull was throwing the ball really well. He had to fight a little tonight, his command was not quite as good as it has been. He really showed up as a competitor tonight. [A.J.] Reed on the other side was equally as good."
After allowing one hit in the opening five frames, Turnbull (2-1) surrendered hits to Kyle Barrett and Austin Cousino and a walk to Max Kuhn to load the bases with no outs in the sixth. With A.J. Reed at-bat, Mikey White snagged a line drive and tossed it to Kyle Overstreet at second, who threw to Chance Vincent at third to complete the triple play, preserving Alabama's 1-0 lead.
The Tide's last triple play came on May 30, 1999, as the Tide turned three in an NCAA Tournament victory over Southern Mississippi.
Against a Kentucky team that entered the game leading the nation in hits and runs scored, Turnbull held the Wildcats to four hits, with three strikeouts and five walks in 7.1 scoreless innings. Turnbull has a 14.1 inning scoreless streak, and has gone 23.1 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run. He has a 0.31 ERA in five starts, while allowing just one earned run in 29.0 innings.
Thomas Burrows picked up his first career save, striking out two in 1.2 unblemished innings to close out the game.
Reed (3-1) suffered his first loss of the season after going seven innings, giving up three runs on four hits and four walks with six strikeouts.
Will Haynie led the Alabama offense going 2-for-3 with a solo home run, two RBI and a run scored. Wade Wass had a double, his team-leading sixth of the season, and scored a run. Casey Hughston stroked the first career double to account for the Tide's other hit.
"We had some good fortune on our side as well," Gaspard said. "We had a check swing to score a run and a triple play. We defended really well, [Kyle] Overstreet had a good play. We did the things you have to do to win the game on Friday night, which is always a challenge in this league."
The first run of the game came in the second when Haynie drove in a run on a line drive to right field to drive in Wass who double to open the inning. The Tide added a pair of insurance runs in the eighth inning, one coming on Haynie's solo shot to lead off the inning. Later in the inning, Chance Vincent scored on a wild pitch to cap the scoring at 3-0.
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Alabama Game Notes
*After 93 meetings between the two teams, Alabama owns a 57-36 all-time record against Kentucky.
*Alabama head coach Mitch Gaspard bolsters his record 5-5 against Kentucky
*The Tide improves to 11-0 when they score at least three runs this season.
*Alabama's triple play in the sixth inning was the first since May 30, 1999, against Southern Mississippi in the 1999 NCAA Tuscaloosa Regional.
*Haynie extends his hitting streak to six games, batting .571 (12-for-21) with two home runs, two doubles, eight RBI and seven runs scored over that span.
*Haynie's 2-for-3 night gives him fifth multiple-hit game of his career, all coming in the past six games.
*Haynie has two career multiple-RBI games, both have come in his last two games.
*Will Haynie raised his batting average on balls in play to .542 for the season.
*The Alabama pitching staff has limited the opposition to one run over the past 48.2 innings.
*Freshman left-hander Thomas Burrows made his team-high sixth appearance of the season.
*This season, Burrows has pitched 10 scoreless innings in relief, surrendering just one hit.
*With three walks in the game, Mikey White reached base safely for the seventh straight game.
*Wade Wass recorded his team-leading sixth double of the season.
*Casey Hughston notched his first career double with a ground-rule double in the fifth inning.