Baseball Explodes for 20 hits in a 15-1 Victory over Tennessee

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM Georgie Salem was 3-for-5 with a career-high 4 RBI on Sunday versus Tennessee.
Georgie Salem was 3-for-5 with a career-high 4 RBI on Sunday versus Tennessee.

March 17, 2013

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Alabama scored eight runs in the bottom of the first and never looked back as the Crimson Tide cruised to their Southeastern Conference win over the Tennessee Volunteers, 15-1, on Sunday afternoon from Sewell-Thomas Stadium. With the win Alabama completes the series victory over Tennessee and improves their record to 11-9 overall and 2-1 in the SEC. The Volunteers drop to 10-9 in all and 1-2 in conference play.

"I told the team, you have to win games a lot of different ways," UA head coach Mitch Gaspard said. "Obviously, today was one of those rare commodities where you score eight runs in the first inning. What I was most proud of the team today was that after the eight runs, we kept playing and our guys had constant pressure throughout the game. All weekend we had really good energy, was very competitive throughout, even in last night's game we were just a little sloppy at times but we continued to play."

After allowing their only run of the game to the Volunteers in the first inning, the Alabama bats erupted for eight runs in the bottom half of the inning. The Tide batted around the order and sent 14 batters to the plate and keyed their highest scoring game of the season and most runs scored since March 12, 2010, versus Stony Brook. Their 20 hits in the game were also the most all season and the most since Alabama hosted Troy on April 7, 2009.

Freshman center fielder Georgie Salem paced the offensive production with a 3-for-5 night that included a run scored and a career-high four runs batted in. Senior catcher Brett Booth had four singles in six at-bats to set a new career high in hits. Booth also added a run scored and a run batted in. Freshman short stop Mikey White reached base in four of five plate appearances, putting up a to-run double, a single, a walk and a hit by pitch, with two runs scored. Senior third baseman Kenny Roberts also put together a strong performance, going 2-for-4 with a single, a two-RBI double, a walk and two runs scored.

Sophomore RHP Spencer Turnbull picked up his first win of the year in his fifth start for the Crimson Tide to move his record to 1-1. He gave a "quality start" for Alabama, going seven innings with only one run allowed off of nine hits and two walks. Sophomore right-hander Jay Shaw and senior righty Trey Pilkington each turned in a scoreless and hitless inning, respectively, to finish the game out. Tennessee starting pitcher, Andy Cox (1-2) was charged with the loss after lasting only 0.2 innings and allowing five runs.

"This team has a good will about them," Gaspard said. "Today it was nice to get the good lead from Spencer (Turnbull) and let him settle in. He was trying to get his confidence where it needs to be and it was nice for him to stretch out and get those seven innings in today."

Tennessee opened the scoring against Turnbull in the first inning. After the leadoff hitter was advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt, Tennessee's Scott Price drove him in on an RBI single to give the Vols a 1-0 lead.

The Tide quickly responded in the bottom of the frame with their most explosive inning of the year. Roberts was the first to reach base on a single to center field, and advanced to second on a wild pitch. After Moore walked, Booth opened the floodgates with an RBI single to right center. Austen Smith followed by reaching on a fielder's choice and Kyle Overstreet stroked his third double of the season down the left field line to score another. Cameron Carlisle, White, and Andrew Miller were all hit by pitch in the next three at-bats to force in Smith and Overstreet. The inning was capped off by Roberts' two-RBI double in his second turn at the plate in the inning, providing the Tide with an 8-1 advantage.

The Alabama lineup continued their hot hitting in the second inning. Smith set up another run on a base hit to left field, and advanced to second on a wild pitch. White swung at the second pitch he saw and stroked his second double of the year deep down the left field line, pushing Smith across home plate for a 9-1 lead. Runs were also added in the fourth and sixth innings on a single and a double by Salem. Daniel Cucjen recorded his first career hit and RBI when he ripped a single into right in his pinch hitting appearance in the seventh.

The Tide rolled along in the eighth inning when Ryan Blanchard, who was replacing Moore in the lineup, stroked a single through the left side to drive in a run. Chance Vincent got an opportunity in place of Smith and recorded his first career hit and RBI on a two-run single to cap off the scoring at 15 runs for Alabama.

The Alabama Crimson Tide returns to action when they travel to play at Samford Tuesday night at Joe Lee Griffin Stadium. First pitch is set for 6:00 p.m. CT, and starting pitchers are yet to be determined.

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