March 19, 2014
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Tucker Hawley dealt seven scoreless innings and the bats delivered double-digit runs for the second straight game, as the No. 28 Alabama Crimson Tide downed the Alcorn State Braves, 12-0, Wednesday night at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. Alabama heads into the weekend series at Arkansas with a 14-6 record, while the Braves fall to 1-22 overall.
“It was a really clean game and Tucker Hawley went out and gave us a really good start,” Alabama head coach Mitch Gaspard said. “We had good bullpen work as well. So I feel like two good clean games in the middle of the week is what you want to see leading into a big weekend.”
Making his first start of the season, Hawley (1-1) picked up the win after striking out a season-high seven batters and holding the Braves to three hits and a walk in seven scoreless innings. Jay Shaw and Mitch Greer each added a perfect inning in relief to complete the shutout. Hawley, Shaw and Greer combined for Alabama’s sixth shutout of the season, as well as their second three-hitter in the past two years, with the last coming from the arm of Charley Sullivan on March 15, 2013, in a matchup with Tennessee.
Alabama pounded out 15 hits in the game as Mikey White led the charge with a single, double, two RBI and a run scored. Georgie Salem slugged his first home run of the season and added an infield single and Ben Moore, Kyle Overstreet, Wade Wass and Casey Hughston also finished the night with two hits each. Hughston, along with Hunter Webb and Daniel Cucjen had two RBI each.
Justin Lemond (0-1) was charged with the loss for the Braves after giving up five runs on nine hits and two walks in four innings.
“It was really good to see the offense in back-to-back nights really respond,” Gaspard said. “There were a lot of good quality at-bats and we were able to put runs on the board. We are really starting to drive the ball and that is good to see.”
Alabama picked up where it left off on Tuesday, scoring four times in the bottom of the first. White started the action with a double to the deep left field and Overstreet stroked a two-out single back up the middle to plate White. Wass followed with a stand-up triple into the gap in right center, and after Smith walked, Hughston completed the two-out rally with a double to left center. Salem added a solo shot to lead off the fourth inning to extend the lead to 5-0 after four.
The Tide strung together back-to-back three-run innings in the fifth and the sixth. Cucjen delivered the first run of the fifth on a sacrifice fly and White singled through the left side to drive in the other two runs. Overstreet scored on a Hughston fielder’s choice for the first run of the sixth then Webb dropped a single into left field to drive in the inning’s final two runs.
Alabama’s lone run in the eighth was scored when Chance Vincent crossed home plate on a Cucjen groundout, capping the scoring at 12-0.
The Crimson Tide returns to action this weekend for their second Southeastern Conference series of the 2014 season when they travel to Fayetteville, Ark., to take on the Arkansas Razorbacks. First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m. on Friday, 2:05 p.m. on Saturday, and 1:05 p.m. on Sunday. The final game of the series will be broadcast live on television by CST.
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Alabama Game Notes
*After the 19th meeting between the two clubs, Alabama is now 18-1 all-time against Alcorn State.
*Alabama head coach Mitch Gaspard moved to 7-0 in his career when facing Alcorn State.
*Alabama is 14-0 this season when scoring at least three runs.
*In five midweek games this season, the Alabama pitching staff has a 1.29 ERA.
*Hawley tallied a new season high with seven strikeouts, en route to his first win of the season.
*Austen Smith finished the midweek set with Alcorn State 5-for-6 with a double, a home run, three RBI and five runs scored.
*With a pair of singles, Kyle Overstreet recorded his seventh multiple-hit game this season and the 24th of his career.
*Georgie Salem went 2-for-4 to put together his team-leading eighth multiple-hit game of the season, the 26th of his career – the most amongst Alabama sophomores.
*Wade Wass posted the first triple of his career, which was the second of the season for Alabama.
*Wass finished the game 2-of-3 for his fifth multiple-hit game this season.
*Mikey White reached base safely for the 11th consecutive game to extend the longest streak by an Alabama player this season.
*Casey Hughston extended his hitting streak to five games.
*Hughston registered his third multiple-hit game of the season, as well as his third with multiple RBI.
*Hunter Webb picked up his second multiple-RBI game of the season, with each coming in the midweek series against Alcorn State.
*Riley Colburn recorded the first hit of his career with an eighth-inning single.