Baseball Takes Weekend Series Over Mississippi with 6-4 Win
March 20, 2011
OXFORD, Miss. - Andrew Miller continued his hot hitting as he had three hits to help lead the Alabama baseball team to a 6-4 win over Mississippi on Sunday afternoon from O-U Stadium. With the win, the Crimson Tide takes the weekend series over the Rebels, winning two of three games to open Southeastern Conference play.
Alabama (13-7, 2-1 SEC) sophomore starting pitcher Tucker Hawley earned the win and improved to 4-1 on the year. Jonathan Smart earned his second save in as many games, notching his third save of the season. Smart pitched the final 2.0 innings, allowing one run on two hits. Mississippi (15-6, 1-2 SEC) starting pitcher Austin Wright took the loss, dropping to 2-2 on the year.
"We got another really good start from Tucker (Hawley)," UA head coach Mitch Gaspard said. "Offensively we came alive yesterday and we were able to put that together again today and put a lot of pressure on them throughout the day."
Alabama's six runs came on eight hits, as Miller was 3-for-4 with an RBI and three runs scored and Taylor Dugas was 1-for-2 with a home run and two RBI with three walks. Jeremiah Tullidge was 1-for-3 with two RBI, Jon Kelton was 1-for-3 with a two runs, and James Tullidge was 1-for-1 with an RBI and a walk.
"Inserting both James and Jeremiah Tullidge has really sparked the bottom of the lineup and obviously Andrew Miller had a really big weekend," Gaspard said. "We got a lot of production in the bottom half, and that's what we talked about earlier in the week. If the bottom got going, it's going to roll over to the top of the lineup where those three guys have been really consistent for us."
Mississippi touched the Alabama pitchers for nine hits on Sunday, as Alex Yarbrough was 3-for-4 and Tanner Mathis and Matt Snyder had two hits each.
Alabama got on the scoreboard early against Mississippi, scoring two runs off starting pitcher Austin Wright in the second inning. The Tide scored the first run on a RBI single by James Tullidge, plating Jon Kelton from second base. The second run came across when a sacrifice bunt by Jeremiah Tullidge scored Miller, who singled earlier in the inning, from third.
The Crimson Tide took a 3-0 lead when Miller singled up the middle to score Kelton, who doubled to lead off the fourth inning. With two outs in the same inning and Miller standing on third, Taylor Dugas extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a blast over the right field wall. The second home run of the season for Dugas extended the Alabama lead to 5-0, and chased Wright after 3.2 innings, allowing five runs on six hits with one strikeout and one walk.
Tucker Hawley's scoreless inning streak came to an end at 20, after allowing a run in the bottom fourth inning. The Rebels' run came across when Matt Smith's single to center field drove in Tanner Mathis from third base. A diving back-handed play by third baseman James Tullidge saved another run, as he tagged the bag to end the Mississippi fourth.
The Rebels scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, cutting the Tide lead to 5-3 after six innings. Both runs came across on sac flies off the bats of Matt Smith and Matt Tracy, respectively. Hawley departed the game after allowing the third hit of the inning, and finished the day with 5.1 innings of work, allowing three earned runs on seven hits with one strikeout.
The Tide made the score 6-3 in the eighth inning when Jeremiah Tullidge singled home Miller, who singled to start the inning. Mississippi answered with a run in the bottom of the eighth on a RBI double by Matt Snyder that scored Smith from first, cutting the Alabama lead to 6-4.
Alabama returns to Sewell-Thomas Stadium for a Tuesday night game against the UAB Blazers, with first pitch scheduled for 6:05 p.m. UAB enters Tuesday's game with an 11-8 record following a weekend home sweep of UT-Martin. Probable starting pitchers for the game have not been announced.