Baseball Team Overpowers Troy, 22-4

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM
ROLLTIDEDOTCOM

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM

April 7, 2009

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Alabama tied the school record with two grand slams and scored five or more runs in four different innings en route to a 22-4 win over Troy on a chilly Tuesday night at Sewell-Thomas Stadium in Tuscaloosa.  The Crimson Tide extended its winning streak to a season-high five straight games.

The Crimson Tide posted its third 20-run game of the season and finished the night with 19 hits.  Junior first baseman Clay Jones had four hits and three RBI for the Tide, while senior right fielder Kent Matthes slammed two home runs, including a second-inning grand slam, to extend his NCAA-leading total to 19 home runs this season.

Junior third baseman Jake Smith and Matthes hit grand slams in the first two innings as the Tide chased Troy starter Tim Wheeler after one inning of work.

"That was huge to get on the board early, against a good Troy team," Matthes said.  "They did not play their best game today, but they always play us tough.  It was good to get on the board early and Jake's grand slam got us started."

Alabama (21-10) got off to fast start, scoring five runs in the bottom of the first inning on back-to-back, two-out home runs by Smith and Clay Jones

Taylor Dugas led off the inning with a double and after two quick outs, Wheeler issued back-to-back walks to Kent Matthes and Brandon May to load the bases.  Smith then slammed a 1-0 fastball off the video board for his 10th home run of the season.  It was the fourth grand slam by an Alabama player this season. Clay Jones followed with a solo home run to left to give the Tide a 5-0 lead.

Troy (18-13) answered with two runs in the top of the second inning on solo home runs by Brett Henry and Chad Watson to close the gap to 5-2.

Alabama scored six more runs in the second for an 11-2 lead, highlighted by Kent Matthes' grand slam home run.  It was Matthes' NCAA-leading 18th home run this season.  Smith added a sacrifice fly and junior catcher Cody Trotter had an RBI single in the six-run inning.

The Crimson Tide added another run in the third on Matthes' sacrifice fly to score sophomore shortstop Josh Rutledge to give UA a 12-2 lead.

Troy pushed a run across in the fourth inning on a pair of singles by Watson and Steven Feilx and an RBI ground out by Miles Hoyle to close the gap to 12-3.

Alabama had another five-run inning in the bottom of the fifth to extend its lead to 17-3.  Jones had a two-run single and Trotter added an RBI single as UA scored all five runs with two outs.

Troy scored an unearned run in the sixth to make it 17-4, before the Tide added five more runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to increase its lead to 22-4.  Matthes hit a two-run home run, his second of the game, and Wes Henderson added a pinch-hit, two-run double.

Senior right-hander Casey Kebodeaux (2-0) pitched three innings in relief for the win for Alabama, while Wheeler (2-3) was the losing pitcher for Troy.

 

Alabama will host No. 2-ranked LSU this weekend in a three-game SEC series at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.  The Crimson Tide and Tigers will open the series Friday, April 10, at 6:35 p.m. (CDT).  The teams will also meet on Saturday, April 11, at 6:06 p.m. (CDT) and Sunday, April 11, at 2:06 p.m. (CDT).  The Saturday and Sunday games will be televised by Cox Sports Television and Comcast Sports South (CSS).  Saturday's game was pushed back two hours to accommodate television.  For tickets, call the Athletic Ticket Office at 205.348.2262 or online at www.RollTide.com.

GAME NOTES:
*Alabama extended its winning streak to five straight games with a 22-4 win over Troy on Tuesday night.

*Alabama hit four home runs in the win over Troy and now has 66 home runs this season.  The 66 home runs are the most in school history through 31 games.  The previous record was 63 home runs set by the 1997 team.  The 1998 team had 62 home runs through 31 games.

*The Crimson Tide posted its third 20-run game of the season on Tuesday, its second-highest run total of the season.  Alabama has posted 20-run games against Alabama A&M (24) on March 17, Troy (22) on April 7 and Illinois-Chicago (20) on Feb. 28.

*Alabama tied the school record with two grand slams in the game against Troy.  Junior third baseman Jake Smith hit a grand slam in the first inning and senior right fielder Kent Matthes hit a grand slam in the second inning.  The last time the Crimson Tide hit two grand slams in one game was against Middle Tennessee State on March 15, 1992.  Brad Oliver and Juan DeBrand hit grand slams in the win over the Blue Raiders.

*The Crimson Tide has hit five grand slams this season.  Brandon May has two grand slams against Georgia and Tennessee, while Clay Jones (Texas Pan American), Jake Smith (Troy) and Kent Matthes (Troy) have one grand slam each.

*Smith and Jones hit back-to-back home runs in the first inning, marking the fourth time this season the Tide has hit consecutive home runs.

*Alabama scored five or more runs in an inning four times in the win over Troy and has now scored five or more runs in an inning 16 times this season.  The Tide scored five runs in the first inning, six runs in the second inning and five runs in both the fifth and sixth innings.

*Freshman left-fielder Taylor Dugas (Lafayette, La.) went 2-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to 21 games.

*Senior right fielder Kent Matthes went 2-for-2 with two home runs and a career-high seven RBI in the win over Troy.  He reached base four times and had one sacrifice fly. 

*Matthes recorded his fourth multi-home run game of the season on Tuesday.  He also hit two home runs against SE Missouri State (Feb. 22), Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (March 6) and Mississippi (March 22).

*Matthes moved into sole possession of seventh place on the school's all-time home run list on Tuesday.  With two homers against Troy, Matthes now 39 career home runs, moving him past Brent Boyd (1999-2002) and Matt Frick (1997-98).  Matthes has five career home runs against Troy.
*Senior right-hander Casey Kebodeaux stranded two inherited runners in the third inning and has now stranded 10 of 11 inherited runners in 2009.

*Redshirt freshman right-hander Tyler White struck out six batters in two innings, including four strikeouts in the sixth inning.

*Junior DH Clay Jones went 4-for-4 with one home run and three RBI.  It was his first four-hit game of the season for the Tide.