April 15, 2014
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The eighth-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide got seven no-hit innings from Tucker Hawley and a grand slam from Ben Moore to down the Jackson State Tigers, 8-1, on Tuesday night at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. With the victory, Alabama improved to 25-11 overall and 7-2 in midweek matchups, and Jackson State falls to 23-16.
After Jake Hubbard allowed a run on two hits in two innings in his first career start, Hawley (3-1) did not allow a hit over seven innings, and retired the final 14 batters he faced to get the win. With the seven scoreless innings against JSU, Hawley has not allowed an earned run in his past 25.1 innings, including a streak of eight no-hit innings. After tonight's game, he has a 0.68 ERA in his senior campaign.
"It was good to get Jake Hubbard back on the mound, he did a good job with the two innings he pitched," Alabama head coach Mitch Gaspard said. "Tucker Hawley came in and did a nice job and finished the game. He made some quality pitches and went through quick clean innings for us."
Hubbard did not factor into the decision in his second appearance since having Tommy John surgery last season. He struck out three in two innings and his only run allowed on a Nick Marigny solo home run in the second inning.
With the game tied 1-1, the Tide erupted for seven runs in the seventh inning. Daniel Cucjen and Mikey White walked, and Georgie Salem followed with a single to load the bases for Moore. On the first pitch from Brandon Gregory, the Tide right fielder sent a rocket over the left center wall to put Alabama up 5-1. It was Moore's first career grand slam and the second of the season for the Crimson Tide. Alabama added runs on RBI singles by Chance Vincent and Cucjen, and Hunter Webb scored on a throwing error, capping the scoring at 8-1.
In Alabama's 19th game of the season with 10 hits or more, the Tide got hits from all nine starters, and multiple-hit efforts from Salem, Moore, Cucjen, Wade Wass and Webb. White had a single, walked twice and scored a run and Vincent extended the team's longest active hitting streak to nine games with his seventh-inning RBI single.
Alexander Juday (4-3) was charged with the loss for the Tigers, after giving up three runs on three hits and three walks in 1.2 relief innings. Jackson State's starter, Vincent Anthonia, did not factor into the decision after holding Alabama scoreless for 4.1 innings, allowing six hits with five strikeouts.
"Offensively it was a struggle for us tonight, from the change of speeds for us over the weekend to tonight affected us," Gaspard said. "We got going in the seventh inning with a huge grand slam from Ben Moore. Our team has to do a better job of taking advantage of opportunities. We have to execute better as well to take the stress out in the early innings. If we do that we will score a lot more runs and add to them as the game goes on."
With bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the fifth, Alabama got a chance to score, but miscues on a double play turned by the Tigers squandered their chances. On a Salem pop out to left field foul territory, Webb attempted to tag and advance home but was thrown out at the plate to end the inning.
Following the struggles of the prior inning, the Tide battled back in the sixth to knot the game up at one. Alabama got back-to-back singles from Moore and Wass to set up Casey Hughston, who drove in the Tide's first run on a double to right.
The Alabama baseball team returns to the diamond tomorrow night with a matchup against the UAB Blazers at Regions Field in Birmingham, with first pitch set for 6:30 p.m. The Tide will finish off their slate of games for the week with a trip to Knoxville, Tenn., as they hit the road for a weekend set against the Tennessee Volunteers.
Get all the latest information on the team by following AlabamaBSB on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. General athletic news can also be found at UA_Athletics on Twitter and Instagram and AlabamaAthletics on Facebook.
Alabama Game Notes
*After their first meeting since the 1988 season, Alabama boosted its record to 15-3 all-time against Jackson State, including an 11-2 mark at home.
*Alabama head coach Mitch Gaspard took home the victory in his first career game coached against Jackson State.
*Alabama improved to 25-1 with it scores three or more runs in a game.
*Alabama moved to 19-5 in games played at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.
*With singles in the third and fifth innings, Hunter Webb put together his fifth multiple-hit game of the season.
*With a single in the bottom of the seventh, Chance Vincent extended his hitting streak to nine games, the longest stretch of his career.
*With every starter in the lineup recording at least one hit, Alabama posted its 19th game of the season with 10 hits or more.
*Georgie Salem recorded his 14th multi-hit game of the season and 32nd of his career.
*Ben Moore posted his 12th multiple-hit game of his season, for the 52nd of his career.
*Moore's grand slam gave him a new career-high with four RBI.
*Daniel Cucjen tallied his first multiple-hit game of the season and second of his career.