Wednesday, April 28, 2004
» Box Score
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Junior first baseman Zac Welch (Wellington) matched his career high with four RBI and junior left fielder Matt Grooms (Montgomery) tied his career high with three hits as the University of Alabama baseball team defeated the Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils 10-2 in front a paid crowd of 4,346 fans at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.
Welch and Grooms were a combined 5-for-8 with six RBI in the win over Mississippi Valley State.
The Crimson Tide pounded out 14 hits in the win, including two each from junior second baseman Mark Haske, sophomore third baseman Evan Bush and freshman right fielder Michael McCallister.
Welch went 2-for-4 with four RBI and gave Alabama the lead with a two-run double in the bottom of the first inning. The Wellington, Ala., native added a two-run home run in the fifth inning to give him a team-leading 36 RBI this season and 99 RBI in his three-year career.
Grooms added three hits, including an RBI single in the first and a stand-up triple in the seventh inning.
Junior right-hander Andrew Walker (3-0) went seven innings and allowed two runs and seven hits for his third win of the season. He added five strikeouts and did not walk a batter in the win.
Miss. Valley State (29-18) scored two runs on four hits in the top of the first inning to take a 2-0 lead. Chad Williams and Scottie Richmond drove in the two runs with RBI singles off starter Andrew Walker.
Alabama (25-18) answered with four runs on four hits in the bottom of the first inning to take a 4-2 lead. Haske started the rally with a single just inside the line in left field. Haske moved to second on a passed ball and took third on catcher Johnny Phillips throwing error.
Junior left field Gabe Scott drew a walk and Bush drove in the first run of the game with an RBI single to left to score Haske.
Welch then ripped a double left center field to score both Scott and Bush to give Alabama a 3-2 lead. Grooms capped the scoring with a two-out single to center to score Welch with the fourth run of the inning as UA built a two-run lead.
Alabama padded its lead with two more runs in the fifth inning on a two-out home run by Welch to make it a 6-2 game.
The Crimson Tide stretched its lead to 8-2 in the sixth inning on an RBI single by Scott and a sacrifice fly by Bush.
Freshman center fielder Emeel Salem started the rally with a bunt single to third base. Salem stole second base and moved to third on Haske's second hit of the game.
Haske stole second and Scott greeted reliever Steve Acuna with a base hit through the left side of the infield to score Salem. Haske scored on Bush's team-leading sixth sac fly of the season to make it an 8-2 game.
MVSU starter Jermaine Shack (9-3) was charged with the loss as he allowed eight runs on 10 hits in 5 1/3 innings.
Alabama scored two more runs in the eighth inning to extend its lead to 10-2 over the Devils. McCallister and Grooms posted back-to-back, stand up triples and Salem added an RBI ground out to put the Crimson Tide up by eight runs.
Alabama travels to LSU this weekend for a three-game SEC series at Alex Box Stadium, beginning Friday, April 30 at 6:30 p.m.
*The Miss. Valley State game as DCH Health System Night at the Joe. All employees and families from DCH Health System were admitted for one dollar to the game. Bryan Kindred, the CEO of DCH Health System, threw out the first pitch.
*Alabama right field Michael McCallister and Grooms recorded back-to-back, stand-up triples in the seventh inning.