Four Home Runs Power Alabama Offense to 8-1 Win over Presbyterian
The Alabama offense collected 12 hits including four home runs to take the 8-1 win over Presbyterian on Saturday night at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. With the win, the Crimson Tide claims its fifth consecutive season-opening series.
“I was really pleased with the way these guys came out tonight after an opening-night win,” said Alabama head coach Greg Goff. “Sometimes teams get complacent, and I thought tonight our guys really came out and played harder and did a great job playing with a lot of energy and competing for 27 outs. It was a tremendous team win tonight.”
Jake Walters provided a strong start for the Tide, striking out seven total batters across his 6.0 innings of work to collect his first win of the season. The junior tossed 75 pitches and managed to limit the Blue Hose offense to just three hits before handing the ball off to his bullpen. Sam Finnerty and Sonny Potter entered from the bullpen to finish the final three innings and seal the Alabama victory. Finnerty and Potter combined for five strikeouts to help UA get the win and the series.
The offense provided Walters with a cushion, scoring seven of its eight total runs before he exited the game. Eight of the nine Crimson Tide starters reached base safely on the night, with seven of the starters collecting a hit.
The heart of the order paced the offensive attack, with the three, four and five hitters batting a combined 8-for-13. Chandler Taylor highlighted the Alabama offense, finishing 2-for-4 with a pair of home runs and paced the offense with a team-high for RBI and two runs scored. No. 3 hitter Cobie Vance tied for the team-high three hits in his five at-bats that included a double, an RBI and a run scored. Hunter Alexander, who went 3-for-5 with a home run, one RBI and a run scored, contributed his first home run of his Crimson Tide career, going back-to-back with Taylor in the Tide’s five-run fourth inning.
Alabama staked itself to a 5-0 advantage thanks to a trio of homers in the fourth inning. Vance reached with one out after sending a single to left field, and Taylor followed with a two-run home run over the right-center field fence to put the Tide in the scoring column.
Alexander took the very next pitch out to deep left field, marking the Tide’s first back-to-back home runs since Chance Vincent and Will Haynie at Auburn on May 8, 2015. Cody Henry continued his hot hitting in the inning, sending a single right field. One batter later, Connor Short capped off the inning with a two-run home run to increase the Tide’s advantage to 5-0.
The Tide padded its lead in the next inning, scoring two runs to make it a 7-0 game. Keith Holcombe reached on a one-out walk before advancing to second on a wild pitch. One batter later, Taylor collected his second home run of the day with a two-run shot to deep right field.
Presbyterian would plate its lone run of the game in the top of the seventh. A pair of doubles allowed a run to score and reduced the deficit to 7-1 going into the seventh-inning stretch.
The Tide would add one more in the eighth, to make it 8-1, the eventual final. A bases-loaded sacrifice fly from Vance scored the game’s final run.
The Crimson Tide will go for the sweep on Sunday afternoon, as Alabama will look to sophomore left-hander Dylan Duarte. Presbyterian will counter with a lefty, senior Hayden Deal. First pitch of the series finale is set for a 1 p.m. CT start with the game airing on SEC Network+.