Alabama Baseball Wins a Pair in Friday Doubleheader with Washington State
Alabama baseball secured wins in both games of Friday’s doubleheader with Washington State to claim the series victory. The Crimson Tide came out on top, 12-4, in game one before an 8-2 win in game two of the day at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. With the pair of wins, the Tide improves to 6-0 on the young season.
The Crimson Tide offense batted .375 (27-72) on the day with two doubles, a triple and one home run on the way to 20 total runs. Alabama used 16 hits in game one before tallying 11 in game two to help secure the series win and Friday sweep.
“Honestly, (the offense) has surpassed my expectations up to this point,” said Alabama head coach Brad Bohannon. “There was a lot of hard contact today. I felt good about this group going into the season. Having an older group of position players, you have guys that aren’t trying to do too much. We have some depth and length to our lineup along with some balance. They’ve done a great job to this point.”
Alabama’s arms also excelled on the day. Starters Sam Finnerty (2-0) and Jake Walters (1-0) each earned a win with the bullpen totaling 6.1 innings of scoreless baseball including one save.
Alabama cruised past Washington State in game one of the day for a 12-4 win. The Tide used 16 hits and a season-high tying 10 walks on the way to the win.
Junior Joe Breaux set a new Alabama record with five walks in as many plate appearances, surpassing the former high total of four in a game. Chandler Avant paced the Tide in hits with a 3-for-6 day that included two RBI and a run scored, one of six starting members of the Alabama order to record multi-hit days.
Washington State gained an early 2-0 advantage in the top of the third thanks to a two-out, two-run home run for the first runs of the day. The Crimson Tide moved in front an inning later, putting up three runs in the fourth, using five consecutive two-out singles to take a 3-2 lead after four innings of play.
Avant, a senior, began the singles rally, followed by freshman Sam Praytor to put two aboard for Keith Holcombe. The junior outfielder slapped another single to center to score one and bring Jett Manning, also a junior, to the plate with Manning loading the bases on his single. Senior Cody Henry capitalized on the opportunity, sending a fifth straight Tide single to center to score the tying and go-ahead runs.
Alabama added six more in the bottom of the fifth to extend its lead to 9-2. The Tide batted around in the inning and collected five hits and three walks for its six-spot. A pair of walks from Breaux and senior Hunter Alexander began the inning before Chandler Taylor cleared the bases with a three-run home run, the junior’s first of the season.
Two outs later, the Tide strung together three more singles and followed with two walks to cross another three runs. Holcombe and Manning singled before Henry’s single brought in one. A walk to junior Cobie Vance loaded the bases for Alexander, who sent a high chopper to short for an infield single to tally one more and give Alabama a seven-run advantage after five.
Washington State added two in the top of the sixth, using a pair of two-out, bases-loaded walks to make it a 9-4 game, but Alabama came right back with three runs in the bottom of the seventh to take a 12-4 lead. With one down, Breaux drew his Alabama-record fifth walk to get the Tide started. Alexander and Taylor followed with singles to load the bases before Avant brought in two with a single of his own. A walk to Praytor and a fielder’s choice from Holcombe crossed one more to cap the inning’s scoring.
Finnerty earned his second win in as many starts working 5.2 innings with the junior allowing four runs on eight hits and two walks with four strikeouts. Junior Mason Duke, redshirt sophomore Kyle Cameron and freshman Brady Greene combined for the final 3.1 innings to secure the Tide win.
Alabama dominated once again, limiting Washington State to two runs on three hits in the 8-2 victory in game two of the twinbill. The Crimson Tide hitters collected double-digit totals once again, tallying 11 in the nightcap.
Walters earned his first win of the season thanks to 6.0 innings of two-run baseball. The right-hander allow two hits and issued two walks while striking out seven. He then handed the ball over to sophomore Deacon Medders, who tossed the final 3.0 innings for the save. Medders allowed only one hit while striking out three batters in his relief outing.
Washington State struck first once again, this time in the top of the first. The Cougars drew a two-out walk and then sent a homer over the wall in right-center to take a 2-0 lead. Alabama came back with one run of its own in the home half of the first, using a bases-loaded fielder’s choice from Avant to cut the WSU lead in half.
In the bottom of the second, Alabama took the lead right back from Washington State, scoring a pair to make it 3-2. Manning got aboard on a throwing error and advanced into scoring position on a wild pitch. With the leadoff man at second. Henry sent a single to center for the game-tying RBI. Two outs later, Alexander doubled to center to cross the go-ahead run and give UA the advantage after two innings of play.
The fifth saw the Tide add three more insurance runs to pad its lead. Alexander led it off, reaching on an error, and a single from Taylor followed by an Avant hit-by-pitch loaded the bases for UA. Holcombe delivered in the next at-bat, singling to center to two score two. Two batters later, Henry sent a sac fly to left to score another, making it a 6-2 contest.
Alabama added two more in the bottom of the eighth for an 8-2 lead. A one-out single from Vance and Breaux gave UA a pair of baserunners. One out later, Taylor scored both with his first triple of the season to end the night’s scoring.
The Crimson Tide will go for the sweep tomorrow in the series finale. Alabama will look to junior right-hander Sam Gardner while Washington State calls on senior southpaw Scotty Sunitsch. The contest is scheduled for a 1 p.m. CT first pitch on getaway day and can be seen live on SEC Network+.