Alabama baseball takes SEC home opener against Tennessee

It looked as if it was a pitching duel in the making.  The SEC’s No. 1 and No. 7 starting pitchers for earned run average were set to face off in game one of the Alabama vs. Tennessee series on Friday night in front of a sellout crowd. Alabama’s Geoffrey Bramblett had a 0.85 ERA, while Tennessee’s Zach Warren owned a 1.55 ERA. In the early innings Warren had the upper hand, but that quickly turned as Alabama had a comeback 7-3 win to advance to 14-7 (3-1 SEC).

“Tennessee can really swing the bat and the Warren kid was 4-0 and has been really tough all year," coach Mitch Gaspard said. "So that was a really big win for our team, and a good way to start off the series."

Tennessee started the game with three early runs. Alabama's starter, Geoffrey Bramblett, did not look like he was settled at all as the first batter singled. Then Tennessee's Nick Senzel drove a pitch over the right field wall for a 2-0 lead. Another double led to another run and Bramblett was in an early 3-0 hole in the first inning. After the first inning, Bramblett settled down and for the next 5.1 innings he blanked the Volunteers to set himself up for the win.

“That’s why he pitches on a Friday night,” Gaspard said. “That’s going to happen occasionally and it’s how you respond from it. He did a hell of a job.”

The Crimson Tide offense first started to battle back the second time through the top of the order. In the third inning, Hunter Webb and Conner Short drove in two runs to make it 3-2. Then on the third time through the top of the order, Alabama added four runs in the fifth.

“I thought Cobie [Vance] was going to get them in,” Vincent said. “We all did. He didn’t and he came back and we passed each other and he said ‘pick me up’ and I said ‘I got you.’”

Alabama will finish the series on Saturday with a doubleheader starting at 2 p.m.

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