Alabama baseball opens Greg Goff era with win

The 2017 season started out the same way the last two seasons have for the Alabama baseball team, with a win, but for head coach Greg Goff, it was the first win of his Alabama career.

“I’m just so thankful,” Goff said. “The biggest thing for me is that our guys have bought into what we’ve been trying to do. Great players make great coaches.”

Goff moves to 9-1 all-time against the Blue Hose with the win, and for Alabama, its first win against Presbyterian in program history (first matchup of the teams).

The win was in doubt at the top of the seventh inning when Presbyterian’s Nick Guimbarda hit a screaming line drive over shortstop. Pinch-runner Guy Casaceli came into score to tie the game at 4-4. Except when Casaceli went around third he forgot to touch the bag, resulting in him being called out after an appeal by Goff.

Nick Echoltz got the win for the Crimson Tide. The former 13th round pick pitched 5 innings finishing with 3 runs allowed (2 earned both came in the second inning), three hits and 3 strike outs. He finishes start with a 3.60 ERA.

“I had a lot of adrenaline going,” Echoltz said. “In the second the ball got up a little bit. The way I like to go about it [the game] is by gaining confidence in my pitches.”

Brock Love finished with the save. Love pitched the last 4 innings and recorded 5 strike outs, while allowing just 2 hits.

The Crimson Tide did most of its damage in the 4th inning. Cody Henry started the inning with a double that bounced one time before the fence. He later came around when Chandler Avant started a 2-out rally. Avant would later score on a single by Cobie Vance.

Henry would finish 2-for-3 (.750 on base percentage) with a double, run and hit by pitch. Avant would finish 2-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored.

“I can direct that [the 2-for-3 game] to my teammates,” Henry said. “I’ve been under the weather the last couple days. That’s what teams do.”

Alabama returns to action on Saturday against the Blue Hose at 5 p.m.

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