Baseball holds on to defeat Troy

Baseball holds on to defeat Troy
Chandler Avant provided three of Alabama's four runs in its 4-3 win over Troy on Tuesday.

An early spark was all Alabama needed to take care of Troy on Tuesday. The Crimson Tide plated four in the first inning, before defeating the Trojans 4-3. The win moves Alabama’s record to 23-20 on the season.

Alabama came out fast. Cobie Vance started the bottom of the first with a double to left-center field, followed by a Joe Breaux walk. Chandler Avant saw just one pitch before he lined a fastball over the left field fence, for his third home run of the season. 

“It was actually a hit-and-run, so I was just trying to hit something hard,” Avant said. 

With two outs, Keith Holcombe singled to short, and moved over to third on a single by Sam Praytor. Holcombe scored two pitches later, when Jett Manning singled to center field. 

Outside of the first inning, Alabama’s offense continued to struggle. It recorded just three hits and one walk over the last seven innings of the game, while striking out eight times. 

“Once you get into league play, you see so much velocity and so much just hard secondary stuff that I think that a pitcher like that is more affective late in April and early May, than he is early in the year,” coach Brad Bohannon said. “I was disappointed that we allowed him to continue get us out the same way.”

Brock Love started for Alabama. Bohannon has brought him along slowly over the course of the season, because of Love’s Tommy John surgery last year. Love, in his first appearance since March 18, was perfect. He threw 12 pitches, and struck out two Trojans in his lone inning of work. He picked up his second win of the season.

“Any time you can get out there and help your team win, it’s fun,” Love said.

Just as it has for most of its midweek games, Alabama used a combination of arms to get the win. On Tuesday, Bohannon used seven different pitchers, with right hander Kyle Cameron and lefty Brock Guffey throwing the most. Cameron finished with the save. 

Outside the second and the eighth innings, the bullpen was solid. It allowed just base runners [three walks and two hits] outside those two innings. 

“We just wanted to get as many of those guys out there as possible,” Bohannon said. “We had six or seven guys in mind, and we could have used Deacon [Medders] tonight, but Kyle got out there and did a good job.”

Alabama hits the road to play No. 7 Arkansas for its next SEC series. First pitch on Friday is set for 6:30 p.m.

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