Alabama started its spring football practice on Tuesday, and coach Nick Saban announced that red-shirt senior Keith Holcombe will sit out the spring to focus on baseball.
Alabama had chances, but it failed to capitalize. It had a chance in the seventh and in the ninth, but failed to do the damage it needed, falling to Georgia 6-5 in the Sunday finale. “We’re two swings away from being 3-0 in the SEC, and I guess you could say we are a swing away from being 0-3,” Alabama coach Brad Bohannon said. “That’s SEC baseball for you.”
Alabama split its double header on Friday. The Crimson Tide lost its first game 3-0 against New Mexico State, while it bounced back in game two, winning 3-1. It was a pitcher duel in the first game of the double header. Starter Sam Finnerty and Justin Dehn went pitch for pitch for the first six innings. Finnerty retired the first batter, but then hit a batter and allowed two straight singles, scoring the first run of the game. The Aggies would score one more run in the inning, coming off a third straight single.
Senior Cody Henry has been one of Alabama’s most dangerous hitters 13 games into the season. The first baseman is hitting .333, which is fourth among starters, and leads the team in RBIs with 17, four more than any other teammate. His best series came last weekend against Oklahoma. He hit .500 [4-for-8] with four RBIs. He led the team in RBIs over the weekend and was tied for most hits during the weekend. “Cody had a great weekend [against Oklahoma] and he’s a great player,” coach Brad Bohannon said.
Alabama and Southern Miss were two of the most dangerous offenses coming into Wednesday’s game. Both teams ranked in the top-20 in batting average and in the top-15 in runs scored. But pitching was the dominate force in Alabama’s 3-0 win over No. 16 Southern Miss. “I told the kids yesterday ‘if we want to be a good team, the two things we have to do is consistently play pretty good baseball and we have to beat some good teams,’” coach Brad Bohannon said.
Alabama has an experienced lineup, and its shown through the first 12 games of the season. Outfielder Walker McCleney, first baseman John Trousdale and catcher Sam Praytor are the only players who have started for head coach Brad Bohannon that aren’t at least a junior. Alabama’s offense has scored double digits runs six times this season, while recording double digit hits in eight of the team’s 12 games. The Crimson Tide recorded a season high 18 hits in Sunday’s win over Oklahoma.
Alabama avoided a sweep against Oklahoma on Sunday with a 13-1 over the Sooners. The Crimson Tide recorded a season-high 18 hits in the win. “I’m very pleased with today’s effort; it was a good team win for us,” Alabama coach Brad Bohannon said in a press release. “As bad as we were in all areas yesterday, we were equally as sharp today. I’m hopeful that we can carry this momentum into Wednesday against a very good Southern Miss team.”
Coming into the series against Oklahoma, Alabama was undefeated and was extremely hot. The flight to Oklahoma cooled off the Crimson Tide, as it lost game two of the series 16-4. The Sooners dominated the Crimson Tide. They totaled 17 hits, put up 16 runs and walked nine times.
Since he took over, coach Brad Bohannon has talked about new challenges. It started with the pitching staff, and now Alabama baseball heads on the road for its first series away from Sewell-Thomas Stadium this season. “I’m looking forward to a different opponent and getting out of state,” right-handed pitcher Mason Duke said.
Through nine games last year, Alabama was just 4-5, and had been swept by Oral Roberts. It was the first of eight series the Crimson Tide would get swept that year. After defeating Alabama State 11-1, Alabama is 9-0 on the season. “As honest as I can be, I didn’t know what to expect,” coach Brad Bohannon said. “I knew we had some good pieces. I think if you would have told me three weeks ago that we would start out 9-0 or 3-6, I could have believed anything. I really just didn’t know. I really didn’t create any expectations for this group. With the ninth win to start his coaching career, Bohannon tied former Alabama coach Wallace Wade, who went 9-0 in 1924, for the second-best start to a coaching career in program history. Kid Peeples holds the record when he led Alabama to a 10-0 start back in 1897.