Baseball

Alabama baseball to face first road test of the season

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.


Alabama's pitching leads it past Alabama State

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.


Baseball sweeps Washington State in 29 hours

Alabama’s offense has been on full display since opening day against Valparaiso. The Crimson Tide outscored the Crusaders 34-13 in that series. Against Washington State, the Crimson Tide nearly matched its run total, putting up 29 runs, while allowing just nine. "Honestly, it's [the Alabama offense] surpassed my expectations to this point," coach Brad Bohannon said. "There was a lot of hard contact today. I felt good about the group going into the season, and ... having an older group of position players, you have guys who aren't trying to do too much."


Alabama takes both games in Friday double header

Alabama’s offense continued standout six games into the season. The Crimson Tide totaled 20 runs in 18 innings Friday night in a double header against Washington State, winning 12-4 and 8-2. "Honestly, its [the Alabama offense] surpassed my expectations to this point," coach Brad Bohannon said. "There was a lot of hard contact today. I felt good about the group going into the season, and... having an older group of position players, you have guys who aren't trying to do to much."


Pitching continues to be a focus for Alabama

Alabama’s pitching has been the focus since coach Brad Bohannon took over in June. So far, the staff has made tremendous strides from last year.  At this point in the season last year, Alabama walked nine batters, while throwing six wild pitches and hit a batter. This year, its allowed only five walks, two wild pitches and hasn’t hit a batter yet.


Alabama uses seven pitchers to shutout Middle Tennessee

After an offensive explosion over the weekend, Alabama’s pitching staff was the story on Tuesday in its 4-0 win against Middle Tennessee.  Alabama sent out seven total pitchers, four of which didn’t see the mound during the weekend series against Valparaiso. It allowed just four hits, while striking out eight Blue Raiders. Its first two pitchers were lefty Garret Rukes and right-handed pitcher Brock Love.


Joe Breaux's single walks off Alabama over Valparaiso

It seemed like Alabama was going to squander another opportunity with runners on base. It had runners on first and second. No outs.  Third baseman Cobie Vance popped up a bunt attempt, followed by a strikeout by right fielder Gene Wood. Outfielder Joe Breaux, who didn’t have a hit coming into the final inning of regulation, slapped slider for a single to right, bringing in pinch runner Connor Stutts for the 6-5 win over Valparaiso.


The Brad Bohannon era starts with a win over Valparaiso

Heading into the fourth, Alabama was struggling with runners on base. It was 1-for-9 with runners on base and 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position. The first time through the order, Valparaiso starter Jon Tieman had allowed three hits and stranded four runners.  Then in the bottom half of the fourth, with two runners on freshman catcher Sam Praytor came up to bat. He lined a ball to the right-center field gap, doubling in the first runs of the game. From then on, Alabama wouldn’t look back. It plated eight runs in the inning, jumping ahead 8-1, before defeating Valparaiso 16-2.