Leading up to the sixth inning, Cobie Vance had a pretty solid game. He was 2-for-3 with a run scored and a couple of good defensive plays. The number three batter in the Alabama lineup strolled confidently up to the batter’s box with the go ahead run 180 feet away.
Vance got ahead in the count 3-1 and proceed to look for the fastball. He got what he was looking for and slapped it the other way off the wall for the go ahead double, to score Chandler Avant.
“We can score almost anytime if we dig in,” Vance said. “One of our big things is picking each other up. It’s a pact mentality.”
He would finish 3-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored. Vance’s approach at the plate is what Alabama head coach Greg Goff has been preaching since he arrived: timely hitting.
“Cobie is a guy who isn’t afraid,” Goff said. “Tonight the game rewarded him with some big opportunities. He’s got a lot of courage in himself.”
The offense for both teams was in full effect tonight as the teams combined for 17 runs (12 for Alabama) and 23 hits (14 for Alabama). Most of Alabama’s damage came in the second and the seventh innings where it scored five times in both innings.
The second inning was where the bats started to roll. The Crimson Tide would knock the starter, Taylor Braley, out of the game, by a two RBI double by Avant. Avant would later score on a Gene Wood sacrifice fly, and a monster two-run home run hit by Hunter Alexander.
The seventh inning is where the Golden Eagles pitching staff would start to struggle, walking in a run, hitting a batter that walked in a run and a balk that added another run. Vance would add a sacrifice fly to add to the scoring. Southern Miss would use three pitchers in the inning, and seven overall in the game.
“Coach is really big on staying focused in the dugout,” Avant said. “Its really not that hard to stay focused [during a long inning].”
Alabama’s pitching would struggle early on in the game, allowing five runs by the fifth inning, including three in the fourth, where starter Brock Love would finish his night. He finished with 3.2 innings pitched, four earned runs and seven strikeouts.
After the fifth inning the pitching staff took the game over, allowing only one hit. Zac Rogers finished with the win, pitching one inning and allowing only one hit. Davis Vainer finished with the save going three innings and striking out four while only allowing one hit.
“I keep telling them ‘next man up’”, Goff said. “I keep telling them the game will reward them if they continue to work hard and be ready when it’s their time out.”
Alabama will take on Oral Roberts in its next game on Friday at 5 p.m.
Source:: The Crimson White Sports