Alabama’s offense seemed to be on hold coming into the Louisiana Monroe series. The team had just its last four games and scoring a total of just 10 runs, including just one in the extra inning loss against Jacksonville State.
Going into the seventh inning of the Friday matchup against the Warhawks, the Crimson Tide offense dormant and shut out. Something clicked in the bats because they came to life, tying the game at three. The Crimson Tide would win on a walk-off single later in the game.
Since that inning the team has accounted for 20 runs, including a double-digit scoring output in the team’s 10-3 win on Sunday.
“Our hitters are starting to settle in more,” head coach Greg Goff said. “It’s going to take some time. We just had a great weekend but there’s still a lot of room for improvement. By the seventh inning [of Friday’s game] we started having better at bats.”
The most common way the Crimson Tide scored its runs was by extra base hits. During the offensive struggle, the team failed to consistently drive balls, instead hitting lazy fly balls and weak grounders.
Eleven of the 20 runs scored by Alabama came off an extra base hit, 5 runs came from a pair of home runs. The team finished with 10 total extra base hits compared to just three over the four game losing streak.
The key for Goff was showing the resilience in the team. Friday the team was down 3-0 late and managed a comeback. Sunday it was down 2-0 to start the game and managed to come back and win.
“You don’t come back if you don’t have a guy with courage on the mound,” Goff said. “We ask our pitchers all the time to minimize. Our guys didn’t flinch.”
The bullpen has been the backbone of the team so far this season, constantly working big innings.
In Friday’s game, Brock Love dominated Warhawk hitters striking out 10 of the 13 he faced and finished with the save. Garrett Suchey, who also finished with the save, worked three innings and allowed only one man to reach base. Sunday’s bullpen hero was Sam Finnerty. Finnerty finished with his second career win, first of the season, in his 2.1 innings of work. Davis Vainer, Mike Oczypok, Zac Rogers and Nathan Altstadt also pitched Sunday combining for three innings and allowing only three runners, all off walks.
Just three weeks ago the Goff era started for the baseball program. Going into the first series against Presbyterian, he had some question marks about the team. Now with the season where it is now he has started to figure out the team.
“Courage. This team has a lot of courage and energy,” Goff said. “I’ve been so amazed on how unselfish and how hard they play. If we continue to do that some great things can happen for this team.”
Alabama returns to action against Troy on Tuesday. Last season, the Crimson Tide won the two previous meetings by the scores of 2-1 and 5-3.
Source:: The Crimson White Sports