Photo by Davida Franklin from The Crimson White
By Cooper Huskey
The Alabama Crimson Tide beat the Stetson Hatters 9-4 on Sunday. The win was a combination of solid pitching and a seven run inning in the bottom of third for the Tide.
Like the previous two games, Stetson scored the first run of the game. In the top of the first, with runners on the corners and two outs, Hatters third basemen Banks Griffin hit an RBI single to centerfield bringing in the first run of the game. The Crimson Tide caught a break though as centerfielder Caden Rose got a good read on the ball and threw it to second baseman Peyton Wilson, who was able to tag out a greedy Stetson baserunner and end the inning.
In the bottom of the first and second innings, Alabama would get some batters on base, but were never able to bring them home. That all changed in the third inning.
Drew Williamson brought in the first run of the inning when he hit a an RBI single to center, bringing home Sam Praytor. A couple of at bats later, Andrew Pinckney brought home Williamson and advanced Owen Diodati to second on a single to left, giving Alabama a 2-1 lead. The next at bat, Jim Jarvis hit an RBI single bringing home Diodati and moving Pinckney to third. After that, Rose hit an RBI single of his own moving Jarvis to third and scoring Pinckney.
That was three straight at bats where Alabama hit an RBI single off Stetson pitcher Jovan Gill. The only reason it wasn’t four straight at bats with an RBI was because he waked Peyton Wilson to load the bases. After the walk, Stetson head coach Steve Trimper had seen enough and pulled Gill and put in Cole Stallings.
The pitching change didn’t help though. On the next at bat, Will Hamiter doubled down the left field line, moving Wilson to third and bringing home Rose and Jarvis to give Alabama a 6-1 lead, still only in the bottom of the third, and they were not done yet. The final run of the seven-run third inning came off a wild pitch by Stallings, allowing Wilson to cross home plate and make it 7-1.
The explosive third inning for the Crimson Tide lasted around thirty minutes. Alabama had 11 plate appearances, recorded five hits and scored seven runs. Also during the third inning, it was announced that Alabama basketball had won the SEC Tournament for the first time in thirty years, igniting a thunderous roar from the limited capacity sellout crowd at the Joe on Sunday.
Alabama scored their final two runs of the game in the eighth inning. The first run was a result of fielder’s choice off the bat of Praytor, bringing home Wilson. A few at bats later, a wild pitch brought home Praytor giving Alabama it’s ninth and final run of the game.
Stetson would tried to comeback in the game, hitting a two run homer in the fourth and scoring a run from some small ball in the seventh, but Alabama’s pitching was too much for the Hatters. Antione Jean pitched six innings, gave up three runs off four hits, and struck out six batters. Jacob McNairy took care of the seventh and eighth innings, only allowing one run to cross the plate while he was on the mound. Finally, Landon Green came in to close for the Tide in the ninth, forcing the Hatters to go three-up and three-down to end the game.
With the win, Alabama improves to 14-3 on the year. Antione Jean got the win improving his record to 2-0. The Crimson Tide will begin SEC play this weekend when the travel to Fayetteville to take on the Arkansas Razorbacks. Friday’s game against Arkansas will be Alabama’s first SEC game since May 18, 2019.