Photo by Davida Franklin from The Crimson White
By Cooper Huskey
TUSCALOOSA Ala. — In stark contrast to the high scoring first game of a double header on Saturday, Alabama eked out a 1-0 win over Wright State to complete the sweep and improve their record to 7-1. This game was highlighted by some fantastic pitching by both teams.
Dylan Smith was the star of the game for the Tide on Saturday. He pitched a scoreless 5.2 innings and only gave up one hit. Smith also struck out seven batters bringing his season total to 12 strikeouts, which is good enough to lead the team. Smith did walk 3 batters while he was on the mound, but he was able to recompose himself during the game and make sure Wright State could not exchange the free passes for runs. Every runner Smith let on was left stranded on base.
Smith wasn’t the only Crimson Tide pitcher who was on fire though. In the middle of the sixth, Landon Green was brought in relief of Smith to close out the game. He pitched the final 1.1 innings and preserved the shutout for Alabama. Green ended the sixth inning with a successful pickoff attempt of the runner on first left by Smith. In the seventh, Green would get a strikeout, give up a single to right field, and then strikeout the next two batters to end the game and give Alabama victory.
Green would get the win as the pitcher of record instead of Smith because Alabama’s bats were uncharacteristically quiet in the second game of the double header. In the first game on Saturday, the Crimson Tide recorded eight runs off nine hits. In the second game, Alabama would only get one run off five hits. This is in part due to great pitching from Wright State pitcher Jake Schrand. While Schrand was the losing pitcher of record, he struck out eight batters in five innings of work. He allowed five hits to the Crimson Tide, yet Alabama could not find a way to bring them home. The Crimson Tide left seven runners stranded on base throughout the whole game.
In the sixth inning, Alabama would finally be awarded for their patience. The leadoff batter, Drew Williamson, fouled off a couple of pitches to end up getting walked to first. Sam Praytor then stepped up to bat and fired a double to right center to send Williamson home, scoring the first and only run of the game. The crowd was ecstatic to finally see a run scored in this game because it meant that this game might not go into extra inning like the first game did.
Alabama’s next game will be Wednesday, March 3 against Troy at the Joe. The Tide did have a game scheduled for Tuesday, March 2 at UAB, but that game has been canceled due to weather.