The Alabama Crimson Tide baseball team completed its sweep of Ole Miss on Friday, winning the first game 12-2, and following it up with a 5-1 win in the night game.
Game one was set for a 2 p.m. first pitch, and the outcome was revealed not long after. Alabama used a first inning double by Andrew Pinckney and a pair of homeruns from Colby Shelton and Caden Rose in the second to jump out to a quick 6-0 lead.
A two-run third inning grew the Crimson Tide lead to 8-0, and the question became whether or not Alabama could end the game early via the run-rule. Ole Miss struck in the fifth on a Calvin Harris sacrifice fly, then again in the seventh on a Jacob Gonzalez solo homerun, and the lead was cut to six.
With the score 8-2 going into the bottom of seventh, Alabama looked to end it right there, and that they did. Bryce Eblin scored on a wild pitch, then a Drew Williamson single scored Caden Rose to make it 10-2 Alabama. An Andrew Pinckney groundball and fielder’s choice lead to another run being scored, and Dominic Tamez put the nail in the coffin, scoring Tommy Seidl on a groundout to end the game 12-2.
Garrett McMillian made it easy for the Alabama offense, as the Tuscaloosa native gave up just one run off five hits in five and two-thirds innings, striking out three and walking three as he collected his third win of the year, finishing the season at 3-2.
The second game of the day was a little closer, with Alabama needing a late-inning rally to get past the Rebels 5-1.
Another good start on the mound from senior Jacob McNairy helped keep Alabama in a 1-1 tie for most of the night. McNairy went five and two-thirds, giving up just one run off five hits and striking out six, while walking two.
A Kemp Alderman single scored the first run of the game for Ole Miss in the third, but Alabama had a quick response in the form of a Bryce Eblin homerun to tie the game in that same inning.
Aidan Moza came in to pitch for Alabama in the fifth and held the Rebels offense to just two hits and no runs, as the lefty earned his third win of the year after going the final three and one-third innings.
With the pitching staff doing their job, the offense got it going in the eighth with a Tommy Seidl two-out single to score William Hamiter and give Alabama a 2-1 lead. The next batter, William Hamiter, crushed a ball into the bullpen in right-center field that plated three runs and put the game out of reach at 5-1.
The sweep of Ole Miss means Alabama will finish the season 38-17, and 16-14 in the SEC. It is the Crimson Tide’s first winning season in the SEC since 2014, and the better news is the fact that since the NCAA Tournament expanded in 1999, every SEC team that won more than 15 conference games has got to the tournament.
With a tournament bid being all but certain for Alabama, they are playing their best baseball at the best time. They are 8-2 in the final ten games, a record that spans the time since assistant Jason Jackson took over as the interim head coach. Series wins against No. 5 Vanderbilt and Texas A&M, followed by this sweep of Ole Miss, has put Alabama in the exact situation you would want to be in going into postseason play.
The Crimson Tide will now set its sights on Hoover, Alabama and the SEC Baseball Tournament, set to kick off on May 23. Matchups are TBD.