HOOVER, Ala. – Alabama baseball opened the first round of the SEC Tournament with a 4-0 shutout victory over the Kentucky Wildcats.
Andrew Pinckney set the tone for the game in the second inning, throwing out Devin Burkes at home on an absolute rope from right field to keep the Wildcats off the scoreboard early.
“You could tell they were trying to scrap for runs, so everybody knew he was going to go home and I just wanted to make a good throw and I did,” Pinckney said on throwing out a guy at home.
Pinckney then turned that into fireworks of his own with the bat hitting an oppo-taco two run home run to right center field. Pinckney would go on to add another RBI on an error and finish the game 2-4 with three-RBI.
“It was a pretty special performance,” said Kentucky Head Coach Nick Mingione on Pinckney’s performance.
The Tide were able to get Kentucky starter Darren Williams out of the ball game in the fifth and put together some good at bats against him, getting five huge hits.
Ed Johnson came through in the eighth on a RBI-single after a two-out rally from Pinckney and Colby Shelton to give the Tide an insurance run. Johnson had a solid day at the dish going 2-4 with one-RBI.
Hunter Furtado got his second start of the season and had trouble with command early, but was able to get through five innings tallying two-K and earned the all-important pitcher’s win. It marked his first win on the season, moving his record to 1-1.
“Huge start from Furtado just really wanted to get two or three innings and got a little more then we bargained with him,” said Alabama interim head coach Jason Jackson on Furtado’s start.
The Tide’s bullpen continued to be dominant and got two innings out of Kade Woods, who had one K – which stranded two in the seventh. They also got a good outing from Alton Davis II, who pitched two innings, struck out two and continues to be a shutdown closer.
With the win Alabama most likely secures a regional host and moves to 39-17 on the year. The Tide will return to action in round two tomorrow at 4:30 CST against the one-seed Florida Gators.
Follow Nicholas Elliot on Twitter @Nelliot2003.