Baseball: Big first inning lifts Tide over Vols
by Staff reports
TUSCALOOSA -- Alabama pounded out season-high 20 hits in a 15-1 win over Tennessee at home Sunday afternoon.

Alabama took two of three in the Southeastern Conference series, which opened the league season for both teams.

The Crimson Tide (11-9, 2-1) gave up a run in the top of the first inning but answered with eight in the bottom half. The Tide sent 14 batters to the plate and keyed their highest scoring game of the season and most runs scored since 2010.

"I told the team, you have to win games a lot of different ways,” Tide head coach Mitch Gaspard said. “Obviously, today was one of those rare commodities where you score eight runs in the first inning. What I was most proud of the team today was that after the eight runs, we kept playing and our guys had constant pressure throughout the game.”

Freshman center fielder Georgie Salem paced the offensive production by going 3-for-5 with a career-high four RBIs. Senior catcher Brett Booth had four singles in six at-bats to set a new career high in hits. Freshman shortstop Mikey White reached base in four of five plate appearances, putting up a two-run double, a single, a walk and a hit by pitch. Senior third baseman Kenny Roberts went 2-for-4 with a single, a two-RBI double, a walk and two runs scored.

Sophomore pitcher Spencer Turnbull picked up his first win of the year in his fifth start for the Crimson Tide to move his record to 1-1. He worked seven innings, allowing one run, nine hits and two walks. Sophomore right-hander Jay Shaw and senior righty Trey Pilkington each turned in a scoreless and hitless inning, respectively, to finish out the game. Tennessee starting pitcher Andy Cox (1-2) was charged with the loss after lasting only 0.2 innings and allowing five runs.

"It was nice to get the good lead for Spencer and let him settle in," Gaspard said. "He was trying to get his confidence where it needs to be and it was nice for him to stretch out and get those seven innings in."

In the big first inning, Roberts was the first to reach base on a single to center field, and advanced to second on a wild pitch. After Ben Moore walked, Booth opened the scoring with an RBI single to right center. Austen Smith followed by reaching on a fielder’s choice, and Kyle Overstreet ripped his third double of the season down the left field line to score another. Cameron Carlisle, White and Andrew Miller each got hit by a pitch in the next three at-bats to force in Smith and Overstreet. The inning was capped off by Roberts’ two-run double in his second turn at the plate in the inning, providing the Tide with an 8-1 advantage.

The Crimson Tide returns to action Tuesday with a 6 p.m. game at Samford.
© 2013