Alabama Baseball Schools Harvard in Series Opener
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — 19 hits by Alabama baseball's lineup along with six scoreless inning pitched by freshman left-hander Connor Prielipp were the recipe for success Friday night, as the Crimson Tide defeated Harvard in lopsided fashion, 15-3.
Prielipp (3-0) picked up his third win of the season for Alabama with his six-inning effort in which he allowed only two hits, no runs, walked one and struck out nine.
The six innings was Prielipp's longest outing of the season thus far.
"[Prielipp] did a great job," Alabama coach Brad Bohannon said. "We're kinda gradually trying to build up his pitch count so I think he threw 78 today. When you have a freshman I'm really concerned that he's sharp in May so that's kind of why we've taken him a little bit slower.
"His stuff hasn't dropped off as we've extended him gradually. His velocity and his command in the fifth or sixth inning has been good so hopefully that'll continue to be a trend."
The Crimson Tide had a total of 19 hits in the game, led by a trio of batters who had three hits each in senior third baseman Brett Auerbach (3-for-6), freshman center fielder Peyton Wilson (3-for-6) and senior shortstop Kolby Robinson (3-for-6).
Sophomore first baseman Drew Williamson led the team in RBIs with three.
As if 15 runs wasn't bad enough, it could have been a lot worse: Alabama left 18 runners stranded.
"I think it just goes to show all the talent we have up and down the lineup," Robinson said. "It's awesome that you have confidence one through nine that the guy that's in the box is gonna get a hit so I think tonight kind of showed that."
After the first and second innings went by scoreless, the Crimson Tide put up seven runs in the bottom of the third, highlighted by two two-RBI singles by both Williamson and freshman center fielder Peyton Wilson.
Williamson had another RBI-single in the fourth, bringing junior right fielder Tyler Gentry across the plate for the run.
Auerbach added two more runs to the Crimson Tide's total in the bottom of the sixth with a two-RBI single to left.
Harvard was finally able to get on the board in the top of the seventh with a single to the left side by junior catcher Matt Thomas.
Alabama responded in kind and added four more runs in the bottom of the seventh. Two of those runs came off of a double down the left field line by junior right fielder Jackson Tate.
In the top of the eighth, the Crimson was able to register the only home run by either team with a deep shot over the left-center field wall, the deepest part of Sewell-Thomas Stadium. The home run by senior right fielder Jake Suddleson brought in two runs for Harvard, but it was too little too late.
The Crimson Tide added one more run in the bottom of the inning, but the Crimson was unable to rally in the ninth.
Alabama won the game 15-3.
"It was a really complete day for us," Bohannon said. "I was really really pleased. I think we had eight players that had multiple hits. A lot of hard contact up and down the lineup."
For Harvard, senior righty Kieran Shaw is credited with the loss. Shaw was responsible for seven runs off of seven hits in two innings pitched and registered three walks and three strikeouts.
With the win, the Crimson Tide moves to 10-0 on the season. Alabama is just one of three SEC teams remaining who are 10-0 overall.
Friday's game marked the first of the season for the Crimson, who now drops to 0-1.
Alabama resumes its series with Harvard on Saturday (2 p.m. CT, SEC Network+).
"Just a really complete effort for us," Bohannon said. "I'm really proud of our team and it'll be helpful if we can come out and do that again tomorrow."