Alabama Baseball Makes Comeback Over Middle Tennessee
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — After falling behind early, Alabama baseball came roaring back with 15 hits and a solid bullpen effort to defeat Middle Tennessee 12-6 on Wednesday night at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.
Freshman catcher Peyton Wilson had a solid day in the batter's box, going 4-for-4 with four runs, one RBI and two doubles.
"The kind of the message that I told our team is you know we really believe in our offensive group and we don't feel like we're ever out of it," Crimson Tide coach Brad Bohannon said. "Casey [Cobb] did a great job of giving us a chance to get back in there. [We] scored five-straight innings which is hard to do.
"I thought that was a really good win for us for a day that we certainly weren't perfect."
Senior right-handed pitcher Will Freeman got the start on the mound for Alabama, but after allowing three runs off of three hits through one-and-two-thirds innings was replaced by senior reliever Casey Cobb.
Cobb (1-0) pitched four-and-one-third innings, allowing one run off of four hits, walking two and striking out three. The effort earned Cobb the win.
"Casey is somebody that had a really good season last year and is noticeably better this year," Bohannon said. "Somebody that we're really going to lean on going forward so he was huge."
For the Blue Raiders, junior righty Austin Cheeley (0-1) is credited with the loss.
After a scoreless first inning, MTSU roared in the top of the second with three runs to jump to an early lead.
In the bottom of the third, Wilson knocked a double to right-center field and was able to score his first run of the day after a grounder by senior second baseman Brett Auerbach led him home for the first Alabama run.
In the fourth, junior center fielder Jackson Tate tripled to left-center, bringing sophomore first baseman Drew Williamson in for the run.
After the Blue Raiders increased their lead by a run in the top of the fifth, the Crimson Tide had a huge five-run bottom of the inning to take the 7-4 lead. Wilson started the inning with a single, but advanced to second and then third due to a throwing error by the right fielder. Freshman shortstop Jim Jarvis then doubled to right center, with Wilson advancing home for his second run of the game.
After an RBI-double by freshman left fielder Owen Diodati sent Jarvis home, redshirt-sophomore catcher Sam Praytor hit a three-run home run down the left-field line to bring the total runs in the fifth inning to five.
In the bottom of the sixth, Wilson earned his third run of the day off of a double-play groundout by Auerbach.
The seventh inning was another big inning for the Alabama batters, with the Crimson Tide adding four more runs to its total. Wilson scored his fourth and final run of the day, singling to right field, stealing second and then being driven in once again by Jarvis.
MTSU added two runs in the top of the ninth, but it was too little too late for the Blue Raiders.
The Crimson Tide won 12-6.
Wilson's 4-for-4 performance is one of the best by a Crimson Tide batter this season. Wilson was quick to acknowledge that while he a solid day, the 15 hits generated by his teammates speaks to the confidence levels of everyone wearing an Alabama jersey.
"I just think as a group of especially hitters right now that's one part of it is we always know we're in the game," Wilson said. "We can swing with anybody I feel like and I think we showed that we can hit a lot today."
With the win, the Crimson Tide rises to 9-0. MTSU falls to 3-5 with the loss.
After a day off, Alabama returns to action on Friday in Tuscaloosa, taking on the Harvard Crimson in a three-game weekend series.
For Harvard, the series marks their opening weekend since the Crimson haven't played a single game yet this season.
"I'm sure [Harvard will] be fired up and will play very spirited," Bohannon said. "We will not get into a debate competition with 'em.
"We'll just stick to baseball."