TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — No. 23 Alabama baseball (8-1) excelled on both the mound and in the batter's box on Wednesday in Sewell-Thomas Stadium, downing Troy 9-1.
"Good day for us at the park," Alabama coach Brad Bohannon said. "A lot of hard contact up and down the lineup. Fortunately Troy helped us some defensively but I think eight of our nine starters had at least one hit today.
"Not perfect — we need to continue to get better — but really glad to get a good win over a good Troy club and to be 8-1 and excited to get on the road this weekend."
Junior right-handed pitcher Connor Shamblin started on the mound for the Crimson Tide. Shamblin was supposed to start in Tuesday's game at UAB, but poor weather resulted in the cancelation of the game and Shamblin's start was moved to Wednesday against the Trojans (7-2) instead.
Shamblin needed the reps on the mound, and it paid off for Alabama. In 69 pitches, Shamblin pitched 5.2 innings, allowed no runs off of four hits, walked none and struck out six batters.
After allowing a home run in the sixth, redshirt-senior right-hander Will Freeman came in to replace Shamblin. Freeman pitched just as well, allowing just one hit in 3.2 innings pitched.
"I thought Connor Shamblin and Will Freeman both were just outstanding. Just pounded the strike zone — nine innings, no walks — both of them commanded their fastball to both sides and threw the secondary stuff for a strike and then just really set the tone for us."
For the Alabama offense, the Crimson Tide started things off with a leadoff home run by sophomore second baseman Peyton Wilson in the bottom of the first. The solo home run was his third leadoff home run so far this season.
Alabama would have to wait until the bottom of the third before it could add any more runs. In fact, Alabama added six runs in the third, including back-to-back home runs from redshirt-sophomore catcher Sam Praytor and sophomore third baseman Zane Denton.
Troy finally got on the board in the top of the sixth with a solo home run from senior shortstop Drew Frederic, but it was the only run of the game for the Trojans.
The Crimson Tide added two more runs in the bottom of the eighth, but Troy was unable to mount a comeback. A circus catch by Andrew Pinckney over the right field wall for the second out of the ninth didn't inspire any need for a comeback by the Trojans.
"It was absolutely unbelievable," Praytor said of Pinckney's catch after the game. "Literally when it happened I thought 'That has to be No. 1 on SportsCenter Top 10' and if it's not, then we're doing something wrong."
On the day, the Alabama bats managed 12 hits, with three of those hits going for doubles and three more landing over the fence for home runs. Through nine innings, Alabama batters were only struck out a total of four times.
Shamblin was credited with the win (1-0) for Alabama while Troy left-hander Kyle Gamble falls to 0-1. Freeman (1) picked up the save for the Crimson Tide.
Alabama will now take Thursday off before a trip to Charleston, S.C. to take on the College of Charleston in the Crimson Tide's first weekend road series of the season.