Coming into a season where more experience in the pitching staff from the year prior was a big plus, it was the freshman shortstop Mikey White the stole the show on Opening Day. White was 4-5 from the plate with two RBI and was part of two double plays as Alabama came back from a 3-0 deficit to beat the Virginia Military Institute Keydets 8-3.
Batting behind White was second baseman and fellow true freshman Kyle Overstreet, who went 1-4 in his collegiate baseball debut. A freshman relief pitcher got the win for the night, as Ray Castillo came in and pitched 3.1 shutout innings, surrendering only one hit and striking out five batters. Castillo relieved starter Spencer Turnbull, who gave up four hits and three runs, one earned, in 3.2 innings.
Alabama was able to capitalize on VMI’s bullpen for the comeback victory. Starting pitcher Reed Garrett held the Crimson Tide scoreless in four innings, then scored all eight runs in the next four, in which Garrett pitched only one.
Alabama will continue the series with VMI on Saturday at 2:05 p.m. before concluding the series with a Sunday tilt at 1:05 p.m., both games in Sewell-Thomas Stadium in Tuscaloosa.