Planking, Tebowing and Gangam Style have all been shoved to the side by the breakneck pace of the Internet fads, this time for Harlem Style.
Crimson Chaos, a student-run organization supporting Alabama athletics other than football (most notably basketball, like these guys), joined the fad by filming this video in the first half of Alabama’s 68-58 win over South Carolina (relive Daily Bama Blog coverage of the win by clicking here).
I will reserve comment and revert back to my previous thoughts on the situation.
I think I’m witnessing my first ever Harlem Shake. I think. I’m so confused.
In a further update, some University students tried to organize a campus-wide filming of the Harlem Shake to take place on the steps of Gorgas Library on the Quad at 4 pm on Monday, but were shut down by UAPD.
Cops just showed up to Gorgas and unplugged the music. #HarlemShake
Cary Baxter was one of several breakout players for Alabama in the opening series. (Photo courtesy of UA athletics)
Alabama baseball coach Mitch Gaspard goes about things a certain way and is dedicated to it. So much so that it is almost the Gaspard way to try out as many combinations as possible early in the season while searching for the perfect lineup.
After opening weekend, however, his will may be tested: he might have already figured out his best lineup.
Concerns were raised as three true freshmen: shortstop Mikey White, second baseman Kyle Overstreet and center fielder Georgie Salem, were thrown out as not only starters, but top three hitters on Opening Day.
They responded with a combined 12-35 slate at the plate (.343), throwing in six RBI and a .421 on-base percentage.
“The freshmen stood out this weekend,” said third baseman Kenny Roberts, who moved to third base from second base for this year. “They came out and played hard. They did what the coaches and older guys ask them to do, and I feel like as the season goes along, they’ll get even better.”
A hole could have been filled at first base, as well, as sophomore Cary Baxter started at first twice and designated hitter once to lead the team with a .625 batting average and .825 slugging percentage.
“Baxter’s really filling a need for us right now,” Gaspard said. “He had a huge weekend, both RBIs, had a lot of hits, extra-base hits. He’s a guy that we knew he was capable of this, but didn’t get many at-bats last year and now it looks like he’s ready.
“Right now, it’s Baxter. There’s still some on-going competition, and the team is very aware of that. But right now, the last couple days, we’ve had a solid lineup, one through nine.”
Another bright spot popped up in the Tide’s bullpen in the long-awaited return of Tucker Hawley. Hawley missed the entire 2012 season with an arm injury and pitched 2.1 innings of relief, giving up two hits and one run.
“We kind of shoved him right into the fire there with the bases loaded and he was able to induce a double-play ball and pitch another solid inning,” Gaspard said. “I thought, first of all, he showed a lot of the same stuff you saw before. I thought he didn’t pitch timid, I thought he went out there and attacked the zone. The one thing we want to see with him is his velocity come back. Today, he was probably around 87 or 88 and we’d really like to see him get in that 90 range.”
The velocity issue is one he has been working on for months now and says he is close to resolving.
“It’s getting there,” Hawley said. “I’m working out some kinks with mechanics, but when you get out on the field, you have to throw that on the backburner and attack the hitter.”
For now, Gaspard is simply thrilled to have Hawley back on the mound in any role.
“He’s going to be a good piece wherever he ends up, starter or reliever,” Gaspard said. “Right now it’s just about building his innings back up and getting his velocity where it needs to be.”
Hawley added, “I was a little amped up, it’s always good to play in front of a crowd. My first warmup pitch I almost busted my butt. Like I said, I was a little amped. I just wanted to really let one go and calm down from there.”
Each Monday for the duration of the Alabama baseball and softball seasons, DailyBamaBlog.com correspondent Brett Hudson will track outstanding individual performances with the Star Series. Three players from each team will get 1-star, 2-stars or 3-stars with a running season tally.
Click here to read more on Alabama’s 3-game sweep of VMI in the opening weekend.
3-star Player: Sophomore first baseman Cary Baxter. Baxter now leads the team in the following categories after the first weekend: batting average with .625, slugging percentage with .875, total bases with seven and on-base percentage with .692. Baxter is also tied for the team lead in RBI with four and doubles with two.
2-star Player: Freshman shortstop Mikey White. White’s first three games as a collegiate baseball player saw him go 6-11 from the plate with three RBI, two runs scored and an on-base percentage of .643. White paired with second baseman Kyle Overstreet to turn two double plays on Opening Day and four throughout the weekend. White also stole three bases on three attempts.
1-star Player: Senior catcher Brett Booth. Booth was 4-8 and scored a team-high six runs in the three-game series in eight times on base. Booth led the team with four walks and also had four RBI.
Click here to read more on Alabama’s 5-0 weekend in Fort Myers, Fla.
3-star Player: Junior shortstop Kaila Hunt Hunt hit for power well over the weekend, getting six extra-base hits on a 7-13 hitting weekend, slugging for 1.308. Hunt hit two home runs, six RBI and scored six of Alabama’s 23 runs in the five wins.
2-star Player: Center fielder Haylie McCleney. McCleney continued her strong freshman campaign by batting 8-17, scoring six runs and stealing six bases for the Tide. McCleney leads the team in stolen bases this season with 11 and has yet to be caught stealing.
1-star Player: Second baseman Danae Hays. Hays hit a walk-off two-run double to push the Tide to a win over Georgia Southern on her way to batting 6-10 with one double, six RBI and a home run.