TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – It was a cool Friday night in Tuscaloosa, but the Alabama baseball team’s offense was unaware. The Crimson Tide strung together 11 hits in its first Southeastern Conference matchup, defeating Tennessee 12-1.
The Volunteers plated one run in the first, but after that it was all Alabama.
Tennessee had a sloppy second inning and the Tide took full advantage. Kyle Overstreet reached on a fielding error. Cameron Carlisle had a blooper single and Andrew Miller was hit by a pitch. The Vols couldn’t get out of the jam, and Tennessee pitcher Zack Godley walked Georgie Salem to tie the game at one.
The Tide tacked on three more runs on a base-clearing, standup double by Ben Moore. Moore went 2-for-4 on the night.
Alabama added two more runs in the fifth. After singling to start the inning, Kenny Roberts eventually scored on a wild pitch. Brett Booth also hit a single after Roberts and would later score on a groundout by Overstreet to push the lead 6-1. Booth went 3-for-5 in the game.
After hitting Ben Moore and another single by Booth in the seventh, the Vols pulled Godley and was relied by Eric Martin. The Tide then completed a double-steal with Moore and Booth advancing to third and second, respectively. A single by Austen Smith and a balk by Martin would plate both players to give the Tide a 8-1 lead.
Alabama added four runs in the eighth, with the help of three errors by Tennessee. Wade Wass made his debut, reaching on one of the errors. Salem had his one hit of the game, a double. Salem, Booth, Overstreet and Mikey White each had RBIs in the inning.
Strong defense and an outstanding performance by pitcher Charley Sullivan also contributed to the Tide’s win. Sullivan pitched a complete game, allowing only one run, three hits and a walk. He threw 106 pitches and recorded seven strikeouts.
The second of a three game series continues Saturday with first pitched scheduled for 6:05 p.m.