Tag Archives: Spencer Turnbull

Star Series: Outfielders steal the show

Kayla Braud, the senior from Eugene, Ore., is one of four outfielders in this week's Star Series. (Photo courtesy of UA Athletics)

Kayla Braud, the senior from Eugene, Ore., is one of four outfielders in this week’s Star Series. (Photo courtesy of UA Athletics)

Each week for the duration of the Alabama baseball and softball seasons, Daily Bama Blog contributor Brett Hudson will track outstanding individual performances with the Star Series. Three players from each team will get 1-star, 2-stars and 3-stars with a running season tally.

Baseball

The No. 22 Crimson Tide compiled a 2-2 week, winning its midweek game against Southeastern Louisiana 9-1 before losing its three-game series with No. 9 Arkansas: 1-3, 0-6 and a 5-0 win on Sunday. Click here to read more on the Thursday loss to Arkansas, televised by ESPNU, and click here for more on the Saturday win that ended the sweep.

3-Star Player: Starting pitcher Spencer Turnbull. Turnbull finds his way into the Star Series for the second week in-a-row after another strong start, pitching seven innings in Alabama’s Saturday win over Arkansas. He pitched seven innings and gave up just five hits to the No. 9 team in the nation, while walking two batters and striking out four.

2-Star Player: Left fielder Andrew Miller. Miller led the team with a .364 batting average, going 4-11 from the plate and tying for the team-high with three runs scored. Miller also walked twice and batted one run in.

1-Star Player: Center fielder Georgie Salem. Salem went 6-17 from the plate (.353) on the week, leading the team with six hits. Salem started all four games and did not commit and error.

Season Tally

Ben Moore: 6 stars

Spencer Turnbull: 6 stars

Austen Smith: 5 stars

Brett Booth: 4 stars

Charley Sullivan: 4 stars

Georgie Salem: 4 stars

Cary Baxter: 3 stars

Kenny Roberts: 3 stars

Ray Castillo: 3 stars

Kyle Overstreet: 3 stars

Mikey White: 2 stars

Jon Keller: 2 stars

Andrew Miller: 2 stars

Jake Hubbard: 1 star

Softball

The Crimson Tide went 3-1 on the week, blowing out Jacksonville State in its line midweek game

3-Star Player: Catcher Molly Fichtner. Fichtner was named the SEC Player of the Week for her performances on the week, batting .778 with one home run and five RBI. Fichtner is the first player to start at catcher for Alabama in all three-games of a weekend series, previously competing with Chaunsey Bell and Jordan Patterson.

2-Star Player: Center fielder Haylie McCleney. McCleney went 7-12 from the plate (.583), throwing in five RBI, five runs scored and leading the team with four walks alongside Danae Hays.

1-Star Player: Left fielder Kayla Braud. Braud batted an even .500 (6-12), scoring a team-high six runs and stealing four bases.

Season Tally

Jackie Traina: 12 stars

Haylie McCleney: 11 stars

Kaila Hunt: 8 stars

Kayla Braud: 8 stars

Danielle Richard: 4 stars

Andrea Hawkins: 3 stars

Molly Fichtner: 3 stars

Jadyn Spencer: 2 stars

Keima Davis: 1 star

Danae Hays: 1 star

Leslie Jury: 1 star

Saturday win keeps Alabama from being swept at home by Arkansas

Georgie Salem had a good series against Arkansas, ending it with a 3-5 performance from the plate on Saturday. (Photo courtesy of UA Athletics)

Georgie Salem had a good series against Arkansas, ending it with a 3-5 performance from the plate on Saturday. (Photo courtesy of UA Athletics)


For the second outing in-a-row, the Crimson Tide rode a quality start from Spencer Turnbull to a desperately-needed win in the series-ending game.

Turnbull pitched seven innings and allowed just five hits and two walks in No. 22 Alabama’s 5-0 win over Arkansas to avoid being swept in its first action as a ranked team since April 2011 against No. 9 Arkansas.

“Obviously, it started on the mound with Spencer Turnbull, who was dynamite all day,” Alabama head coach Mitch Gaspard said.

The Tide’s offensive efforts on Saturday were jumpstarted by a solo home run from catcher Brett Booth to open the bottom of the second inning. Alabama went on to score three runs in the next three innings after Booth’s long ball.

“I think it was one of those things that lifts that burden off of your back,” Gaspard said. “As much as they dominated us from the pitching side in the first two games, it was nice to see Brett get us going. From there, I thought we started getting some good swings on some pitches and played well.”

The win followed a 6-0 loss on Friday and a 3-1 loss on Thursday which was televised by ESPNU. You can click here to read more about Alabama’s Thursday loss to Arkansas showcased by the Worldwide Leader.

Alabama (20-13, 8-4 SEC) will host two midweek games on Tuesday and Wednesday against Alcorn State before taking a weekend roadtrip to Oxford, Miss., for a three-game series with the Rebels.

Star Series: Wins produce big offensive performances

Each week for the duration of the Alabama baseball and softball seasons, Daily Bama Blog contributor Brett Hudson will track outstanding individual performances with the Star Series. Three players from each team will get 1-star, 2-stars and 3-stars with a running season tally.

Baseball

The Crimson Tide compiled a 2-2 record over the course of last week, beating Auburn two times in three games, 6-2 on Thursday and 2-0 on Saturday. UAB beat Alabama on Tuesday 1-0 and Auburn did so 6-3 on Friday. Click here to read more about the first two games of the Auburn series.

3-Star Player: Starting pitcher Spencer Turnbull. Turnbull’s lone appearance of the week, a start on Saturday, came through in the clutch with a complete game shutout that clinched the series win. Turnbull gave up just four hits and walked three batters in his nine innings.

2-Star Player: Starting pitcher Charley Sullivan. Sullivan’s start on Thursday won the series-opener against Auburn for the Crimson Tide, as Sullivan gave up five hits and one run while walking just one batter in his eight-inning start.

1-Star Player: First baseman Austen Smith. Smith led the team with a .333 batting average on the week (5-15) and led all players that had more than 10 at-bats in on-base percentage with .412, tying Georgie Salem. Smith had one home run and three RBI with his five hits while also not committing an error.

Season Tally:

Ben Moore: 6 stars

Austen Smith: 5 stars

Brett Booth: 4 stars

Charley Sullivan: 4 stars

Georgie Salem: 3 stars

Cary Baxter: 3 stars

Kenny Roberts: 3 stars

Ray Castillo: 3 stars

Kyle Overstreet: 3 stars

Spencer Turnbull: 3 stars

Mikey White: 2 stars

Jon Keller: 2 stars

Jake Hubbard: 1 star

Softball

The Tide managed its four-game road trip in the state of Texas with a 3-1 record, beating Houston in a midweek tilt 6-3 before beating Texas A&M 6-2 on Saturday and 4-1 on Sunday. The Aggies beat Alabama 3-2 on Friday. Click here to read more on the series-opening loss.

3-Star Player: Pitcher Jackie Traina. Traina led the team with six RBI and a 1.231 slugging percentage in the four games. Traina batted .308 (4-13) with all four hits being home runs. Traina also pitched three times, two of them in starts, and went 1-1. Traina pitched 15 innings, giving up eight hits and four runs, all earned, while walking eight batters and striking out 20.

2-Star Player: Left fielder Kayla Braud. The senior from Eugene, Ore., hit .429 on the week (6-14) with one run scored and two RBI. Braud’s .429 on-base percentage led all Alabama players with more than five at-bats and capitalized by stealing both bases she attempted to steal. She also made quite the defensive play during the weekend series.

1-Star Player: Pitcher Leslie Jury. Jury went 2-0 on the weekend in her two appearances, one of them a start. Jury pitched 10.2 innings, giving up four hits and two runs while walking 12 batters and striking out five.

Season Tally:

Jackie Traina: 12 stars

Haylie McCleney: 9 stars

Kaila Hunt: 8 stars

Kayla Braud: 7 stars

Danielle Richard: 4 stars

Andrea Hawkins: 3 stars

Jadyn Spencer: 2 stars

Keima Davis: 1 star

Danae Hays: 1 star

Leslie Jury: 1 star

Baseball set for revenge series with Auburn

Who: Alabama (16-10, 5-1 SEC) vs. Auburn (15-10, 0-6 SEC)

When: Thursday at 6:00 p.m., Friday at 6:00 p.m., Saturday at 3 p.m. Saturday game televised by CSS)

Where: Plainsman Park in Auburn, Ala.

Series Record: Alabama leads, 146-122. The two teams have split the last 14 meetings 7-7, including a 1-0 mark for Alabama in the SEC Tournament and a 0-4 mark in the last four Capital City Classics.

Starting Pitchers:
Friday: Alabama’s Charley Sullivan (Sr. RHP, 2-1, 2.92 ERA) vs. Auburn’s Conner Kendrick (Jr. LHP, 2-0, 1.46 ERA).
Saturday: Alabama’s Jon Keller (Soph. LHP, 3-2, 2.78 ERA) vs. Auburn’s Michael O’Neal (Jr. LHP, 4-2, 2.78 ERA).
Sunday: Alabama’s Spencer Turnbull (Soph. RHP, 2-1, 3.31 ERA) vs. Auburn’s TBA.

Noteworthy: The three-game series concludes a seven-game road trip for the Tide, on which Alabama is currently 3-1, 3-0 against SEC teams …. Auburn enters the series on a four-game losing streak, including being swept in both of their SEC series, one at home against Vanderbilt and the other on the road at LSU …. Alabama has more stolen bases (35) than Auburn has stolen base attempts (25) …. Alabama is batting .312 in its last 10 games, led by Kyle Overstreet’s .400 over that stretch …. Alabama coach Mitch Gaspard is 7-6 against Auburn entering the series, now coaching the Tide for his fourth season.

Solid numbers are not winning games for Alabama baseball pitching staff

Five and two-thirds innings with 12 strikeouts. Five innings with 11 strikeouts. Both statlines belong to Alabama starting pitchers, Charley Sullivan and Jon Keller, respectively, and both were losing efforts, despite the high strikeout numbers.

The starting pitching for the Crimson Tide (8-4) has fallen off for Alabama at the worst time, having lost three of its last four games before taking to the road to meet No. 5 Louisville (9-2) for a three-game series over the weekend.

“That’s been the one area that I was expecting more than what we’ve seen up to this point, and I think they know that,” Alabama coach Mitch Gaspard said. “They’ve got to take us deeper into games, the command has to improve from where it’s out right now.”

But improve to where? Gaspard has his own idea. But so do his pitchers.

“We’re 100 pitches, and if a guy is going really good, we can go a touch more than that,” Gaspard said. “But realistically, a good outing, what we’re looking for is 100 pitches in seven innings. A guy could go six innings and it could still be a good outing: it’s the control of the game that we’re looking for.”

Gaspard’s pitchers, however, have higher expectations for themselves.

“Seven innings, 80 pitches, 85,” Keller said. “You’ve got to get ahead early, attack with the fastball, throw two or three pitches for a strike, try not to show all of your pitches early, just keep attacking hitters. If they get a hit, that’s all right, just know you’re going to get the next guy.”

And maybe that is some of the problem. Keller theorizes that the desire to be so-close-to-perfect might be what has drove the pitching staff away from it.

“I try to be too fine sometimes instead of just going and getting that guy,” Keller said. “Sometimes you try to do too much.

“We’re throwing way too many pitches. I know with me, I’ll get up 0-2, 1-2 and try to be too perfect to get that strikeout and get back to 2-2, 3-2. Then that guy gets a hit and now you have to start over. Now you’ve thrown 25 pitches in an inning because you didn’t go after that guy.”

As the Tide travels to the Bluegrass State with the same staring lineup as it has had the previous two weekends (Sullivan, Keller and Spencer Turnbull, in that order), the staff hopes to get the expected, and needed, improvement with minimal changes.

“Same mindset. We know what we need to do to get better. We just have to stick to the plan,” Keller said.

Easier said than done, as the Cardinals sport a team on-base percentage of .423, almost 100 points higer than Alabama’s, and is 50-for-66 in stolen base attempts in just 11 games.

I want to try to get deep in the game, minimize my pitch count and attack the other team. That way we can get some momentum rolling and get things going for our hitters.

Alabama baseball series information, home vs. Tulane

When: Friday at 6:05 p.m., Saturday at 2:05 p.m., Sunday at 1:05 p.m.

Where: Sewell-Thomas Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Records: Alabama, 8-1; Tulane, 4-5.

Radio: Crimson Tide Sports Network (Chris Stewart and Lee Tracey)

Starting Pitchers:
Friday: Alabama’s Charley Sullivan (0-0, 2.89 ERA in 9.1 innings pitched) vs. Tulane’s Tony Rizzotti (1-1, 1.20 ERA in 15 innings pitched)
Saturday: Alabama’s Jon Keller (2-0, 2.70 ERA in 10 innings pitched) vs. Tulane’s Alex Byo (0-1, 1.35 ERA in 13.1 innings pitched)
Sunday: Alabama’s Spencer Turnbull (0-1, 3.72 ERA in 9.2 innings pitched) vs. Tulane’s TBA.

Noteworthy: Tulane enters the game losing four of its last five, while the Crimson Tide has won seven of its eight games this season …. Alabama leads the all-time series against Tulane 61-28 …. Alabama received votes in both the USA Today Coaches Poll and the NCBWA Top 30 Poll this week, but did not get ranked in either one.

Comeback win caps Opening Day for Alabama baseball

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Freshman shortstop Mikey White made a major impact in his first action as a collegiate baseball player. (Photo courtesy of UA Athletics)

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.