TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama used the long ball once again as three home runs powered the Crimson Tide to a 9-5 win over McNeese on Sunday afternoon at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. The getaway day victory clinched the series sweep for UA.
The duo of Owen Diodati and Zane Denton homered for a second consecutive day with Drew Williamson joining in with a roundtripper of his own. Diodati finished with a team-high four RBI thanks to his grand slam while adding two runs to match Denton for the team-high mark in that category. Denton’s homer came as part of a 3-for-4 effort that included two RBI to go with his pair of runs. Williamson was the first of the group to homer, sending a shot over the wall in right to help him post an RBI and one run scored.
Dylan Smith turned in a solid start for the Crimson Tide as the junior worked 4.2 innings, allowing two runs on five hits and a walk with a career-high five strikeouts. He was followed by freshman Grayson Hitt (1-0) who picked up the win thanks to his 3.0 innings of work that included four strikeouts. Brock Guffey came in for the final 1.1 frames and recorded two punchouts to pick up the save.
From Head Coach Brad Bohannon
“I couldn’t be more pleased with this first weekend. First thing I’d say is hats off to McNeese. Justin (Hill) does a great job with that team. They’re older. They have really competitive at-bats, they don’t chase a lot and they make you earn everything you get. They don’t walk you or hit you and they defend the field well. We had to earn everything that we got, and (McNeese) played way too well for three games to be 0-3, but I think that says something about our club.”
How It Happened
- T2 | A walk and a single put runners on the corners to start the inning for McNeese. A sacrifice bunt then crossed the man from third and got the Cowboys on the board first. (1-0, McNeese)
- B2 | Alabama countered quickly, posting a run in the home half of the second. A leadoff walk to Peyton Wilson followed by a Zane Denton single put runners at first and third. William Hamiter then sent a ball to deep center for the sacrifice fly to set things even at one apiece. (1-1)
- B4 | Drew Williamson began the inning with a solo home run for his first homer of the season. Caden Rose delivered a second run in the inning two outs later when the freshman singled through the left side to bring a man home. (3-1, Alabama)
- T5 | McNeese used a two-out single to put a man on. The Cowboys then delivered with a double, single and another double in three consecutive at-bats to cross three runs and retake the lead. (4-3, McNeese)
- B5 | The Crimson Tide countered in the home half once again, taking the lead for the second time on the day. With one on, Denton homered over the wall in left to push the Tide in front by one. (5-4, Alabama)
- B6 | With the bases loaded, Owen Diodati brought everyone home with a grand slam to left. (9-4, Alabama)
- T8 | McNeese got one run back thanks to a bases-loaded walk. (9-5, Alabama)
- The Crimson Tide has won 17 straight in February and owns a 30-2 mark in the month under head coach Brad Bohannon.
- Dylan Smith made his second career start and his first on the weekend as a member of the Crimson Tide.
- Smith struck out a career-high five batters across his 4.2 innings of work. His previous high for punchouts was three which he had against UT-Martin last season on Feb. 25.
- Brock Guffey picked up his second career save and his first since his initial collegiate appearance against Valparaiso on Feb. 18, 2018 (46 previous appearances).
- Zane Denton and Owen Diodati each homered for a second consecutive day. The last Tide player to homer in back-to-back games was Jackson Tate last season from Feb. 19-21.
- Diodati’s grand slam was the Crimson Tide’s first since Tyler Gentry hit a grand slam in game one of the doubleheader with South Carolina on April 5, 2019.
- Drew Williamson homered for the first time this season.
- The three home runs were Alabama’s most in a single game since the offense produced four against South Alabama on March 3 of last season.
- Alabama homered twice in each of the first two games and three times today. The Tide recorded two-or-more home runs in five games last season and tallied at least one homer in 13 of 17 games during the 2020 campaign.
- The Tide offense recorded multiple home runs in back-to-back-to-back games for the first time since 2018. Alabama had three homers at Arkansas on April 28 and followed with two roundtrippers a day later against the Razorbacks. The offense then posted two homers in the Crimson Tide’s next game on May 4 against Mississippi State.
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Alabama now takes to the road for the first time this season as the Crimson Tide travels to Jacksonville State on Tuesday, Feb. 23. The in-state pairing is set for a 4 p.m. CT first pitch at Rudy Abbott Field.
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