Alabama Baseball Weekly Report – March 15, 2021

(Games from March 8-14)

Overall Record: 14-3 (11-2 at home | 3-1 on the road)

SEC Record: 0-0

Record Last Week: 4-1 (4-1 at home)

Streak: Won 1

Last Week’s Results (4-1):

Tuesday, March 9 – Defeat South Alabama, 11-8

Wednesday, March 10 – Defeated Jacksonville State, 7-2

Friday, March 12 – Lost to Stetson, 2-4

Saturday, March 13 – Defeated Stetson, 4-3 (12)

Sunday, March 14 – Defeated Stetson, 9-4

This Week’s Schedule (All Times Central)

Tuesday, March 16 – at Troy (8-8/Sun Belt), Riddle-Pace Field, 6 p.m. CT

Friday, March 19 – at #1 Arkansas (12-1/SEC), Baum-Walker Stadium, 6:30 p.m. CT

Saturday, March 20 – at #1 Arkansas (12-1/SEC), Baum-Walker Stadium, 6:30 p.m. CT

Sunday, March 21 – at #1 Arkansas (12-1/SEC), Baum-Walker Stadium, 2 p.m. CT

Team Notes

Alabama wrapped up the week at 4-1 overall to push the 23rd-ranked Tide’s win total to 14 on the season, matching LSU, Tennessee and Texas A&M for the most wins by a Division I baseball team so far this season. The Crimson Tide first downed South Alabama on Tuesday followed by a win over Jacksonville State on Wednesday. Alabama then came away victorious, 2-1, in a three-game weekend series with Stetson.

Owen Diodati recorded his third grand slam of the season, this one in walkoff fashion as the sophomore’s roundtripper led Alabama to an 11-8 win over South Alabama on Tuesday night at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. The Crimson Tide and Jaguars traded runs all night with South carrying an 8-6 lead into the bottom of the ninth. Down to a final chance, Alabama used two hits and a pair of errors to score one and load them up for Diodati, with the sophomore sending a ball deep into the student section for the grand slam and walkoff win.

Alabama used another solid start from Connor Shamblin to earn a 7-2 win over Jacksonville State on Wednesday evening in Tuscaloosa to complete the 2021 home-and-home sweep of the Gamecocks. Shamblin was reliable once again, posting a career-long 6.0 innings of work and allowing just one run on three hits to pick up his second win of the season. Shamblin did not issue a walk while striking out six to match his career-high total before handing the ball over to his bullpen. Alabama was led at the plate by William Hamiter, who finished 3-for-5 with a double, two RBI and a run scored.

The Tide’s comeback effort came up short on Friday evening as UA fell to Stetson, 4-2, in Tuscaloosa. Alabama was no-hit through eight innings and trailed 4-0 heading to the bottom of the ninth. Drew Williamson began that final frame with a single to left. He came home in the next at-bat when Zane Denton sent a home run deep over the visitor’s bullpen in right-center to cut the lead in half. A single from Diodati and a two-out double from Andrew Pinckney brought the go-ahead run to the plate but a 6-3 groundout ended the Tide’s comeback. Alabama starter Tyler Ras was handed the hard-luck loss as his defense failed him, committing a season-high four errors on the night. The four miscues played a part in his four runs allowed – only one of which was earned – across his 5.0-plus innings of work.

Alabama walked it off in extras on Saturday against Stetson, downing the Hatters, 4-3, in 12 innings. The two teams were knotted up at three apiece through regulation. The Crimson Tide got runners on in the 10th and 11th but were unable to capitalize on the opportunities until the 12th. Hamiter began the 12th with a leadoff single. Sam Praytor followed with a walk to put two on with no outs, creating a sacrifice bunt situation for Williamson. The Tide cleanup hitter dropped down a perfect sac bunt that was fielded by the Stetson pitcher, but an errant throw sent the ball into right field and allowed Hamiter to come all the way in for the game-winning run. UA starter Dylan Smith was stellar, tossing a career-long 8.0 innings in the start. The junior allowed three runs on six hits and a walk with a career-high tying 10 strikeouts. He retired the final 10 batters he faced before handing the ball over to Chase Lee. The Tide closer picked up his fourth win of the year with a season-long 4.0 innings of scoreless, hitless baseball that included four strikeouts. Lee picked up right where Smith left off, retiring the first six batters he faced to help UA post a stretch of 16 straight retired from the sixth through the 10th inning to push it to extras for the eventual Alabama win.

A seven-run third inning proved to be more than enough for the win as Alabama downed Stetson, 9-4, on Sunday afternoon for the series-clinching win. The Hatters got out front for a third straight game, crossing a run in the top of the first, but that would be the last time Stetson held a lead on Sunday. The Crimson Tide answered with a seven-run third inning to put the game out of reach. Stetson battled for two in the fourth and one in the seventh, but a two-run eighth by UA ensured the win. Eight of the Tide’s nine starters recorded a hit on the day with five of those eight posting multi-hit efforts. Hamiter and Pinckney led the charge with three-hit efforts. Hamiter went 3-for-4, including a two-RBI double, and added one walk while Pinckney finished 3-for-4 with an RBI, one run and a stolen base. Pinckney’s stolen base was one of the Tide’s season-high six on the afternoon. Antoine Jean claimed his second win of the season. The sophomore worked 6.0 innings, allowing three runs (one earned) on four hits and two walks with a career-high tying six strikeouts.