Baseball sees ups and downs in first fall scrimmage against Mississippi State


CW / Morgan Gray

Alabama shortstop Jim Jarvis (10) smiles during a fall scrimmage between the Crimson Tide and the Mississippi State Bulldogs on Oct. 21 at Sewell-Thomas Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Tzali Nislick, Contributing Writer

Alabama baseball’s fall season kicked off Friday night, with back-to-back seven-inning scrimmages against Mississippi State University at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. The Crimson Tide took the first game by a final score of 7-3 but dropped the second game 4-0. 

It certainly looked like the first real game-action of the season for either team, with both sides combining for 21 walks. The Crimson Tide also struck out a combined 27 times across both games. Official stats were not kept, so these are unofficial numbers. 

“If you look at both teams, there were a lot of walks and a lot of strikeouts,” Alabama head coach Brad Bohannon said. “It’s harder to hit when you have a new pitcher every inning and these kids know they’re only throwing 15 pitches. I’m not too worried about it.” 

Despite pushing across seven runs in the first game, the Crimson Tide had no offense in the second half of the double-header. It failed to register a single hit and reached base just four times. Bohannon credited that to most of his older players seeing the field in the first game. 

“We played a lot of the older kids in the first game and Mississippi State’s got a great group of arms,” Bohannon said. “They’re a really impressive pitching staff.” 

It was not all bad for Alabama though, as they got production from a pair of key contributors from last season. Jim Jarvis went 2-for-3 with an RBI single to get the Crimson Tide on the board in Game 1. It is a positive sign for Alabama that he is already off to a hot start entering his senior year. The shortstop ranked fifth on the team among everyday players in hits with 59 and on base percentage at .367 as its usual leadoff hitter in 2022. 

Redshirt junior Andrew Pinckney collected three hits in game one, including a scorching two-run double down the left field line which proved to be the difference. Alabama will need both Jarvis and Pinckney to carry a heavy burden of the offense this season. 

“They’re really good players and those are guys we’re really counting on,” Bohannon said. “With older players, you just know what you’re getting. They’re so consistent and those two kids, their intangibles are every bit as strong as their physical ability and they’re going to be a big part of our success this year.” 

Presumed ace Garrett McMillan got the nod to start the first game. He pitched two innings and allowed one earned run on two hits and one walk, while striking out one Bulldog hitter. After a one-two-three first inning, McMillan ran into some trouble, loading the bases with no outs in the second frame. He induced a double play which brought in the one run and eventually escaped the jam. It was a mixed bag for the senior overall. 

“I didn’t think [McMillan] was as sharp as he will be this spring,” Bohannon said. “He was in a lot of deep counts and he’s at his best when he’s ahead in the count. [He] is the least of our worries, he’s going to have a great season.” 

One set of scrimmages, particularly the first ones of the year, is not the end-all-be-all for the Crimson Tide, and Bohannon acknowledged that this was just an opportunity to shake some rust off. 

“I thought it was a really good effort by our group,” Bohannon said. “It was good to get some nerves out. I thought some of the new kids looked a little tight, a little anxious. There are some things we can work on this next week before we go to Auburn on Friday.” 

Alabama travels to Auburn University for their next scrimmage on Friday, Oct. 28, at 6:30 p.m. CT.

Questions or comments? Email Austin Hannon (Sports Editor) at [email protected]