Baseball’s offense stays hot in a pair of midweek wins

Tzali Nislick, Staff Reporter

Alabama’s bats continued their torrid season to pick up a pair of midweek wins, remaining perfect on the year. The Crimson Tide (14-0) beat a pair of in-state opponents, topping Samford University 11-6 on Tuesday, March 7, and Alabama State University 21-7 on Wednesday, March 8.  

It’s getting close to beating a dead horse at this point, but it’s tough to perform any better offensively than Alabama has this early in the season. The Crimson Tide hit five big flies over the fence against Samford (6-6), including two more from freshman sensation Colby Shelton, followed by four Crimson Tide homers against Alabama State (7-8). 

What makes the lineup’s production even more impressive is that seven different players went deep across both games. It’s been that way all season for Alabama, which has an absurd five qualified players with an OPS of 1.000 or higher. That doesn’t even include catcher Mac Guscette, who is third on the team in home runs and blasted one Wednesday night.  

“We kind of make jokes about it in the locker room with how much you can just mix and match with our lineup,” shortstop Jim Jarvis said. “Pretty much everyone’s going to be able to get the job done.” 

Two points of emphasis coming into the year for head coach Brad Bohannon were the need to both improve offensively and to up the intensity in midweek games. His group has accomplished these goals so far, averaging 16.8 runs per midweek game, compared to 10.2 runs per weekend game this year. Granted it’s a small sample size, but Alabama has executed how it was supposed to.  

“We’ve done a really good job in both of those areas. I think … a basic point of good coaching is you have a better chance to be good at things you make important,” Bohannon said.  

Parlaying the laser show against Samford with a dominant outing from Luke Holman is a recipe for success for the Crimson Tide. The sophomore right-hander tossed five hitless innings with 12 strikeouts and has solidified himself as an effective middle-of-the-week starter.  

“This was a great effort by our club tonight. I really liked the way we came out swinging the bats, scoring in five of the first six innings to take an 11-0 lead. You pair that with Luke Holman, who gave us an electric 5.0 innings of no-hit baseball,” Bohannon said Tuesday.  

Wednesday’s win also represented a milestone for Bohannon, earning victory No. 150 in his career. Predictably, he is not too consumed by the feat.  

“I really haven’t thought a lot about it. It’s crazy how fast it’s gone,” Bohannon said. “I’m really proud of the progress the program has made. We think it’s pretty obvious we need to take a step forward this year and we’re really confident that that is happening, but those are just numbers. I’m just worried about trying to get to 151 [wins].”  

Bohannon has the chance to do that Friday, March 10, in the first of a three-game set against Columbia University. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. CT on SEC Network+.  

Questions or comments? Email Blake Byler (Sports Editor) at [email protected]