Baseball shuts out Southern Miss to extend perfect midseason record

Tzali Nislick, Staff Reporter

Alabama baseball extended its perfect record in midweek games this season behind another strong start from Jacob McNairy and a huge fifth inning. The Crimson Tide got it done over Southern Miss (19-12) with a 13-0 shutout Tuesday evening. 

McNairy put together another impressive start, twirling four-and-two-thirds shutout innings with four strikeouts. He lowered his ERA to 2.95 in midweek contests. Aside from a rocky start against Middle Tennessee State University on March 28, McNairy has been lights-out as the Crimson Tide’s primary Tuesday starter, allowing one run or less in three of his four such starts.  

“It’s just the same as pitching on the weekend. If you treat it differently, then you’re not going to like the results. Just stick to the process, go out there, throw all my pitches for strikes and put up zeroes,” McNairy said.  

Alabama (24-10) couldn’t get much going offensively early on, but it exploded for seven runs in the fifth inning. The rally was sparked by Colby Shelton’s 13th blast of the year. The freshman entered the evening in the midst of a four-game hitless drought, but got off the schneid with his 108 mph rocket into right field.  

“You just remind him that if you’re a .300 hitter, you don’t go 3-for-every 10. … There’s a lot of ebbs and flows,” Alabama head coach Brad Bohannon said. “The other teams have done a really good job, they’re paying attention to him, they’re attacking him differently now than they were five or six weeks ago. He’s a really mature kid. He doesn’t show it, when you’re around him you would have no idea if he went 4-for-4 or 0-for-4. He doesn’t change the way that he works. He’s somebody that we have a lot of confidence in.”  

First baseman Drew Williamson also had a productive night, tallying four hits to match his career high. He now has recorded double-digit hits in six of his last eight games and has 10 RBIs while batting .444 in that span.  

“Hitting is a momentum thing. You try to hit your stride and once you get going you usually roll on for a little bit, so any time you get a multi-hit game, you’re happy with that,” Williamson said. “You love to feel confident at the plate and have some confidence going into the weekend.” 

Next up for Alabama is a massive home series against Auburn. The two rivals are tied at 4-8 in the SEC standings and are both currently just a game above Mississippi State and Georgia for the cutoff to qualify for the SEC Tournament at the end of May.  

“There’s definitely some extra juice flowing around it. That rivalry is built up, it’s big around the University. It doesn’t matter what sport you’re playing, it means a lot.” Williamson said. “We’re just trying to get on a roll and play our best baseball and we’ve got to beat them to do that.” 

First pitch is Friday, April 14, at 6 p.m. CT on SEC Network+.  

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