Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Fall ball: Baseball’s new faces, old rivals and fall takeaways

CW / Jennifer Stroud
Alabama baseball player Hagan Banks (#36) pitching against Auburn during the Fall Exhibition on Oct. 13 in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Across the college baseball world, the six-week fall ball season gave teams a sneak peek as to what to expect in the spring season.  

In Tuscaloosa, there is a new head coach, an almost entirely new coaching staff and a new look for the Crimson Tide on the diamond. Head coach Rob Vaughn entered the fall ball practices, inner squad games and exhibitions for the first time as the Alabama head coach. 

After two exhibition games against SEC rivals the Auburn Tigers and two exhibition games against the ACC’s Florida State Seminoles, the Fall World Series ended the Crimson Tide’s fall season. 

In a seven-inning doubleheader on Oct. 13, the Crimson Tide hosted the Tigers at Sewell-Thomas Stadium for its first fall exhibit of the year.  

“We ran out in game one what we thought our starting lineup would be if we had played today,” Vaughn said  

In a dominating performance from Vaughn’s squad, the Crimson Tide swept the doubleheader from the Tigers, winning game one by a score of 5-2. In their first at-bats in an Alabama uniform, infielder Gage Miller and outfielder Ian Perutz had back-to-back home runs. Outfielder T.J. McCants also sent one over the fence with a three-run home run later in the first.   

Game two showed an offensive rout of the Tigers and a one-hitter from the Crimson Tide pitching staff, shutting out the Tigers by a final of 10-0. Outfielder Camden Hayslip started for the Crimson Tide in game two and was accountable for six of the 10 Alabama runs. A two-run home run and a grand slam capped off an impressive performance overall by the Crimson Tide offense. 

“I’m really happy for the guys, and the way they went about their stuff. They’ve been working really hard and for some of it to show up tonight and see some of the fruits in their work has been fun,” Vaughn said. 

The Crimson Tide welcomed Florida State to “The Joe” on Oct. 25 in another fall exhibition game.  

The dominant arms of the Crimson Tide pitching staff stood out in game one. Pitching ace and 2024 MLB draft hopeful Ben Hess started for the Crimson Tide, with Riley Quick starting for the Crimson Tide after the midpoint break. The Alabama pitching staff accumulated 16 strikeouts over 12.0 innings while only allowing four earned runs.  

It was not just the pitching staff that performed well against the Seminoles; Hayslip went deep for his third home run of the fall season, along with newcomer outfielder Evan Sleight and infielder Bryce Eblin also going deep against Florida State.  

“These fall exhibitions showed us what we’re capable of doing, especially after playing really good teams like Auburn and Florida State,” Vaughn said. “It also showed us what we have got to get better at and that’s the point of these. You want to play these teams that help you to see where you have got to grow, and I think this group’s got a high upside, they’ve got a lot of confidence in what they’re doing.” 

Coming off the two fall exhibitions hosting the Tigers and Seminoles, the final stage of the Crimson Tide’s fall ball season commenced. To end the fall, Alabama played a Crimson vs. Gray Fall World Series in a best-of-three setting.  

After a making it to the fourth round of the SEC tournament, winning the Tuscaloosa regional and advancing to its first super regional in 13 years, the Crimson Tide ended its historic 2023 season just two wins away from reaching the capstone of college baseball; the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska. 

Under a new head coach, the Crimson Tide has high expectations for a promising 2024 season. Crimson Tide fans will have to wait until the spring to see the Crimson Tide take the diamond.  

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