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

Ownership, toughness, and grit: How Alabama baseball will look to get back into the NCAA postseason in 2024 

CW/ Jennifer Stroud
Alabama pitcher Ben Hess (#27) throws a pitch against Kentucky on Mar. 24, 2023, at Sewell-Thomas Stadium

Following its defeat to the Wake Forest Demon Deacons in the 2023 super regionals, the Alabama Crimson Tide will return to the diamond in 2024 with a new look. The team has all the makings of one that can go far in the postseason. 

In his first season as the Crimson Tide head coach, Rob Vaughn takes his talent from the Maryland Terrapins to Tuscaloosa, bringing with him members of his coaching staff and a plethora of fresh players from the transfer portal. 

“It’s a good group, man. … I think the biggest attribute these guys have outside of their talent is they really like to compete, that’s the one thing I really learned about them in the fall,” Vaughn said.  

With a majority of the 2023 roster leaving via the transfer portal or MLB draft, it will be important for Alabama to replace the talent lost with new talent coming in. Names such as outfielders Evan Sleight, Ian Perutz, TJ McCants and Coleman Mizell; left-handed pitcher and infielder Kade Snell; and infielder Gage Miller will all enter their first season in Tuscaloosa. Entering from the transfer portal, they will soon become household names to Crimson Tide fans.  

“Every day we compete a lot, and I think that’s one thing that’s really important, no matter what we are doing, we are going to try to win,” Sleight said.  

Despite all the fresh faces, catcher Mac Guscette; outfielders Camden Hayslip and William Hamiter; infielder and outfielder Will Hodo; and pitchers Alton Davis II, Hagan Banks, Riley Quick, Ben Hess and Aidan Moza will return for the 2024 season and will all be important for Alabama. With the experience on the mound and behind the plate along with veterans returning in the outfield, Alabama will keep the magic from last year and will look to build on it.  

“Everyone has come in from different places, has different experiences,” Hess said. “I think we have more new guys than we have returners. We have a great culture out here ever since I’ve got here.” 

Vaughn said that the players hang the values of “ownership, toughness and grit on their hats,” and that the team will play with these values in the 2024 season. As a team that has immense talent and potential on its roster and an experienced coaching staff and backroom staff supporting it, this Alabama baseball team has the makeup to be a special team and make a run. With a hard conference schedule against SEC opponents along with taking care of its midweek games, Alabama can make an impressive resume for the NCAA tournament.  

Series against SEC rivals Georgia, Tennessee (home), Ole Miss (away), Mississippi State (away), LSU (home) and Auburn (away) will bring out the best in this group and will put it to the test to win games in big situations. 

 It will be important to see the Crimson Tide improve in its conference series as the season drags along through late April and early May to enter the SEC and NCAA tournaments riding high off their success and confidence in each other and their ability.  

“We don’t want to look too far ahead, but everyone’s dream is to go to Omaha and compete for a College World Series,” Guscette said when asked about the potential of this season. 

A bright and hopeful future lies ahead in Sewell-Thomas Stadium for the Crimson Tide this season, with Alabama having all the tools available to have a long, successful season. Opening day is slated for Friday against the Manhattan College Jaspers of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. First pitch will be at 4 p.m. CST.  

More to Discover