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

Alabama baseball defeats Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders to open midweek play

CW/ Jennifer Stroud
Alabama pitcher Greg Farone (#26) pitches against Middle Tennessee on Feb. 20 at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.

In its first midweek game of the 2024 season, the Alabama Crimson Tide welcomed the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders to Sewell-Thomas Stadium, defeating them 6-1.  

Left-hander Greg Farone got the start for the Crimson Tide. The New York native settled in fast, working a one-two-three inning striking out two and getting a groundout to Justin Lebron at short, who made the easy throw to first base. Middle Tennessee’s starter Cole Torbett returned the favor as the southpaw struck out three despite allowing a two-out single to Ian Petrutz.  

Farone’s afternoon ended leaving a runner on first base and two outs down. The lefty worked five strikeouts and one walk across his 2.2 innings of work. Senior right-hander Zane Probst inherited the runner on first and got out of the inning keeping the game at zero apiece.  

“Greg Farone was great, and Zane Probst competed his tail off for us. Austin Morris was also great, and then Braylon Myers came in and was outstanding,” head coach Rob Vaughn said. “When you throw the ball like that, it gives your offense a chance when you’re trying to find your way a little bit, it gives you some time. This wasn’t the game where you go out and score 15 and bully someone off the field, but it was a really competitive game, and we’ll take the win.”  

Entering the game batting .500 in his last 12 at-bats, outfielder TJ McCants got the Crimson Tide offense going with his two-run home run down the right field line in the bottom of the third. He brought in second baseman Bryce Eblin, who reached first base on a walk. The hit marked McCants’ second home run in four games, a hot start for his Alabama career.  

The Blue Raiders answered right back, cutting the Crimson Tide lead in half with two outs in the top of the fourth. Middle Tennessee first baseman Trace Phillips sent a line drive into right field dropping just before Evan Sleight, scoring Blue Raider catcher Briggs Rutter from second to make it a 2-1 ballgame.  

In the bottom of the fifth, McCants hit a ground ball to first and brought home Eblin, who led off the inning with a triple. Although Alabama was unable to capitalize with runners at the corners with two outs. McCants’ RBI — his third of the night — extended the Crimson Tide lead to 3-1. 

“I think if we stay bought into that process, it’ll keep going,” McCants said when asked about his offensive performance.  

Starting off the home half of the sixth, Alabama threatened with zero outs off Mac Guscette’s and Camden Hayslip’s back-to-back walks. The Crimson Tide failed to cash them in, stranding both Guscette and Hayslip at first and third.  

Alabama extended its lead in the bottom of the seventh when Guscette reached first on a throwing error from Blue Raider third baseman Gabe Jennings. Petrutz came into score from second on the throwing error, increasing Alabama’s lead to 4-1.  

Eblin and Gage Miller went back-to-back in the bottom of the eighth to extend Alabama’s lead late. Eblin sent one over the right-field wall, and Miller’s was sent into left field. The two solo shots gave an insurance cushion to Alabama’s lead, making it 6-1 heading into the top of the ninth.  

“The first one I got quick pitched, and really I was just trying to hit a line drive and make good contact. … But you know I was happy it went out,” Eblin said when asked about his home run. 

Right-hander Braylon Myers shut the door on the Blue Raiders in the ninth inning, securing the Crimson Tide’s first midweek win of the season, defeating Middle Tennessee 6-1. 

The Crimson Tide will see the diamond tomorrow afternoon hosting Alabama State at “The Joe.” First pitch is slated for 4 p.m. CT.  

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