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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 takes 2 out of 3 against Ole Miss to secure its first road series win of the season

Courtesy of UA Athletics
Alabama baseball player Justin Lebron (1) slides into base against Ole Miss at Swayze Field in Oxford, MS on Thursday, Apr 25, 2024.

No. 23 Alabama baseball traveled to Oxford, Mississippi, over the weekend to take on Ole Miss in search of its first series win on the road this season. With the help of a couple good outings from the pitchers, alongside the offense, Alabama was able to accomplish this goal. 

Game 1: Alabama 12, Ole Miss 0 (F/7) 

Alabama kicked off the series with a 12-0 victory in seven innings. Lefty Greg Farone got the start for the Crimson Tide. 

Farone pitched a complete game shutout in seven innings while surrendering just six hits and did not allow a walk. To add to his performance, Farone struck out six Ole Miss batters. Farone’s start marked the first complete game in seven innings for Alabama since Adam Morgan in April 2011 against Tennessee. 

“Greg [Farone] made hitters miss, commanded the zone, and moved in and out well,” Crimson Tide head coach Rob Vaughn said. “His breaking ball had bite to it tonight and he had a feel for the changeup tonight. He was outstanding.” 

Designated hitter Kade Snell got the offense started with a single into right field to bring home shortstop Justin Lebron and put Alabama up 1-0.  

Alabama ran away in the top of the fourth inning with a nine-run inning to push the lead from one to 10 runs. Left fielder Ian Petrutz started the scoring party with a ground-rule double deep into left field to bring home two runs.  

After back-to-back singles, first baseman Will Hodo continued to pour on the offense with a three-run home run into right field to extend the lead to 6-0.  

After adding another run, catcher Mac Guscette continued the scoring in the fourth inning with a three-run blast to left to push the lead to 10-0. Guscette’s three-hit performance to start the series extended his hit streak to five games, including hitting a home run in three of his past four games. 

“The hitters gave us relentless at-bats. It was a heck of a job by our guys to understand the strike zone and stay with our plan on offense,” Vaughn said. 

Game 2: Ole Miss 9, Alabama 8 

Starting pitcher Ben Hess got the start in the second game of the series. The junior pitched four innings, gave up three hits with three earned runs, and walked four batters.  

Hess did his best to limit the Rebels offense with seven strikeouts in his outing. 

After trailing 3-0 after four innings, the Crimson Tide turned on the offense in what would be a back-and-forth shootout. Shortstop Justin Lebron started the scoring for Alabama after he sent a ball over the wall in left field to draw within two runs of Ole Miss. 

The offense continued to heat up in the top half of the fifth inning. After Lebron got an RBI single, Hodo gave Alabama its first lead of the game when he hit a three-run home run to put Alabama up 5-3.  

After the two teams traded blows in the bottom half of the fifth and the top of the sixth innings, the game was tied at 7 going into the bottom of the sixth.  

The Rebels ultimately put themselves in the driver seat for the rest of the night when they hit back-to-back home runs to take a commanding 9-7 lead. 

In the top of the seventh, Alabama cut the deficit to 1 after center fielder TJ McCants scored off a Guscette sacrifice fly, but the Crimson Tide could not muster up another run to complete the late comeback bid. 

“We just put too many guys on for free and weren’t able to get a zero there in those middle innings,” Vaughn said. “After we scored to take the lead [in the fifth], they responded with four and then we pumped two up there to tie it up, but they answered immediately and got two back. I didn’t love the execution, but the fight was there, and the competitiveness was there.” 

Game 3: Alabama 10, Ole Miss 3 

Going into the rubber match of the series and Alabama, Zane Adams got the start for Alabama. The southpaw freshman lasted seven innings in a solid start, allowing Ole Miss to get just six hits and three earned runs and giving up just one walk before being pulled at the beginning of the bottom of the eighth.  

Adams gave Ole Miss an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning off an RBI single but did not allow another run until the bottom of the eighth inning. Adams threw 107 pitches in his outing and is now responsible for the two longest starts for an Alabama starting pitcher this season. 

“He did a great job of minimizing the damage in the second inning,” Vaughn said. “His poise and ability to not make the situation bigger than it is was impressive, and that allowed our offense to get going.” 

Third baseman Gage Miller got the offense going for Alabama; in the top of the third inning, Miller cranked a home run into left field to tie the game at 1. 

But the bats for Alabama were just getting started. 

In the top of the sixth inning, Lebron gave the Crimson Tide its first lead of the game with a two-run shot to put Alabama in front 3-1. The hit extended Lebron’s hitting streak to eight games. During the streak, Lebron has been batting .460 and has hit six home runs. 

Snell continued the scoring in the top of the sixth, doubling into left field to bring home a run and scoring himself off a wild pitch shortly after to bring the lead to 5-1. 

Alabama added three more runs between the seventh and eighth innings to get its biggest lead of the game at 8-1. Although Ole Miss cut Alabama’s lead to 5 with a two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning, Alabama’s offense was too strong for Ole Miss to handle. 

Alabama padded the scoreboard with two more runs thanks to RBI singles from McCants and Guscette to finalize the score at 10-3. The win marked Alabama’s first series win on the road this season.  

“We were just relentless down the stretch and crushed any hope of a comeback by continuing to tack on runs. This was a full team effort, and I’m just proud of the boys today,” Vaughn said. 

Up next, Alabama will have the middle of the week off to rest for its series next weekend in Starkville, Mississippi, as the Crimson Tide will take on the Bulldogs of Mississippi State. 

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