Offense shines in baseball’s rout of Samford Tuesday night

Alabama second baseman Bryce Eblin (13) takes an at-bat in the Crimson Tide’s 10-1 win over the Samford Bulldogs on April 5 at Sewell-Thomas Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

CW / Morgan Gray

Alabama second baseman Bryce Eblin (13) takes an at-bat in the Crimson Tide’s 10-1 win over the Samford Bulldogs on April 5 at Sewell-Thomas Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

Austin Hannon, Staff Reporter

After a series win over the Texas A&M Aggies, Alabama head coach Brad Bohannon said his team was focused on defeating Samford Tuesday night.

“We haven’t been very good at all on Tuesdays the last five weeks,” Bohannon said. “I just really want to play some good baseball on Tuesday and build some consistency.”

His team did just that Tuesday night, routing the Samford Bulldogs (13-13) 10-1 at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.

“We’ve had a couple of Tuesdays where we didn’t play as well,” Alabama pitching coach Jason Jackson said. “It’s nice to get back-to-back midweek W’s. I think we’ve won five of our last six, so we’re starting to kind of come together.”

For the first three innings, the Crimson Tide (18-12) were quiet. The first nine batters were retired in order, and it looked like another midweek letdown for Alabama. 

But in the bottom of the fourth inning, the bats came alive. Beginning with a two-out rally, the Crimson Tide proceeded to score 10 runs over the next three innings to grab hold of the game. 

Designated hitter William Hamiter hit his first home run of the season into the opposing bullpen in right center in the fifth. Hamiter finished the game with four RBIs.

“It felt great,” Hamiter said. “Having the teammates in the dugout behind me gives me all the confidence. Those are the guys that make it happen.”

Second baseman Bryce Eblin was inserted into second in the lineup after hitting .457 with one HR and nine RBIs in the last 10 games. He didn’t disappoint on Tuesday night, going 3-for-4 with one RBI.

“Really, I’m just not trying to do too much,” Eblin said. “I’m trying to hit that fastball, and luckily I’ve found some gaps.”

Freshman right-hander Ben Hess made his fifth midweek start of the season. After sustaining a 7.88 ERA to begin the season, Hess went 3.1 innings without allowing a run and struck out three.

“He had an off-the-field injury that he was coming back from, so he missed a lot of January,” Jackson said. “We’ve had to do a slower buildup with him. I think we’re finally starting to get him into a groove.”

Tuesday was an excellent opportunity for Bohannon to play guys who rarely see the field, and he took advantage. 

Alabama had six pinch hitters, including Camden Hayslip, who missed time because of an injury. It was his first appearance since March 6. Freshmen Braylon Myers and Luke Holman pitched out of the bullpen, and both held Samford scoreless in their time on the mound.

“Those guys work their tail off,” Jackson said. “They’re great teammates, and they’re great in the dugout. So when you get a chance to get those guys in, I think you hear the dugout get even louder. To see those guys get in and perform was great.”

The Crimson Tide continues to get more consistent at hitting in key situations. Alabama went 10-for-18 with runners on, and 6-for-11 with runners in scoring position.

The Crimson Tide will travel to Oxford, Mississippi, to take on the No. 7 Ole Miss Rebels at Swayze Field this weekend. First pitches will be Friday at 6:30 p.m. CT, Saturday at 2 p.m. CT and Sunday at 2 p.m. CT. 

Friday’s and Saturday’s games will be on SEC Network+, and Sunday’s game will be broadcast on the SEC Network.