Offense Continues Hot Streak in Alabama’s 14-2 Win over Valparaiso

Diamond Tide

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The Crimson Tide bats recorded a season-high 15 hits in the run-rule victory

2/23/2024

TUSCALOOSA, AL –
A season-high 15 hits helped 17th-ranked Alabama to a 14-2 win over Valparaiso on Friday afternoon at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. With the victory, the Crimson Tide improved to 6-0 on the season.

Alabama wasted no time getting on the board on Friday, exploding for a six-run second. Valparaiso countered with a two-run third, but that would be all for the Beacons. The Crimson Tide posted eight runs over the final three innings of play, including a four-run fourth and a pair two-run frames in the fifth and sixth for the run-rule victory.

Gage Miller highlighted Alabama's offense, homering for a third time in the last four games as part of a 2-for-4 showing. The junior added a double, two runs scored and a team-high five RBI to go with his roundtripper. Mac Guscette and Will Hodo led the Tide in hits, each contributing three on the day. Guscette reached base safely in all four plate appearances, finishing 3-for-3 with a double and a hit-by-pitch while tallying one RBI and two runs scored. Hodo went 3-for-4 with a double and two runs of his own.

Alabama's pitching staff continued its solid play to start the season. Ben Hess (2-0) notched his second win as many starts, giving up two runs on four hits and a walk with five punchouts across his scheduled 4.0 innings of work. He was followed out of the bullpen by Tyler Fay and Sam Mitchell, with the relief duo holding Valpo to only one hit and a walk to go with a strikeout across the final 3.0 frames.

From Head Coach Rob Vaughn
"This was the first game that our offense did what our offense is capable of doing. Particularly after the first inning, we just had relentless at-bats; our outs were loud; we put pressure on them; we were on the barrel; we were running the bases aggressively; and from the second inning on, we were extremely aggressive in the way we played offense. That is who we are capable of being, that is who need to be more and more this season."

How It Happened
  • B2 | The Tide loaded the bases with one down for Justin Lebron, with the freshman singling to left to score the game's first run. Bryce Eblin was next, slapping the first pitch he saw down the line in left for a two-run double. With two still aboard, Gage Millerhammered a three-run homer into the Alabama bullpen. (6-0, Alabama)
  • T3 | A pair of two-out doubles mixed in with a single to right got the Beacons on the board. (6-2, Alabama)
  • B4 | Lebron led off with a hit-by-pitch and was followed by a single from Eblin. Miller continued the rally with a double to left to plate both runners. The Tide third baseman then moved up an extra 90 feet on a wild pitch before coming home on a sacrifice fly from TJ McCants. After a flyout, back-to-back singles from Will Hodo and Evan Sleight put runners on the corners with two away for Mac Guscette. Alabama's catcher sent an RBI-single through the right side to plate the inning's fourth run. (10-2, Alabama)
  • B5 | The inning began with Lebron reaching base once again, this time by way of the walk. Following a pair of outs, McCants singled to place runners on the corners. In the next at-bat, McCants swiped second with a throwing error by the Valpo catcher allowing everyone to move up an extra 90 feet, scoring one in the process. In that same at-bat, Ian Petrutz singled up the middle to plate McCants and widen the gap. (12-2, Alabama)
  • B6 | Mason Swinney worked a bases-loaded walk with one away to push a run across. With the bases still loaded, a groundout off the bat of Camden Hayslip added one more. (14-2, Alabama)
Postgame Notes
  • Alabama has now won 15 straight games in the month of February with the last loss coming on Feb. 27, 2021.
  • The Crimson Tide has also won 23 consecutive games at Sewell-Thomas Stadium in the month of February.
  • Alabama totaled a season-high 15 hits in the game, eclipsing the previous high of 14 against Manhattan on Feb. 18.
  • The Tide offense has registered double-digit hits and runs in four of the six games so far this season.
  • All nine starters reached base safely in the series opener.
  • Eight of the nine starters recorded at least one hit on the day.
  • TJ McCants extended his hitting streak to six games with his 1-for-3 effort. Over the six-game stretch, the senior is batting .455 (10-22) with three doubles, three homers, 14 RBI, eight runs scored, four walks and four stolen bases.
  • Gage Miller has recorded a hit in five straight games thanks to his 2-for-4 day. Over that stretch, the junior is batting .400 (8-19) with three home runs, nine RBI, 10 runs, one walk and a hit-by-pitch.
  • ATTENDANCE: 4,329
Alabama will go for the series-clinching win on Saturday afternoon at The Joe. The Crimson Tide will send junior right-hander Aidan Moza to the mound while the Beacons counter with righty Josh Cottrill. Game two is set for a 2 p.m. CT first pitch on SEC Network+.

Get all the latest information on the team by following @AlabmaBSB on X/Twitter and Instagram and on Facebook at Alabama Baseball. General athletic news can be found at UA_Athletics on X/Twitter and Instagram and AlabamaAthletics on Facebook.


-UA-


RTR,


Diamond Tide
 
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