Tide ends 5-game losing streak with 4-2 win against Tigers

Kevin Connell

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A new team took the field for Alabama Wednesday, or at least that’s the way it appeared.

After less than five hits in three straight losses coming into the game, the Crimson Tide had six hits, just enough to put it over the top in a 4-2 victory against the Memphis Tigers.

The Tide came out flat with a 6-0 loss in the first game Tuesday, but game two was a different story. A three-run double from freshman second baseman Kyle Overstreet in the first inning gave the Tide a lead it held on to.

“It was good to win,” Alabama head coach Mitch Gaspard said. “We’ve been scuffling here for about a week and a half, and it was nice just to get the win and kind of get that good vibe as you move into the SEC opener.”

Redshirt junior right-hander Tucker Hawley (3-1) was credited with the win in his first start since 2011. Hawley and sophomore right-hander Jake Hubbard combined to throw 9 strikeouts, allowing only 2 earned runs on 6 hits.

Hawley, who pitched the first six innings of the game for Alabama, was determined to have a strong outing before the game.

“Going into the game today, I had already made up my mind that everyone would have to take the ball from me,” Hawley said. “We needed a win bad, and I was going to go out there and do whatever I could to give us an opportunity.”

With the loss, the Tigers (10-6) drop to 5-1 on the year against SEC foes, which included a three-game sweep against Missouri and a midweek win at Ole Miss before taking one of two from the Tide.

Alabama started the game visibly showing more energy than it had in recent outings. It was a point of emphasis for the team, who called a players meeting after the 6-0 loss to Memphis the previous night.

“The last five games, there’s been no energy; everyone’s been down,” Overstreet said. “The main thing we wanted today was to hit them in the mouth, play with some energy, and we did it today.”

Overstreet led the way for the Tide going 2-for-2 at the plate with 2 walks and 3 RBIs.

In the top of the third inning, the Tigers got on the scoreboard after redshirt junior third baseman Drew Griffin hit a solo home to cut the lead to 3-1. A few innings later in the sixth, the Tigers made it a 3-2 game after Tigers junior second baseman Zach Willis scored on a passed ball from third.

But in the bottom of the eighth, a bunt single from freshman center fielder Georgie Salem scored Overstreet to give the Tide the insurance run it needed to hold off for the win.

The win has the Tide believing again heading into SEC play this weekend.

“Everybody’s back in it believing,” Hawley said. “All it takes is one win to get back on the right streak.”