Alabama baseball team continues making history in shutout win over No. 20 Kentucky

Kevin Connell

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Believe it or not, the Crimson Tide baseball team made history – again.

One week after recording its first nine-inning no-hitter in 72 years and first series shutout since 1912, the Alabama baseball team did it again, this time with its first triple play in 15 years.

And much like last week, the rare feat helped lift the Crimson Tide to a 3-0 win in the Southeastern Conference opener against No. 20 Kentucky on Friday night in Sewell-Thomas Stadium.

“When you can pitch, good things happen, and that’s what happened tonight,” Alabama coach Mitch Gaspard said.

Junior right-hander Spencer Turnbull (2-1) threw 7.1 shutout innings for Alabama (11-5, 1-0 SEC), limiting the Wildcats’ (13-5, 0-1 SEC) top-ranked offense to a season-low four hits. Turnbull has now pitched 14.1 consecutive scoreless innings and 23.1 consecutive innings without conceding an earned run.

“At times I felt really good,” Turnbull said. “At times I felt like I had no clue where it was going, especially with the breaking ball. The fastball felt pretty firm all night. A couple of times I lost command of it, but I found it again. But especially the breaking ball, I never felt comfortable throwing the breaking ball for strikes.”

But any time Turnbull struggled, it was soon forgotten, thanks in part to Alabama’s efforts in the field.

Among the defensive plays made by Alabama include: a robbed home run by junior right fielder Ben Moore, inning-ending double plays in the third and fourth innings and the team’s first triple play since May 30, 1999 in the NCAA Tournament against Southern Miss.

“That’s something that you just don’t see every day for sure, so I’m going to have to do something special for them,” Turnbull said of his teammate’s defensive efforts.

The triple play, which was scored 6-4-5, occurred in the sixth inning when Kentucky pitcher A.J. Reed lined out to shortstop Mikey White with the bases loaded. White then tossed the ball over to second baseman Kyle Overstreet at second, who threw it to third baseman Chance Vincent at third for the third out of the play.

Turnbull said he had never been part of a triple play.

“Not even in Little League,” he said.

Freshman catcher Will Haynie led the way offensively, going 2-for-4 from the plate with two RBIs, including a solo home run to left field for the second consecutive game.

As a team, the Crimson Tide only had a combined four hits.

Alabama will finish the series in a doubleheader against the Wildcats on Saturday. First pitch is set for 12:35 p.m. for the first game, while the second game will begin 30 minutes after the first game ends.