Tide wins 2-game sweep over Alcorn State


Kevin Connell

A whole day’s wait did nothing to cool down the Alabama bats Wednesday.

The Crimson Tide baseball team scored double-digit runs for the second consecutive night in a 12-0 win over Alcorn State at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.

“Really good to see the offense on back-to-back nights really respond, and a lot of good quality at-bats were able to put runs on the board,” Alabama coach Mitch Gaspard said. “We’re really starting to drive the ball, and that’s good to see.”

(See also “UA baseball team carries historic momentum“)

Alabama (14-6, 2-1 SEC) picked up right where it left off Tuesday night with a multi-run inning in the first to take the early 4-0 lead. But the scoring didn’t stop there.

Sophomore center fielder Georgie Salem hit his first home run of the year with a solo shot in the fourth, and the Alabama lineup plated three runs, in the fifth and sixth innings. The offensive outbreak didn’t end until Daniel Cucjen’s RBI groundout in the eighth inning made it 12-0.

In all, the combined 29 run by Alabama against Alcorn State the highest scoring output in consecutive games for Alabama since it scored 30 in a two-game stretch against Tennessee and Samford in March of last year.

“There was nothing cheap about it,” Gaspard said. “I thought we really hit the ball hard and created more offense for ourselves by the way we swung the bat. That was good to see because I think that was the area coming in that we really wanted to focus on for the Tuesday, Wednesday games was putting together good at-bats, and we were able to do that in the lineup in both of the games.”

(See also “Alabama baseball reloaded for 2014“)

Senior right-hander Tucker Hawley (1-1) allowed only three hits and one walk with seven strikeouts in seven innings of work in his first start of the season for Alabama. The Crimson Tide pitcher now has a 1.29 ERA in five midweek games this season.

“We’ve got a whole bunch of arms. Our pitching staff has done really well,” Hawley said. “Everybody comes out, pounds the [strike] zone, works the hit for the most part. I feel like it’s definitely one of the strengths of our team.”

The Crimson Tide has now won 10 of its 11 games heading into its first SEC road series of the season against Arkansas (11-7, 1-2 SEC) this weekend.

Junior right fielder Ben Moore said the streak started after a team meeting, following a game-two loss against then-No. 10 Louisiana-Lafayette on March 1.

“Ever since then, it’s been a different feeling around the park,” Moore said. “Guys being more positive, more confident and just letting the game come to us. We decided we were going to start attacking the game, and it made the world of difference.”

Last season, the then-No. 9 Razorbacks took two out of three from Alabama in a three-game set in Tuscaloosa.

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