Baseball remains undefeated with sweep of Harvard


Carey Reeder | @realCareyReeder, Staff Reporter

Alabama sophomore outfielder T.J. Reeves entered the weekend series against Harvard with a .167 average, five hits and 12 strikeouts. That’s all in the rearview mirror for Reeves now as he broke out of his slump this weekend and finished Sunday off with the winning run in Alabama’s 6-3 win over Harvard to clinch the series sweep.

Alabama coach Brad Bohannon elected to sit Reeves in the Crimson Tide’s 12-6 win over Middle Tennessee State on Wednesday. In the bottom of the seventh inning on Sunday, Reeves turned on a fast ball inside and launched his first home run of the season against the wind over the fence in left field to put Alabama ahead 4-3.

Reeves combined to go 5 for 8 throughout the series with three RBIs, two walks, a double, a home run and stolen base with one strikeout.

“[It felt] good after struggling at the plate a little bit,” Reeves said. “[On Wednesday] I analyzed the pitches they were throwing and just took a deep breath to get myself together.”

Reeves was not done there and earned his second RBI of the game the following inning on a walk with the bases loaded. Reeves went 1 for 4 in the game. Freshman Jim Jarvis added an RBI single in the inning for the final Alabama run and pushed the Crimson Tide’s record to 12-0, now the stand-alone second-best start in school history.

A three-run second inning put Alabama on the board first with a pair of RBI doubles from freshman Zane Denton and junior Tyler Gentry. Each went 1 for 4 while Denton earned two walks to Gentry’s one. Senior catcher Brett Auerbach added an RBI single in the inning. Auerbach went 2 for 5 and while catching the last two games of the series caught five Harvard runners stealing.

Alabama posted two hits between the second inning and Reeves’ home run in the seventh; freshman Myles Austin doubled to the wall in the third and redshirt sophomore Sam Praytor singled in the fourth. Austin went 1 for 3 with a run scored and a walk. Praytor finished 1 for 3 with two trips to first base by way of a hit by pitch.

“[Myles] is an electric player,” Bohannon said. “Just like the rest of that freshman class he’s progressing and coming along.”

Alabama starting pitcher, freshman Antoine Jean, threw four innings of five-hit baseball giving up two runs on a two-RBI single by Harvard first baseman Zachary Brown in the third inning. Jean added six strikeouts on 73 pitches. Fellow freshman pitcher Connor Prielipp threw 78 pitches in his Friday start to keep both on the same pitch progression through three games.

Sophomore Jacob McNairy relieved Jean in the fifth inning and gave up one run on three hits that tied the game. Junior pitcher Brock Guffey (2-0) took over in the top half of the seventh inning and blanked the Crimson the rest of the way for no hits and seven strikeouts for his second win of the year. Guffey threw 34 pitches and 24 of those were for a strike.

“I keep saying this but the bullpen was awesome today,” Bohannon said. “When the winds blowing in you’re going to be in tight games and that was a good experience for us today.”

Alabama now turns its attention to its third-straight pair of midweek matchups with South Alabama on Tuesday and North Alabama on Wednesday. However, rain is in the forecast for Tuesday and a decision on an officially time will be made closer to the date. A more promising forecast is projected for Wednesday.