Alabama crushes Samford for the second time this season Tuesday night

Austin Hannon, Sports Editor

Tuesday night was eerily familiar to April 5 when the Alabama Crimson Tide took on the Samford Bulldogs (18-20).

The Crimson Tide dominated from start to finish, throttling the Bulldogs 9-3 at Joe Lee Griffin Field in Birmingham to move to 25-17 on the season.

In the two meetings this season, Alabama outscored Samford 19-4.

The Crimson Tide offense was clicking from the second inning on, tallying a season-high 15 hits including five extra-base hits.

The Bulldogs had no answer for designated hitter Owen Diodati, who went 3-for-3 and crossed the plate on three different occasions. Andrew Pinckney, Dominic Tamez, Bryce Eblin and Caden Rose all picked up two hits each. Pinckney and Tamez both had two RBIs. Freshman Will Hodo hit his first career home run in the eighth inning.

“It was good to see some hard contact up and down the lineup tonight,” Alabama head coach Brad Bohannon said. “We also had a lot of baserunners, which was great to see. It took us a little while to bust it open, but I was really happy to see us be able to do it. We had good production from everyone in the lineup, so it was a great all-around effort by our offense.”

RHP Ben Hess continues to improve week by week. Hess has been the midweek starter for some time now and has shown progress every start. In his last three starts, he has allowed just four runs in 11.1 innings. Tuesday was his best performance by far, going a season-high six innings and allowing just one run on three hits. He struck out three.

The bullpen had some trouble, allowing two runs in three innings pitched. Pitchers Hunter Furtado, Hagan Banks and Brayden Gainey all saw action.

Samford center fielder Maurice Hampton Jr. was a bright spot for the Bulldogs, going 2-for-4 with a home run and an RBI double. Shortstop Garrett Howe also had two base knocks.

The Crimson Tide took advantage of scoring opportunities, hitting .412 with runners in scoring position. The final result could have been a lot worse for Samford — Alabama left 13 runners on base.

The Crimson Tide don’t have much time to celebrate the victory, however, with a quick turnaround coming.

Alabama begins its series at South Carolina on Thursday night, with the first pitch at Founders Park set for 6 p.m. CT on the SEC Network. The Crimson Tide and Gamecocks will play again at 6 p.m. CT on Friday and 11 a.m. CT on Saturday.