*Courtesy Alabama Media Relations*
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The Alabama pitching staff posted three consecutive shutouts for the first time since 1912, as the Crimson Tide completed the sweep of the Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils with a 3-0 victory on Sunday at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. With their fifth straight win, Alabama bolsters their record to 9-5, while the Delta Devils drop to 0-15.
"First of all Jonathan Keller was really sharp. That was his fourth real good outing and he gave us six solid innings," Alabama head coach Mitch Gaspard said. "I was real encouraged with Ray Castillo's outing in the eighth inning. It was nice to get (Kyle) Overstreet his first appearance this year and get his first save of the year. Pitching on the weekend was tremendous, not giving up a run."
The third consecutive shutout marks the second time the Tide has accomplished that feat, as the only other three-game scoreless stretch came in 1912 against the Marion Institute. With the three shutouts, the Alabama pitching staff reaches 30.2 consecutive innings without surrendering a run. Bama had a 14 inning no-hit streak snapped when Parker Thurman singled in the top of the fourth off Jon Keller.
Making his first start of the season, Keller (4-0) got the win after throwing six scoreless innings, allowing one hit with a season-high seven strikeouts. Ray Castillo blanked the Valley for the next two innings, allowing a hit and a walk with three strikeouts. Kyle Overstreet got the first save of his career, throwing a scoreless ninth inning in his first career appearance on the mound.
In his first start of the year MVSU's Brady McBride (0-1) took the loss after allowing three unearned runs, on five hits with a walk in four innings.
Ben Moore had two of the eight hits produced by the Alabama offense, which included a pair of doubles to go along with two RBI and a run scored. Will Haynie recorded his third multi-hit game of the season with a 2-for-3 performance and Georgie Salem extended his hitting streak to seven games with a pair of singles from the leadoff spot.
"On the offensive end, today it was a struggle," Gaspard said. "Anytime you change speeds as they did, we didn't do a very good job adjusting to the different speeds we've been seeing. We've got to be better at that and we've got to get better on the offensive end."
Alabama scored all three runs in the third. After Chance Vincent reached on a fielder's choice and Mikey White reached on an error with two outs, Moore stroked a two-run double to the wall in left field, scoring both runners. Wade Wass followed with an RBI single to the left center gap to plate Moore for the final run of the game.
The Alabama baseball team returns to action Tuesday night as they host the Samford Bulldogs at Sewell-Thomas Stadium, with first pitch slated for 6:05 p.m. Following the midweek matchup, the Crimson Tide begins their SEC campaign with a three-game weekend set at home against the Kentucky Wildcats. First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m. on Friday, 6:05 p.m. on Saturday, and 1:05 p.m. on Sunday.