TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama starting pitcher Tucker Hawley threw six strong innings and Kyle Overstreet’s three-run double in the bottom of the first inning powered the Tide to a bounce-back victory over the Memphis Tigers, 4-2, on Wednesday night at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. The win moves Alabama to a 9-8 record heading into SEC play, and the loss drops Memphis to 10-6 overall.
“We got the big hit by Kyle Overstreet in the first to put us up three,” UA head coach Mitch Gaspard said. “Tucker Hawley, in his first start since his injury, I thought he was dynamite. He pitched six innings and threw the ball well; there were a lot of strikes.”
Overstreet led the Tide offensively, going 2-for-2 with a double, a single, two walks, three RBI and a run scored. Sophomore right fielder Ben Moore was 2-for-4 with two stolen bases and a run scored, senior third baseman Kenny Roberts pitched in two walks, a stolen base, and a run scored, and freshman Georgie Salem also knocked in a run with his only hit of the game.
Junior right-hander Tucker Hawley (3-1) gave the Tide a “quality start”, allowing two runs in six innings pitched, in his first start since April 4, 2011 against Arkansas. Hawley struck out six batters and allowed four hits and a walk. Sophomore righty Jake Hubbard allowed two hits and a walk in three scoreless innings to earn his third save of the season.
After a tough outing against the Tigers on Tuesday, the Alabama offense came out swinging to open the action in the first. With one out, Roberts walked, Moore singled and Austen Smith walked to load the bases for Overstreet, who cleared the bases with a double to the gap in left center. The early three-run lead for Alabama gave the loss to Memphis starter Michael Wills (0-1).
Outside of a solo home run by Memphis’ Drew Griffin in the third inning, Hawley kept the Tigers in check through five. Hawley ran into trouble in the sixth after giving up a leadoff double. Although he retired the rest of the batters in the inning, a wild pitch and a passed ball enabled the runner to score, cutting the deficit to 3-2. Hubbard came in to relieve Hawley in the seventh.
“Jake [Hubbard] threw the ball well, we have actually made some adjustments with Jake and I thought that he threw the ball exceptionally. We got the drag bunt there in the eighth to get the insurance run from Georgie [Salem]. Where we are at right now, it is good to win. We have been scuffling here for about a week and a half. It was nice to get the win and that good vibe as you move into the SEC.”
Salem gave the Tide an insurance run in the eighth inning with a perfect RBI bunt single to score Overstreet from third, making the score 4-2. Hubbard allowed a 1-out single in the ninth, before getting his third strikeout of the game and a fly out to center field to record his third save of the season and help snap the Tide’s five-game losing streak.
Alabama returns to action on Friday to open their SEC campaign against the Tennessee Volunteers. First pitch for game one on Friday is set for 6:35 p.m. CT, game two on Saturday is set for a 6:05 p.m. CT start, and the final game of the series will begin at 1:05 p.m. CT on Sunday.
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