TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The No. 15-ranked Alabama baseball team got a three-run third inning and held on to down the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks, 3-2, in a Tuesday night matchup at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. The Crimson Tide improves to 20-8 with the win, and the result drops the Warhawks to 11-18.
In his second start of the season for Alabama, Tucker Hawley (2-1) picked up the win after tossing five innings and allowing two unearned runs on four hits with four strikeouts. With no earned runs allowed in either of his two starts this season, Hawley extended his streak to 18.1 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run and has a 0.92 ERA for the season.
“We weren’t very sharp tonight,” Alabama head coach Mitch Gaspard said following the win. “The bullpen did a great job as Jay Shaw came in and really settled things down. When (Thomas) Burrows came in the ninth, he found the strike zone and closed it out.”
The Alabama bullpen threw four scoreless innings without allowing a hit, with a walk and four strikeouts outs. Jay Shaw worked two perfect innings with three strikeouts and Nick Eicholtz walked one in a scoreless eighth inning. Thomas Burrows picked up his third save in his team-leading 11th appearance of the season, striking out one in an unblemished ninth inning.
Offensively for the Tide, Georgie Salem was 2-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored, and Ben Moore accounted for the other RBI on a sacrifice fly. Mikey White and Wade Wass pitched in two singles apiece, with White adding a HBP and an RBI.
UL-Monroe starting pitcher Carey Taylor (2-2) was charged with the loss after he gave up three runs (two earned) on four hits and two walks with two strikeouts. Out of the Warkhawks’ bullpen, Josh Leone, Jared Dye and Tyler Bray combined to hold the Tide scoreless over the final five innings, scattering six hits and two walks over that span.
“We had too many missed opportunities with the offense,” Gaspard said. “We had many occasions where we could have just blown the game open, but we had some mistakes, like poor base-running. Sometimes on Tuesday, you just have to win and that’s what we were able to do tonight.”
Following a Justin Stawychny single to right field in the second inning, the Warhawks produced the first run of the game off an Alabama miscue. Casey Hughston misplayed a fly ball to deep left field, allowing Stawychny to score from third on the two-out error.
Alabama answered in the bottom of the third, where the Tide score all three of their runs. Chance Vincent led off the inning with an infield single then after Daniel Cucjen walked, Hunter Webb laid down a sacrifice bunt to move the runners to second and third. Salem drove in the first run on a single to second base, Cucjen scored on a misplayed fly ball to left field and Moore drove in another run on a sacrifice fly to cap the inning with a 3-1 Tide advantage.
After Dalton Herrington led off the top of the ULM fifth with a double into the right field corner, the Warhawks manufactured another run off an Alabama error. On a ground ball to first, Hawley missed the base, putting runners on the corners with one out. Anthony Herrera followed with an RBI sacrifice bunt, allowing Herrington to score, cutting the Alabama lead to 3-2.
The Alabama baseball team returns to action for their fourth Southeastern Conference matchup of 2014, as they travel to College Station, Texas, for a weekend set with the Texas A&M Aggies. First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m. on Friday, 2:05 p.m. on Saturday, and 1:05 p.m. on Sunday. The Friday and Saturday matchups will be televised by Fox Sports Southwest.
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Alabama Postgame Notes
*In eight all-time meetings between the two schools, Alabama holds a 6-2 series edge over Louisiana-Monroe.
*Alabama head coach Mitch Gaspard faced off against Louisiana-Monroe for the 21st time in his career, improving his record to 15-6 against the Warhawks.
*Alabama moved to 20-0 when it scores three or more runs.
*The Tide is now 16-3 (.842) and has won seven straight games played at Sewell-Thomas Stadium this season.
*After two scoreless innings tonight, Jay Shaw has thrown 7.1 straight innings without allowing a run.
*In the past decade, only two Alabama pitchers (Ray Castillo and David Robertson) have had more saves in their freshman season than Thomas Burrows.
*With two hits, Wade Wass extended his hitting streak to 10 games, the second-longest streak by an Alabama player this season.
*Wass posted a pair of singles on Tuesday to record his eighth multiple-hit game of the season.
*Mikey White posted his eighth multiple-hit game of the season, which is the 27th of his career.
*Georgie Salem recorded his 10th multiple-hit game of the year (28th career), tying Kyle Overstreet for the most on the team this season.