Alabama Baseball Completes Sweep Over Xavier to Start Season
Alabama Baseball completed a three-game sweep over the Xavier Musketeers at Sewell-Thomas Stadium on Sunday afternoon to start the season off at an undefeated 3-0.
After a heart stopper of a comeback on opening day on Friday that ended in an Owen Diodati walk-off home run and then a 5-4 Saturday victory where the Tide held on in the 9th, Sunday afternoon's matchup was not quite as exciting, finishing 9-4.
Sophomore Grayson Hitt started on the bump for Alabama and was dealing, going 4.0 IP, allowing 3 hits, no runs, and striking out six. On the very first pitch of the game, a foul ball was hit in the direction of right fielder William Hamiter, who made a phenomenal diving play for the out, a play Hitt would later say set the tone for his outing.
After a bases loaded walk in the bottom of the second, Alabama led 1-0, and Hitt came out and struck out the side in the third, which brought his total K's on the day to six.
It was the bottom of the third where Alabama really broke the game open, scoring four runs to make it 5-0, starting with a single from Owen Diodati with runners on second and third to score the first run.
Jim Jarvis lined out to right after this which scored the man on third, followed by a Tommy Seidl single that scored another, one of his two RBIs on the day. Another single from Bryce Eblin made it 5-0.
From there, coach Bohannon brought in freshman Luke Holman in relief of Hitt to make his Alabama debut. Holman went 1-2-3 in the 5th, striking out one before getting himself into some trouble in the 6th and allowing 2 runs. Overall, Holman went 3.0 IP, allowing 6 hits and three earned runs.
"I was really glad to get him out there. Luke has a great future here, he has really high end stuff, he was up to 95 today, he has a wipeout breaking ball, he's athletic. He's gonna have a great career here," coach Bohannon said of his young starter.
"Pitched through some traffic, but those are great experiences, you don't want it to be easy for him, he's gonna throw a lot of big innings for us and he needs to have that experience of pitching with people on base and he's gonna have a great season and a great career," Bohannon continued on Holman's up and down debut.
A Xavier error in the bottom of the 7th that allowed two runs to score for Alabama put the game out of reach as the Musketeers were clawing back, making it 8-3 before Xavier scored another in the top half of the 8th and Tommy Seidl's RBI double in the bottom half provided a final insurance run.
Hunter Hoopes came in to close it down, allowing one hit, no runs and striking out two to finish it off in the 9th inning.
The Crimson Tide will be back at The Joe on Tuesday and Wednesday for matchups against Jacksonville State and Alabama State before heading to Austin next weekend for a series against No. 1 ranked Texas.
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