Time to tip your baseball caps, Tide Nation.

Two shutouts of Manhattan and a contested Sunday game gave new Alabama baseball coach Rob Vaughn and his team a 3-0 start on the 2024 season.

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Bama beat the Jaspers 4-0 Friday and 15-0 Saturday before Sunday's more evenly-matched 11-8 contest.

Following the sweep Sunday, Vaugn said, “What I really look for as a coach is the level of energy that we bring (on Sunday). Today was a really cold morning and it is easy, especially after winning a game 15-0, to show up hoping that the other team just rolls over, but I don’t think our guys did that today. Our energy was great,

"I just don’t think we played an awesome brand of baseball defensively. But that is why you have some of these early games, to kind of get that going, and we did enough offensively to get the win.”

Sunday was the only day the pitching looked vulnerable. Ben Hess and Riley Quick were outstanding Friday and Saturday on the mound, and starter Aidan Moza (1-0) picked up the Sunday win, tossing 4.0 innings and allowing six runs (three earned) on five hits and two walks with seven strikeouts.

Sunday was also the only time all weekend the defense struggled. If you've played baseball or softball in very cold weather, you probably get it.

Vaughn said last week that this team has speed, power and pitching and all three were on display vs. Manhattan.

Center fielder and Ole Miss transfer TJ McCants showed speed and power, as he stole three bases to go with a homer and three doubles. He also has great range in center.

In all, five different Tide players homered and three had at least one stolen base. The offense showed promise, especially Saturday and Sunday. Shortstop Justin Lebron hit .667 opening weekend while  McCants batted .500.

The pitching staff compiled a three-game ERA of 1.08. That's tall cotton.

Two Sunday errors and three for the series are things that can be fixed, and under Vaughn's tutelage likely will be.

It's VERY early, but many people are already saying this team could again host a regional and hold its own in the cut throat SEC.

That's about all you can ask of a first-year coach. As is usually the case, it appears Greg Byrne knocked it out of the park - pun intended - with Vaughn's hire.

Next up for the 3-0 Crimson Tide is  pair of midweek games at The Joe. Alabama will welcome Middle Tennessee to town Tuesday before hosting Alabama State  Wednesday. Both games are set for a 4 p.m. CT first pitch on Tide 100.9, 1230 WTBC and SEC Network+.

University of Alabama Bid Day 2023

Photographer Will McLelland captures moments from Fall 2023 Bid Day.

Follow Will on Instagram and his website. Email for assignments: willmclellandphoto@gmail.com

Gallery Credit: Noah Haynes




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