Alabama Takes Down South Alabama in Style
Owen Diodati played hero for the Crimson Tide as he sent a moonshot over the right field wall with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 9th to beat South Alabama. There were four lead changes in the game, and Alabama ultimately prevailed 11-8 in front of a sellout crowd at Sewell Thomas Stadium.
“Just like we drew it up,” high-spirited head coach Brad Bohannon said following the game. “Just really, really proud of the competitive spirit of our team.”
Senior RHP William Freeman started on the mound for the Crimson Tide, and pitched four innings giving up two earned runs. The Jaguars made solid contact off of Freeman all night, but did not get on the scoreboard until the 3rd inning. He seemed to have little gas left in the tank after the 4th, but came back out for the 5th and gave up a home run to the first batter in the inning for the Jaguars, Kaleb DeLaTorre.
DeLaTorre hit another home run in the top of the 6th, this one a three-run bomb off Jacob McNairy, to put the Jaguars up 5-1. The bottom half of the South Alabama order did most of the damage, led by DeLaTorre’s three hits.
South Alabama’s starting pitcher, Matt Boswell, was extraordinary for the Jaguars. He stifled the heart of the Alabama order until the 7th inning when the Crimson Tide rallied to take the lead.
Redshirt freshman Andrew Pinckney got the start in center field for Alabama as TJ Reeves is still out with a hand injury. Pinckney showed up in a big way, hitting 2-for-4 with three runs batted in. Pinckney’s hits were timely, with his 7th inning single scoring two when the Tide was down three.
Sophomore William Hamiter moved up to the second spot in the lineup, and that proved to be a valuable decision by Bohannon. Hamiter hit a two-RBI double off the right field wall to give Alabama the lead in the 7th inning, as Peyton Wilson flew around third to beat the play at the plate.
Hamiter and Pinckney’s RBIs were a part of a five hit, five run inning in which the Crimson Tide batted around the order.
“That ‘COVID Freshmen’ class, they are really doing some big things, for us” Bohannon said.
Brock Guffey took the mound in the top of the 8th, and struggled. Guffey gave up three earned runs to give the Jaguars the lead. Chase Lee relieved Guffey after loading the bases, and he had a battle with highly talked about outfielder Ethan Wilson. Wilson ended up winning the battle, hitting a two RBI double down the right field line giving the Jaguars an 8-6 lead in the 8th.
The score remained the same heading into the bottom of the 9th, and Alabama had the top of the order due up. Two singles from Peyton Wilson and Sam Praytor gave Alabama life, and South Alabama helped tremendously on two ground ball errors, scoring one run. That left the bases loaded with Owen Diodati at the plate down one.
“I was really looking to get a good fastball,” Diodati said. “I was lucky enough to get one in the right spot and, obviously, had a good result.”
Fireworks courtesy of “Dio” on a Tuesday night for Alabama in an up-and-down, exciting game at "The Joe". The Crimson Tide look to do it again tomorrow night against Jacksonville State.