Alabama Baseball makes a statement with series win over Tennessee

Mar 16, 2024; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Alabama second baseman Bryce Eblin throws to first to record
Mar 16, 2024; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Alabama second baseman Bryce Eblin throws to first to record / Gary Cosby Jr.-Tuscaloosa News / USA

While the Alabama Baseball team was off to a fantastic start to the season all eyes were on the first series of SEC play and Rob Vaughn was tasked with facing the fifth-ranked Tennessee Volunteers. The Alabama Baseball team lost an early week matchup to Southern Mississippi and split the series with Tennessee causing the team to rise in National Rankings. The Tide is starting to garner National Attention and could be the surprise team in college baseball this year.

The opening game was a disaster for the Alabama Baseball team as the team lost 11-3 with Ace Ben Hess on the mound. The lone highlight from game one was back-to-back home runs from TJ McCants and Ian Petrutz with both home runs coming as tape measure shots with McCants' traveling 452 feet and Petrutz's going 412 feet.

Game two saw Alabama's Greg Farone face off against projected first-round pick Drew Beam for the Vols. The Tide would jump on Beam early scoring in the first thanks to an RBI ground out from Ian Petrutz to score Gage Miller. The Tide would tack on two more in the second on an RBI triple from Bryce Eblin that scored Eblin as well thanks to an errant throw. The third inning saw the Tide extend their lead to 6-0 with timely hits from Mac Guscette and Justin Lebron. Beam would hold the Tide at six from the fourth inning through the eighth.

The Vols cut the lead in half by the eighth inning causing the Tide to send in closer Alton Davis II to record a two-inning save. Davis would keep the Vols in check getting the Tide their first win of SEC play in the Rob Vaughn Era. Farone was outstanding against a dangerous Volunteer offense pitching 5.1 innings allowing just five hits and one run with four strikeouts.

Game three was one of the most electric baseball games you'd ever see especially down the stretch of the game. The Tide once again took an early lead on a Ian Petrutz RBI single scoring Gage Miller in the second inning. The Vols would take a 4-1 lead in the third inning which the Tide immediately cut to 4-3 as the offense continued to find timely hits. At 4-3, Braylon Myers came in and held the Volunteers in check pitching three scoreless innings. Will Hodo hit a solo home run in the fourth tying the game before the Vols got their lead back in the 7th inning.

The bottom of the eighth would start the dramatics as Mac Guscette was hit by a pitch then a one-out single from Justin Lebron put the go-ahead runner on base. Bryce Eblin hit what appeared to be an extra-base hit that would easily score the runner from second however, Vols outfielder Dylan Dreiling made what will be the early nominee for play of the year. With two on and two outs in the eighth Gage Miller hit a bomb that landed on Second Avenue to give the Tide a 7-5 lead.

The Tide however didn't have Alton Davis II to close the game out due to his two-inning save the night prior. The team dropped what should have been the first out on a miscommunication in foul territory which Tennessee immediately turned into a single on the next pitch. Then with one out the Tide threw away a second out putting two Vols on base while bringing the go-ahead runner to the plate. The Vols would load the bases causing Rob Vaughn to turn to Aidan Moza. He'd strike the first batter out before walking in a run bringing the score to 7-6 and putting the tying run just 90 feet away. Moza would kill the Vols comeback rally with three straight nasty breaking balls giving the Tide the series win.

TJ McCants is off to one of the best starts in College Baseball with a hit in every game batting .369 with seven home runs and 24 RBIs. Gage Miller has been the team's power source with nine home runs and 27 RBIs with a team-leading .443 average.

Starting Pitcher Greg Farone is quickly becoming an ace alongside Ben Hess with a 3-0 record with a 1.71 ERA. Alton Davis II continues to be Mr. Reliable out of the bullpen with a 1.74 ERA and three saves.

The Tide will take on Alabama State in Montgomery on Tuesday before heading to Athens to take on the Georgia Bulldogs.

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Note: Stats via