Alabama Tallies 8 Walks in Win Over Jacksonville State
In the bottom of the 5th inning of Wednesday’s game Alabama and Jacksonville State, Alabama’s Jim Jarvis stepped to the plate and four pitches later, he was on his way to first base with a leadoff walk. The sound system at Sewell-Thomas Stadium then proceeded to play I’m Gonna Be by The Proclaimers. A song better known as “500 Miles”.
That song told the story of exactly how this game went for the Tide. In the 7-2 win over JSU, the Crimson Tide totaled eight walks and only seven hits with Jarvis leading the way with three of those walks.
Junior Connor Shamblin got the start for Alabama and was sharp throughout his outing. The Gamecocks were able to work the counts deep on Shamblin but ultimately, it was Shamblin getting the best of the at-bats.
After working 1-2-3 innings in both the 3rd and 4th innings Shamblin was in cruise control until an RBI double to JSU’s Derrick Jackson brought in the Gamecocks' first run in the top of the 5th. Shamblin was able to get out of the inning a few pitches later when catcher Johnny Hawk threw out Jackson trying to steal third.
Shamblin recorded another 1-2-3 inning in the top of the 6th after striking out the side and was pulled after the inning following a career-high pitch count of 97.
Unlike Shamblin, the Alabama bats took a couple innings to get going. Third-baseman Zane Denton picked up right where he left off from the previous night and lined a single into right field to leadoff the bottom of the 2nd. After a passed ball and a hit-by-pitch, Jim Jarvis came to the plate and drew his first walk of the night to load the bases. Hawk followed him with another walk, bringing Denton home for the first run of the game. Peyton Wilson then followed Hawk with a walk of his own bringing home Andrew Pinckney who was earlier hit by a pitch.
The walk-fest continued in the 4th inning when Jarvis worked a leadoff walk followed by a walk for Hawk. A fly ball to deep center field by Wilson gave Jarvis and Hawk an easy tag opportunity putting the runners in scoring position with only one out for William Hamiter. On the first pitch he saw, Hamiter sliced one right back to the JSU pitcher, Isaiah Magwood. Magwood bobbled the ball giving Jarvis the opportunity to score, giving Alabama a 3-0 lead, and Hamiter reached first safely. A passed ball then brought home Hawk making it 4-0 Alabama. Magwood then walked Sam Praytor which then ended his night on the mound.
Jacksonville State’s new pitcher Camden Lovrich hit Drew Williamson with his first pitch to load the bases once again which opened the door for Zane Denton to, once again, deliver again RBI hit, this one scoring two more giving the Tide a 6-0 lead after 4 innings.
Now up 6-1 after the Gamecocks put one up in the top of the 5th, Jarvis worked another leadoff walk and later scored on an RBI single by William Hamiter making it 7-1 Alabama.
Alex Webb was the first batter to face reliever Jake Eddington in the top of the 7th for the Gamecocks after Connor Shamblin was pulled and he pulled a high fastball into the right field seats giving JSU their second run of the game. The bullpens would duke it out the rest of the game but the five run lead was just too much to overcome for the Gamecocks as they fell to Alabama with a final score of 7-2.
The Crimson Tide will host a weekend series with Stetson and then a weekday game against Troy before traveling to Fayetteville to open up SEC play against No.1 ranked Arkansas.