TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Despite falling behind early, Alabama baseball battled back for a 6-3 win over Northeastern on Sunday at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. The sweep pushed the Crimson Tide’s record to 3-0 after Opening Weekend.
Northeastern jumped out front early, taking a 3-0 lead after one frame. Alabama answered with two in the home half of the first, tied things up with a single tally in the second and took the lead with a pair in the bottom of the third. The Crimson Tide did not relinquish its advantage from that point and added one more in the fifth to secure the series sweep of NU.
The Huskies got to Antoine Jean (1-0) early, but the freshman then settled in, retiring nine of the final 11 batters he faced before exiting the game in line for the win. Jean recorded 4.0 innings of work, allowing four hits and three runs (two earned) with a walk and two strikeouts for the win. Sophomores Jacob McNairy and Chase Lee followed to combine for 5.0 shutout frames, allowing just one hit between the two with each right-hander striking out four batters apiece. Lee worked the final two frames to pick up his first career save.
Alabama’s bats continued their hot hitting, tallying 12 hits for a third straight game. The Crimson Tide offense was led once again by freshman Owen Diodati. The designated hitter finished a perfect 3-for-3 and a double short of the cycle. Diodati added a team-high three RBI and matched the team-best mark for runs scored with two. Fellow freshman Jim Jarvis, along with senior Brett Auerbach, also contributed multi-hit efforts with two knocks apiece. Auerbach’s line included a double and a home run to go with an RBI, two runs scored, a pair of walks and a stolen base.
From Head Coach Brad Bohannon
“It was a really good day for us today, especially once we settled down after Antoine (Jean) lost his mind there the first couple batters of the game. The pitching was awesome once Antoine got past the first couple batters and settled in, then he was great. (Jacob) McNairy was outstanding out of the pen and Chase Lee just looked unhittable, so those guys were all really, really good and they commanded their fastball while throwing multiple pitches for a strike. We also had a lot of hard contact today. Northeastern didn’t help us as much today as they have the last two days, so we didn’t quite score as many runs, but we probably had a higher quality at-bat percentage than the past couple days. Overall, this was another really good day for us and a great opening weekend.”
How It Happened
- T1 | A walk, single and throwing error allowed Northeastern its first run. A groundout in the next at-bat pushed across one more before a single to right-center brought in the Huskies’ final run of the frame. (3-0, Northeastern)
- B1 | Auerbach led things off with a double and used a misplay by the NU right fielder to move to third. Sophomore T.J. Reeves scored Auerbach in the next at-bat thanks to an RBI-single through the right side. The Crimson Tide then loaded the bases for Diodati, with the freshman delivering a two-out RBI-single to cut the deficit to one. (3-2, Northeastern)
- B2 | Auerbach tied things up with a solo shot over the wall in right. (3-3)
- B3 | Drew Williamson drew a leadoff walk to start the frame. One out later, Diodati brought in the sophomore and himself thanks to a two-run, go-ahead home run. (5-3, Alabama)
- B5 | Diodati stretched his deep shot into a two-out triple. Kolby Robinson delivered in the next at-bat with the senior singling to left to widen the gap. (6-3, Alabama)
- The Crimson Tide swept the Northeastern Huskies. Alabama has now swept two of its three Opening Weekend opponents under head coach Brad Bohannon and hold an 8-1 mark in those three series to start the new year.
- Alabama totaled 36 hits across the three-game series. The 36 hits are the most in a three-game set since UA produced 39 hits across the weekend with Washington State from Feb. 23-24, 2018.
- Tide pitchers allowed only 13 hits all weekend. The 13 combined hits allowed are the fewest a UA staff has given up in a three-game weekend series since 2015 when Alabama allowed only 11 hits over three games against Maryland Eastern Shore from Feb. 13-15.
- Owen Diodati finished 3-for-3 with a single, a triple and a home run, coming up a double short of the cycle.
- Diodati wrapped up his weekend as the team leader in hits (6), home runs (3), RBI (8) and runs scored (6). He batted .667 (6-9) over that stretch, the highest average on the Tide.
- Five of Diodati’s six hits went for extra bases.
- With his 1-for-5 day, sophomore T.J. Reeves has now reached base safely in his last 13 straight games dating back to May 4 of last season.
- Brett Auerbach started at three different positions on the weekend. The senior began his weekend in center, moved to catcher on Saturday and finished things up at third base in today’s series finale.
- ATTENDANCE: 2,953
Alabama will use Monday for an off day before heading back to the diamond for a pair of midweeks. The Crimson Tide will first host Troy on Tuesday, Feb. 18, for a 3 p.m. CT matchup before welcoming the Alabama State Hornets to The Joe on Wednesday, scheduled for a 2 p.m. first pitch. Both games can be seen live on SEC Network+.