Bramblett’s gem lifts Tide past Ole Miss

Sophomore Geoffrey Bramblett led the Alabama baseball team to a 6-1 win over Ole Miss in the opening round of the 2015 SEC Tournament on Tuesday morning.

The Crimson Tide starter tossed his second career complete game in as many chances during the postseason.

“I thought Geoffrey did a tremendous job,” said Alabama head coach Mitch Gaspard. “For game one, I don’t think we could have asked for a whole lot more.”

In just his second postseason start, Bramblett went the distance once again. Despite allowing a season-high tying nine hits, the Rebels could not string them together for more than one run by day’s end. The Crimson Tide starter recorded a career-high 10 strikeouts and did not allow a free pass in the start for the second time this season.

The pitching effort was matched by a clutch hitting effort from the Crimson Tide bats. By day’s end, the offense collected 11 total hits, nine of which came with two outs. Alabama was led by multi-hit efforts from Casey Hughston, Mikey White and J.C. Wilhite. Hughston knocked a double while collecting a team-high two RBI by day’s end.

Alabama struck first, using four consecutive two-out singles in the fifth to take an early lead. The hit parade started with Chandler Avant, singling up the middle to start the rally. Georgie Salem followed to put runners on the corners for White. In the at-bat, Salem deked a steal of second, leading to a rundown between the bases that allowed Avant to steal of home as Salem retreated to first. White would come through with a hit to put runners on the corners once again and then a Hughston single to center brought across run number two, setting the score at 2-0 through four and a half.

Ole Miss would put together one run in the bottom of the fifth to make it a 2-1 game. The Crimson Tide would counter, this time for a huge inning in the seventh. Riley Colburn led off the inning with a single to chase the Ole Miss starter. Two consecutive outs moved him to third before White would deliver a single to right-center to bring the inning’s first run across. Hughston would follow with a double to score White and then an infield error extended the inning.

With runners on the corners, Cody Henry blooped a single down in front of the left fielder for the Tide’s third run of the inning and forced another Ole Miss pitching change. The new Rebel arm was greeted with a Wilhite single to bring across the fourth run of the frame and extend Alabama’s lead to 6-1.

“We had a lot of our key hitters have a nice day today, and we were able to get them off to a good start in the tournament” Gaspard added. “We’ve played pretty good baseball for two and a half weeks, which is encouraging. We got off to a really good start today, and we will prepare for Texas A&M in the morning.”

With the win, Alabama advances to the double-elimination portion of the tournament. The Tide will begin play against the No. 3 seeded Texas A&M Aggies tomorrow morning at 9:30 a.m. CT.

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