Tuesday, February 22, 2022
For the fourth time in the last five seasons Alabama baseball is off to a 3-0 start to the regular season as the Tide swept Xavier on opening weekend of the 2022 college baseball campaign. Playing in the tough SEC conference (featuring eight teams ranked inside the top 25 as of Tuesday), Bama enters the year projected to be more of an average ball club. However, thanks to some strong pitching and a combined 25 hits overall in Games 2 and 3 on Saturday and Sunday, respectively, the Tide appear on track to surpass such middling expectations.
Fri, Feb. 18 – W, 5-4 vs. Xavier
Sat, Feb. 19 – W, 5-4 vs. Xavier
Sun, Feb. 20 – W, 9-4 vs. Xavier
Per THE BOARD at FanGraphs, Alabama’s 2022 roster only features one ranked MLB Draft prospect, lefty pitcher Connor Prielipp (who has yet to pitch so far this year), but I believe there’s a few others that could possibly get some attention throughout the season. Senior first baseman Drew Williamson is off to a solid start so far, going 3 for 13 with a home run this past weekend, and junior catcher Dominic Tamez leads the offense with two homers as part of a 4 for 12 (.333 AVG) start to the ’22 season. Junior outfielder William Hamiter is also beginning the year hot, going 6 for 12 (.500 AVG) with three doubles in the Tide’s first three games.
The starting pitching has been really good so far too, especially given how early in the season it is. Righty Garrett McMillan started the season opener back on Friday and struck out five Xavier batters in six innings of work, while allowing four runs from four hits. A two-man bullpen then finished the contest with three shut-out innings for the win. In Game 2, Bama went with more a bullpen game as five pitchers combined for 10 strikeouts and just four runs allowed, and then in the series finale lefty Grayson Hitt put together a four-inning start that featured just three hits and no earned runs.
Bama baseball will be back at it today at noon (CT), going up against Jacksonville State at home, followed by a 3pm contest with Alabama State tomorrow. Then things will get very interesting as on Friday the Tide will begin a three-game series versus the top-ranked team in the nation, facing Texas over the weekend. Entering Tuesday, the Longhorns have outscored its opponents this season by a tally of 36-3 so far. If Bama can win this weekend’s series against such a team as Texas, it will definitely be a strong start to the 2022 season, and hopefully give the Tide some momentum before conference play begins next month. Alabama will start its SEC schedule with a three-game set versus Florida, beginning on March 18.
Also, it should be noted that Alabama’s softball team is off to another impressive start to the year. Bama softball is currently 9-0 after walloping its opposition thus far. Once again, it looks to be a another fun spring/summer for the Tide, and at least something to be excited about until minor and major league baseball gets going.