For the last 36 hours, Alabama Baseball has been at the center of attention after allegedly being caught up in a point-shaving scandal in the series last weekend against LSU. Earlier Thursday morning, Alabama decided to part ways with former Head Coach Brad Bohannon after an investigation proving that Bohannon had a direct relation with the person in Ohio placing the bets on Friday. What led to the initial investigation was the fact that Coach Bohannon had scratched his starting pitcher on Friday night before a large sum of money was bet on LSU. At the time, Coach Bohannon stated his pitcher was suffering from soreness, which Coach pulled the Alabama ace off the mound before the first pitch against LSU. According to multiple reports and statements from the University Of Alabama, at this time, no student-athletes are expected to be a part of the gambling ring that Coach Bohannon had taken place with.
Despite dealing with that, Alabama Baseball still had a baseball game to play on Thursday night, as they welcomed Head Coach Tim Corbin and his Vanderbilt Commodores to Sewell-Thomas Stadium for a crucial Southeastern Conference series.
Coming into the weekend series against Vanderbilt, Alabama needed to find some wins to remove the Crimson Tide from the middle of the pack of the Southeastern Conference. Alabama came into Thursday night with a conference record of 9-12. According to D1Baseball.com, Alabama is safely in the NCAA Tournament as a three-seed, but the Crimson Tide still has a bit of work to do if they want to feel warm about earning an NCAA Tournament bid.
Taking over the Head Coaching duties for the Crimson Tide, Pitching Coach Jason Jackson. Coach Jackson and his Crimson Tide were up for the challenge on Thursday night as they jumped all over Vanderbilt in the bottom half of the second inning. With a tied game at one, Andrew Pinckney would step up to the plate with bases loaded in the bottom half of the second, and a two-out grand slam to left field would give Alabama an early 5-1 lead over the Commodores.
Alabama added two runs in the bottom half of the 4th inning, making it 6-1 Crimson Tide heading to the 5th inning. Vanderbilt would add a run in the top half of the 5th with two outs, but Alabama still dearly held on to the 6-2 lead over the Commodores. Ed Johnson would launch a deep solo shot to left field to give Alabama a 7th run in the bottom half of the 7th. That 7th run from the bat of Ed Johnson would not be enough for the Crimson Tide as they wanted to pile it on Vanderbilt in the 8th. Alabama added five more runs to make it 11-2 Alabama.
One too many errors from the Vanderbilt Commodores would provide the nail in the coffin as Alabama would cruise to an easy game-one win over Vanderbilt. Alabama did what they had to do to beat Vanderbilt on Thursday night; the Crimson Tide jumped out early on the Commodores, and the runs on the board provided enough insurance for Alabama to walk away with a massive series-opening win.
Game two of the series will have a first-pitch of 7:00 with a National Television audience on the SEC Network.