It’s baseball time for an Iron Bowl. Alabama plays Auburn this evening in Montgomery. This is what I wrote for today’s paper …
TUSCALOOSA — Through 11 games, the grand experiment for the Alabama baseball pitching staff is going about as expected.
The freshmen-dominated rotation took its lumps over the past three weeks. With a 5-6 record against a tougher-than-usual early season schedule, Crimson Tide coach Mitch Gaspard wants to simplify things. Before that, he’ll send another rookie to the mound at 7:05 tonight against Auburn in Montgomery.
Freshman Spencer Turnbull (0-0, 3.00 ERA) gets the nod a week after earning a no-decision in a win over South Alabama in his first start. He pitched five scoreless innings and allowed just three hits, but his pitch count epitomized the struggles of the young staff.
Gaspard said that throwing 93 pitches was far too many to get 15 outs. He would like it to be closer to 65 or 70.
“Obviously, we’re not pleased right now, and I think our numbers show that,” he said. “What we have to see now is more strikes and more command of pitches and I think that’s where guys get sped up. We’re throwing too many pitches and missing with too many pitches.”
It’s the pace of the game that’s creating issues for the three freshmen who have started games.
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