Tide turns back Redhawks in opener

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Southeast Missouri State baseball team received solid pitching during Friday's season opener.

But nationally ranked Alabama was just a bit better on the mound as the Crimson Tide pulled away late for a 5-1 victory in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Alabama, ranked 16th and 21st in two of the major national polls, held Southeast to five hits, all singles.

Three Southeast hurlers combined to allow just three earned runs. Alabama finished with 10 hits.

Particularly impressive for the Redhawks was a junior college transfer making his first Division I start.

Kyle Gumieny limited Alabama to a pair of runs through five innings. He allowed six hits, struck out four and walked two.

Gumieny gave up two second-inning runs, on a double, triple and sacrifice fly.

Austin Hyatt, Alabama's No. 1 starter last season, shut out the Redhawks on two hits through six innings. He struck out six and walked none.

Southeast finally got to Hyatt in the seventh when seniors Tyrell Cummings and Matt Wagner both singled as Jimmy Nelson relieved Hyatt.

After senior Justin Wheeler sacrificed, Cummings scored on a ground out by sophomore Trenton Moses from Advance High School, but Wagner was stranded at third.

Alabama's bullpen shut down Southeast the rest of the way, allowing one hit while striking out four.

The Crimson Tide added a run in the seventh off junior Josh Syberg on a steal of home. Syberg worked two innings, allowing two hits.

Alabama gained some breathing room with two unearned runs in the eighth off senior Ryan Poole as an error was followed by Vin DiFazio's two-out home run.

Moses went 2-for-4 to lead the Redhawks' offense.

DiFazio went 2-for-3 with three RBIs for Alabama.

The squads will continue their three-game series at 4:05 p.m. today,

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