Alabama Downs UMass 16-2 In Opener
March 7, 2003
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Junior shortstop Adam Pavkovich hit two home runs and added five RBI, leading the No. 24 ranked University of Alabama baseball team to a 16-2 win over the University of Massachusetts, in the first-game of a three-game series Friday night at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.
Pavkovich's second home run of the game snapped a 2-2 tie in the sixth inning, giving UA its first lead of the game at 4-2. The home run also ignited an offense that scored nine runs on six hits in the inning to give Alabama an 11-2 lead.
The Venice, Fla., native went 3-for-5 with two home runs and five RBI, both career highs. In addition he extended his hitting streak to a season high 10 consecutive games with his first career multi home run game at Alabama.
Following Pavkovich's two-run home run, the Crimson Tide scored seven more runs in the inning. Freshman catcher Charlie Lyons ripped a two-run double with the bases loaded and freshman center fielder Brandon Avalos followed with a two-run double to right center to blow open a close game.
Sophomore first baseman Zac Welch also added an RBI double in the inning to extend his hitting streak to a team-best 11 straight games. Welch also has an RBI in six straight games and has scored at least one run in eight straight games.
Alabama (10-3) added five more runs in the seventh inning, including a two-run double into the left field corner by Pavkovich. Lyons added an RBI single and pinch-hitter Brad Van Winkle delivered an RBI single for to cap the scoring for UA.
The 16-run outburst was more than enough for sophomore lefty Taylor Tankersley, who celebrated his 20th birthday with seven strong innings and 10 strikeouts.
Tanklersley (3-0) allowed two runs and five hits in seven innings for the his third straight win. In his last two starts, Tankersley has 21 strikeouts in 14 innings, including back-to-to-back double-figure strikeout games.
UMass (0-1) built a 2-0 lead against the Vicksburg, Miss., native with single runs in the second and third innings.
Center fielder Jason Twomley was hit by a pitch and later scored on a two-out single to right by Matt Boulanger to give the Minutemen a 1-0 lead in the second.
Mike Athas' solo home run to lead off the third extended the lead to 2-0.
Alabama answered with solo home runs in the fourth and fifth innings to tie the game.
Pavkovich put the Crimson Tide on the board with a solo home run in the fourth off losing pitcher Eric Chown (0-1). Senior designated hitter Al Hecklinski tied the game with a solo home run in the fifth.
In addition to Pavkovich, Lyons went 2-for-4 with three RBI for Alabama, both career highs. Grant Redding added two hits, while Avalos and Welch had two RBI apiece.
Second baseman Cullan Maumus joined Athas as the only two Minutemen with two hits in the loss.
The second game of this three-game series is set for 4 p.m. Saturday afternoon from the Joe. Sophomore lefty Brent Carter (2-1, 1.89 ERA) is set to pitch for Alabama against UMass right hander Matt Torra, making his collegiate debut.
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