TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Samford University baseball team pounded out 13 hits and equaled its season high with 10 runs scored Wednesday as the Bulldogs rolled to a 10-3 road victory against the Alabama Crimson Tide in an in-state showdown held at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.
With the win, Samford (10-6) improved to 15-3 against in-state opponents since April 7, 2015, including a 3-1 record in 2017. Already this season, the Bulldogs have defeated Alabama, Auburn, 7-6, and Alabama State, 10-7.
Samford will return home to Birmingham this weekend for a three-game series against Eastern Michigan. The teams are slated to play Friday at 4 p.m. (CT), Saturday at 2 p.m., and Sunday at 1 p.m.
The Bulldogs received a brilliant pitching performance from starter Cody Shelton (1-0). Shelton, Samford's talented 6-foot-5 sophomore from Brentwood, Tennessee, didn't allow a single earned run Wednesday, while limiting the Crimson Tide (10-7) to four hits in five innings. Shelton compiled six strikeouts and left the game after five full frames of action with a 3-1 advantage.
The Bulldogs opened the scoring with a run in the top of the first inning and two more in the third to garner an early 3-0 advantage.
Alabama notched its first score in the fifth frame before adding single runs in both the eighth and ninth innings.
Samford received a two-run homer from Troy Dixon in the seventh inning to stop the Crimson Tide's momentum and then rallied for five runs in the ninth frame to provide the knockout punch.
With the Bulldogs' five-run outburst in the top of the ninth, they reached the 10-run plateau and tied their highest scoring output of the season. On March 8, Samford also scored 10 runs in a 10-7 road triumph against Alabama State.
Sophomore right fielder Jordan Fucci reached base safely in all five at-bats Wednesday and turned in a stellar 3-for-3 outing at the dish. He also scored a run for the Bulldogs.
Additionally, Samford's Kevin Williams Jr., Troy Dixon and Anthony Mulrine all added multi-hit performances, while T.J. Dixon, Branden Fryman, Austin Edens and Sam Teague also registered base hits. Eight of the Bulldogs' nine starters tallied hits against Alabama.
T.J. Dixon, who earned an infield single in the sixth inning, extended his hitting streak to 15 games. Fryman also improved his hitting streak to 11, while Edens and Mulrine currently boast marks of nine and seven straight games, respectively.
The Bulldogs' relief pitchers Tristan Widra, Erin Baldwin, Jared Brasher and Wyatt Burns all turned in strong outings to secure Wednesday's victory.
The win was Samford's first at Alabama since April 5, 2011, snapping a five-game road losing streak in the series.
The Samford University baseball team will next be in action Friday at 4 p.m. (CT) as the Bulldogs return home to Birmingham for a three-game nonconference series against the Eastern Michigan Eagles. All three meetings will be held at Joe Lee Griffin Field, with Saturday's game slated to begin at 2 p.m. and Sunday's contest scheduled for 1 p.m.
VMI at Old Dominion canceled, no makup date planned