TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama’s Charley Sullivan threw his first career complete game Friday night, striking out seven in a 12-1 victory over Tennessee in the SEC opener for both teams at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.
Sullivan (1-1) threw 106 pitches.
“We knew what his plan was and we just weren’t getting good swings on him,” UT coach Dave Serrano said. “Once he got momentum and started feeling good about himself, it was tough on us. Hats off to him, he went out there and competed and led his team to victory.”
Tennessee (9-8, 0-1 SEC) scored in the first inning on a RBI groundout to second base from Scott Price that allowed Taylor Smart to score. But Tennessee’s bats went cold for the rest of the night, getting only three hits.
Defensively, Tennessee allowed 11 hits and had four errors. Zack Godley (1-2) took the loss after six innings of work in which he gave up eight hits, had four strikeouts and faced 31 batters.
“They were tougher than us tonight,” Serrano said. “They fought through some adversity and overcame it. They put better swings on pitches, played better defense and made better pitches when they had to. That was the name of the game.”
It was Tennessee’s worst loss of the season and Serrano wasn’t pleased with the team’s overall effort. Serrano said he and the coaching staff felt like the team’s out-of-conference schedule should have prepared it for this moment.
“It doesn’t feel good to get rolled, I’ll tell you that much,” Serrano said. “This is one of those games where you go over and shake the other coach’s hand and you’re embarrassed because you feel like you stunk up their field.”
Alabama (10-8, 1-0) piled it on in the second, fifth, seventh and eighth innings. Godley walked centerfielder Georgie Salem with the bases loaded to give Alabama its first run. Following the walk, Alabama right fielder Ben Moore stepped to the plate and drilled one to right-center field for a three-run double to give Alabama a 4-1 lead.
In the fifth, Kenny Roberts scored off a wild pitch by Godley, before Kyle Overstreet got an RBI that scored Brett Booth.
Alabama’s onslaught continued in the seventh and eighth innings as the Tide scored sixth runs between the two innings.
“We just weren’t able to lock it down defensively and that’s something we pride ourselves off of, great defense,” UT third baseman Will Maddox said. “We have the capability to be one of the best defensive teams in the SEC, but today was just a bad day all around.”