College Podcast: Alabama Coach Brad Bohannon Previews Season
On this episode of the Baseball America College Podcast, Teddy Cahill and Joe Healy are joined by Alabama coach Brad Bohannon to discuss his team's breakout 2020 season, the early success of lefthander Connor Prielipp and his expectations for the 2021 season.
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The Crimson Tide seemed to turn a corner in 2020, rushing out to a 14-0 start and finishing the season 16-1. Along the way, much attention was rightfully paid to freshman lefthander Connor Prielipp, who was enjoying as good a debut season as one possibly could. In 21 innings across four starts, he gave up five hits and no runs with 36 strikeouts and just six walks.
His success might have taken some shine away from the lineup, which was also quite productive. The Tide hit .308/.432/.500 as a team, and while the 2021 team will be without two top hitters in Tyler Gentry and Brett Auerbach, who are now both in professional baseball, it still should be a quality lineup thanks to the return of catcher Sam Praytor, first baseman Drew Williamson and outfielders Owen Diodati and T.J. Reeves.
The last step toward Alabama proving itself is the toughest one, and that's continuing to win games and working toward a postseason appearance in SEC play.
Among the topics discussed on this episode are:
- The excitement Bohannon has about getting back on the field and working toward opening day
- What was different with the 2020 team that allowed them to get off to such a good start
- Connor Prielipp's success last season and when he knew that he was a special pitcher
- Expectations for a lineup without Gentry and Auerbach
- Whether or not the uncertainty about scheduling format up until a few weeks ago forced the Alabama staff to approach building a pitching staff any differently
- The low-key tough nonconference slate that includes series against McNeese State, Wright State, College of Charleston and Stetson, all teams capable of winning their conference
- What stands out to Bohannon about the SEC this season
- What's left to do from a coaching perspective over the last two weeks before opening day