Baseball Set to Host Samford on Tuesday
Feb. 25, 2013
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – After winning two of three games at Florida Atlantic, the Alabama Crimson Tide (6-1) returns home to host Samford (5-4) on Tuesday night. First pitch for the midweek game is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. CT, from Sewell-Thomas Stadium. Alabama is slated to start sophomore left-handed pitcher Taylor Guilbeau (1-0, 0.00 ERA) and Samford will send sophomore righty Patrick Maronde (1-0, 0.00 ERA) to the mound to open the game.
All games for the 2013 season will be broadcast on the Crimson Tide Sports Network. Due to a conflict with men’s basketball, Tuesday’s baseball game against Samford will be broadcast on WTSK-AM 790, with Lee Tracey calling the action. Livestats will also be available on RollTide.com. For all home games during the 2013 season, a live video webcast, with audio, will be available through RollTide.com/TIDETV. Tuesday night’s game at Sewell-Thomas Stadium is $2 Tuesday’s with all general admission tickets costing two dollars.
PROBABLE STARTING PITCHING MATCHUP
Alabama is coming off a 2-1 record against Florida Atlantic this past weekend. It was the first road games of the season for the Tide. The Tide opened the weekend with a 5-2 win on Friday before posting a 4-2 victory on Saturday. Going for the road series sweep, Alabama was shutout, 3-0, in the series finale on Sunday. The Crimson Tide opened the season by winning its first six games, before suffering their first loss of the season on Sunday at Florida Atlantic. Senior catcher Brett Booth leads the team in average (.409), runs (8) and RBI (8), and is tied for the team lead with Ben Moore in walks (5) and home runs (1). Freshman center fielder Georgie Salem leads the team with 11 hits, after collecting seven in the series at FAU, and stolen bases with four. Salem is hitting .355 through seven games, after a .538 weekend at FAU. Salem is riding a six-game hitting streak entering Tuesday’s game.
Samford comes into Tuesday’s game with a 5-4 record, after losing three of four games in the Diamond Classic at Mississippi State, losing twice to No. 5 Mississippi State (L, 8-2 and L, 8-1) and splitting with Purdue, losing on Friday 9-4 before winning on Sunday 6-3. Samford opened the year by winning three of four games against Youngstown State, then improved to 4-1 with a 12-1 win over Alabama State on Feb. 19. The Bulldogs are hitting .285 as a team, while averaging 7.1 runs and 9.4 hits per game. The Samford pitching staff has a 4.32 ERA in 77.0 innings pitched. The Bulldogs have allowed 41 runs (37 earned) in nine games and opponents are hitting .274.
Senior third baseman Tommy Corbin leads the team with a .484 batting average. His 15 hits lead the team while his seven RBI rank tied for second on the club. Preseason All-America outfielder Phillip Ervin is hitting .343 and leads the team with four home runs. C.K. Irby is hitting .370, leads the team with 11 RBI and is tied for the team lead with three doubles. In six starts, catcher Drew McWhorter is hitting .389 with three doubles and five runs scored. Probable starting pitcher Patrick Maronde has a 1-0 record in three appearances out of the bullpen this season. Maronde has allowed one unearned run in 5.2 innings pitched this season.
The series between Alabama and Samford dates back to 1894 when Samford was known as Howard University. Since the first meeting 119 year ago, Alabama holds an 89-15 overall record in the series. After winning both games played between the two schools last season, Alabama has won the last three games against Samford. Alabama is 6-4 against the Bulldogs in the last 10 meetings between the two schools. UA head coach Mitch Gaspard is 3-3 against Samford as the head coach of the Tide.
Alabama is off to a 6-1 through its first seven games, and after a series win at Florida Atlantic, the Crimson Tide is receiving 10 votes in this week’s USA Today Sports Coaches Poll and is also receiving votes in the NCBWA top-30 poll. Alabama has outscored its opponents 44-27 through its first seven games. The Crimson Tide is 4-0 when leading after six, 5-0 when leading after seven and 6-0 when leading after eight innings. The Alabama pitching staff has a 2.76 ERA with 53 strikeouts and 29 walks in 62 innings pitched. The Tide held FAU to seven runs (four earned) in 26 innings over the weekend. Alabama is hitting .260 as a team, while averaging 6.2 runs and 8.3 hits per game. The Tide is 15-for-17 in stolen base attempts this season, and ranks third in the SEC with 15 stolen bases. Alabama was 13-for-13 in stolen base attempts before having two of its last four runners thrown out. In the middle third of the game, Alabama is outscoring its opponents 21-7 in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. UA’s biggest advantage is in the eighth inning when they are outscoring the opposition 12-3. Alabama is tied for the lead in the SEC with four saves and is one of two teams in the conference (Texas A&M)that has not allowed a home run this season.
Alabama posted a 3-1 record that included a 10-8 win over No. 21 Southern Mississippi and a road series win over Florida Atlantic. Alabama improved to 4-0 at home with the win over the Golden Eagles, as the Tide matched its season-high with 10 runs on eight hits. In its first road games of the season, Alabama posted a 2-1 record against FAU. The Crimson Tide won the first two games of the series, 5-2 and 4-2, respectively, before dropping the third game, 3-0. The UA pitching staff allowed seven total runs in the series, while only allowing four earned runs overall, while holding the Owls to a .239 average and a 1.38 ERA. Alabama had a total of 20 hits against FAU. Georgie Salem has seven hits, Austen Smith and Kenny Roberts had three, and Ryan Blanchard and Brett Booth had two each.
After winning the first two games on the road against FAU (5-2 and 4-2), Alabama was 6-0 to open the season before suffering a 3-0 loss in the series finale. The Bama pitching staff allowed a .240 batting average with a 2.57 ERA in the last four games. Starting pitchers allowed just three earned runs in a combined 22 innings pitched to post a 1.22 ERA for the week. With Jake Hubbard and Ray Castillo converting both save opportunities over the weekend, Alabama is 4-for-4 in save chances this season.
Starting pitchers Taylor Guilbeau, Charley Sullivan and Jon Keller did not allow an earned run in a combined 16.0 innings. Keller posted the Tide’s longest outing of the week, throwing 6.0 innings in a win over FAU to improve to 2-0 on the season. Keller allowed one unearned run on four hits with five strikeouts on Saturday. Guilbeau went 5.0 innings, allowing one unearned run on three hits with a career-high seven strikeouts against No. 21 Southern Miss. Guilbeau has a 0.00 ERA in 6.0 innings of work this season. Sullivan lasted 5.0 innings, allowing two unearned runs on five hits with six strikeouts in the series opener at Florida Atlantic. In relief of Sullivan, Tucker Hawley threw two scoreless innings against FAU to record the win and improve to 2-0 on the season. Hawley has made two appearances out of the bullpen this season, allowing one run on two hits in 4.1 innings. Keaton Haack made two appearances on the week, allowing no runs on one hit with a walk and a strikeout .. in three appearances this season, Haack has not allowed an earned run in 5.0 innings. Ray Castillo earned his first career save after throwing the final 3.0 innings against Florida Atlantic on Saturday. In three appearances, Castillo has a 1-0 record with a save in 8.0 innings. Jake Hubbard did not allow a hit in his two appearances that included 2.1 innings pitched. Hubbard faced one batter on Friday night, getting a double play in the ninth to end the game to pick up his team leading second save of the season.
Georgie Salem led the Crimson Tide with a .444 batting average for the week that included a .538 average (7-for-13) in the series at Florida Atlantic. Salem had three hits in the first two games of the series at FAU and is currently second on the team with a .355 average for the season and is riding a six-game hitting streak. Austen Smith and Kenny Roberts were both 3-for-10 in the FAU series. Smith’s first hit of the season was a RBI single in the sixth inning of game one against FAU. Smith was 2-for-3 with a walk in game two of the FAU series. Roberts had his first multi-hit game of the season, going 2-for-3 with a RBI and a run scored on Saturday against FAU. Brett Booth leads the team in batting average (.409), runs scored (8) and RBI (8), and is tied for the team lead in walks (5) and home runs (1). Booth was 3-for-3 with two RBI and two runs scored with a home run against Southern Miss. Booth also delivered a two-run RBI single in game two of the series FAU series as the Tide defeated the Owls 4-2.
Following the game against Samford, Alabama remains at home to take on Tulane in a three-game series this weekend. The series with Tulane begins on Friday, March 1, with first pitch slated for 6:05 p.m. CT, from Sewell-Thomas Stadium. Game two is Saturday at 2:05 p.m., and game three is Sunday at 1:05 p.m. Tulane won two of the three games when the two teams met in New Orleans, La., last season.
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