Baseball Heads to Montgomery to Battle Auburn on Tuesday

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM Jared Reaves is off to a hot start in 2012, with a team-high .366 average and a 10-game hit streak.
Jared Reaves is off to a hot start in 2012, with a team-high .366 average and a 10-game hit streak.

March 5, 2012

UA Game Notes_Auburn

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Alabama baseball team will play four games this week, opening with the Auburn Tigers in a non-conference game at Riverwalk Stadium in Montgomery, Ala. The non-conference game between Alabama and Auburn is scheduled for 7:05 p.m., and will be televised on CSS, with Joe Davis and Joe Beckwith providing the commentary.

The radio broadcast for Tuesday’s Capital City Classic will air on WFFN-FM 95.3 in Tuscaloosa, with Chris Stewart and Lee Tracey calling the action for the Crimson Tide Radio Network.

FRIDAY                           W-L  ERA   G/GS   IP    H  R  ER  BB  SO
UA-Spencer Turnbull (Fr., RHP)   0-0  3.00  3/1    9.0   8  3  3   6   7
AU-Jon Luke Jacobs (Sr., RHP)    2-0  0.69  2/2    13.0  5  1  1   3   16

Alabama is coming off a 2-3 week and is now 5-6 through 11 games this season. The Crimson Tide dropped two of three games in a weekend series to Tulane. Alabama won the middle game, 6-2, after losing game one 9-7. Tulane won the final game 7-2. In nine games against Auburn, Alabama head coach Mitch Gaspard has posted a 4-5 record against the Tigers.

Auburn is off to a 7-6 start to the 2012 campaign, after posting a 1-2 record in the Auburn Tournament this past weekend. The Tigers only win in the tournament was a 13-1 victory over Charleston Southern on Saturday. Auburn suffered losses to Purdue, 9-8, on Friday and Southern Mississippi, 5-4, on Sunday. Currently in his fourth year at Auburn, head coach John Pawlowski has a record of 110-81, and is 8-5 all-time against Alabama.

Auburn enters Tuesday’s game a .324 batting average, and has outscored their opponents 98-59 this season. Six of the nine Auburn regulars have a .300 average or better. Creede Simpson leads the team with a .442 batting average, while starting all 13 games at second base. Simpson leads the team with 23 hits, six doubles and 15 RBI, and is second on the squad with 10 stolen bases in 13 attempts. Outfielder Jay Gonzalez, who is hitting .373, leads the team with seven extra base hits, including a team-high three triples. Gonzalez leads the SEC in triples, runs scored with 17 and stolen bases with 12, in 14 attempts. Auburn has hit five home runs this season, with two coming from Patrick Savage and Kody Ortman and one from Cullen Wacker. Ryan Tella is the team’s second leading hitter with a .383 average. He leads the team with 15 walks and a .554 on-base percentage.

Auburn will start senior right-handed pitcher Jon Luke Jacobs against the Tide on Tuesday. In two starts this season, Jacobs has a 2-0 record with a 0.69 earned run average, while starting both times during midweek outing. Jacobs has allowed just one earned run on five hits in 13.0 innings pitched, while posting 16 strikeouts (second on the team) to just three walks. Opponents are hitting .116 against him.

Jacobs started twice against Alabama during his career. Last season, he started the series opener on May 14. He got a no decision after throwing 7.0 innings, allowing four runs on seven hits with seven strikeouts. As a freshman, he threw 7.0 innings, allowing two earned runs on three hits with nine strikeouts on May 14, 2009. In his only other appearance against Alabama, Jacobs threw 4.1 innings in relief on April 2, 2010, allowing five runs (three earned) on seven hits with three strikeouts. For his career, Jacobs is 0-0 in three appearance, twice as a starter, with a 4.47 ERA against the Tide. He’s allowed 11 runs (nine earned) on 17 hits with 17 strikeouts and seven walks.

Tuesday’s game will mark the 264th meeting all-time in baseball between Alabama and Auburn. Alabama leads the all-time series, which began in 1896, 143-120. Last year, Auburn won three out of the four meetings between the two schools. In the 2011 Capital City Classic, the Tigers defeated the Crimson Tide, 2-1, on March 15. This year marks the fourth straight year of the Capital City Classic. Auburn has won the first three games played in the Montgomery, Ala., Riverwalk Stadium. Auburn posted an 8-7 win in 2010, an 8-6 win in 2011 and a 2-1 victory in 2011. When the teams met during SEC play, Auburn won the series, 2-1, as Alabama win the final game, 7-6.

Following Tuesday’s game against Auburn, Alabama will host the DRASH Alabama Baseball Classic on the weekend. The six-game event includes East Carolina, Oral Roberts and Louisville in a round robin event, where each team plays three games, one against each school. Double headers will take place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The Tide will play East Carolina on Friday, Louisville on Saturday and close the event against Oral Roberts on Sunday.