Baseball Hosts Tennessee to Open SEC Play on Friday

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM Catcher Brett Booth leads the Tide in batting average, runs scored and walks heading into SEC play.
ROLLTIDEDOTCOM
Catcher Brett Booth leads the Tide in batting average, runs scored and walks heading into SEC play.
ROLLTIDEDOTCOM

March 14, 2013

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – After splitting a two-game midweek series against Memphis, the Alabama Crimson Tide (9-8) will open Southeastern Conference play with a three-game weekend series at home against Tennessee (9-7). The series begins on Friday at 6:35 p.m. CST, from Sewell-Thomas Stadium. The series continues on Saturday with first pitch at 6:05 p.m. CST, and concludes on Sunday with a 1:05 p.m. CST start.

Friday night’s promotion is the Triple Play Pack (only a limited amount remain) which gives fans a t-shirt, a hot dog and a ticket, all for $10. Saturday, all fans are invited to play Baseball Bingo with the Tide for a chance to win prizes and it will also be Big Al’s Kids Club Day, as all Big Al’s Kids Club card carriers will be admitted free. As always, Sunday is Kids Day at The Joe, in addition to “Save Some Green.” All kids 18 and under will receive free admission and 250 kids 12 and under will receive a free hot dog and drink. With the “Save Some Green” promotion, all adult general admission tickets will be $5 for Sunday’s game.

All Alabama baseball games throughout the 2013 season will be broadcast by the Crimson Tide Sports Network (CTSM). The Friday and Saturday games against Tennessee will be broadcast live on 95.3 FM “The Bear” in Tuscaloosa, and elsewhere on the CTSM network. Pending any conflicts with the Alabama men’s basketball play in the SEC Tournament on Sunday, the final game of the series may only be available on WTSK 790 AM. Lee Tracey will provide the commentary for all three games against Tennessee. Livestats will also be available on RollTide.com. A live webcast of all three games of the series will be available through the Alabama website at www.RollTide.com/TideTV, as part of the school’s subscription package.

The Crimson Tide enters the series against Tennessee after defeating the Memphis Tigers, 4-2, on Wednesday night. The Tigers posted a 6-0 win over the Tide on Tuesday. Tennessee comes to Tuscaloosa having won its last five games, and six of its last seven overall. The Vols posted a pair of wins over Western Kentucky, 4-0 and 5-4 (10 innings), on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively. After giving up a run in the top of the 10th to the Hilltoppers, Tennessee scored two runs in the bottom of the 10th, the last on a hit batter, to post its fifth straight victory.

Alabama is slated to start senior RHP Charley Sullivan (0-1, 4.09) on Friday, sophomore LHP Jon Keller (2-1, 3.00 ERA) on Saturday and sophomore RHP Spencer Turnbull (0-1, 5.30) on Sunday. Tennessee’s rotation for the weekend series will be senior RHP Zack Godley (1-1, 3.29) on Friday night and freshman RHP Aaron Quillen (1-1, 4.05) on Saturday. The Vols have not announced a starting pitcher for Sunday at this time.

Riding a five-game winning streak, Tennessee comes to Tuscaloosa with a 9-7 overall record when it opens Southeastern Conference play on Friday against the Tide. Tennessee is 1-4 against the top-25 this season, which includes an 11-2 win over No. 20 Arizona State and a 3-2, 12-inning loss to No. 22 Notre Dame. Tennessee head coach Dave Serrano is in his second season and has a 34-36 record with the Vols. UT enters the series with a .277 batting average, and averages 6.5 runs and 9.8 hits per game. The Tennessee pitching staff has a 3.84 earned run average, while holding opponents to a .258 batting average. Tennessee has 105 strikeouts and 62 walks as a team to average 6.5 strikeouts and 3.8 walks per game.

Will Maddox is hitting .386 to lead the team. Maddox also leads the team with 14 RBI, 15 runs and nine stolen bases. Maddox is one of four players hitting over .300, and is joined by Scott Price (.333), Pierce Bily (.325) and Christin Stewart (.308) in the .300-club. Tennessee has just two home runs as a team, with one each coming from Stewart and Taylor Smart. Friday starter Zack Godley will be making his fifth start of the season and has a 1-1 record with a 3.29 ERA. Godley leads the team with 27 strikeouts in 27.1 innings pitched. Saturday starter Aaron Quillen will also be making his fifth start for the Vols. Quillen is 1-1 with a 4.05 ERA in 20.0 innings pitched. Opponents are hitting .280 against his this season.

When Alabama and Tennessee meet this weekend, it will mark games 103-105 all-time in the series between the two schools. After Tennessee swept the Tide in Knoxville last season, Alabama is 69-33 all-time against the Vols. Tennessee has won the last five games in the series, which is the longest winning streak for the Vols in the history of the series. UA head coach Mitch Gaspard has a 4-5 record all-time against Tennessee.

Gaspard has guided the Tide to two SEC opening series wins, taking two of three from Vanderbilt in 2010 and Mississippi in 2011. UA was swept at Arkansas to open SEC play last season.

Following the three-game series against Tennessee, Alabama will travel to Birmingham, Ala., on Tuesday night to play the Samford Bulldogs, with first pitch slated for 6 p.m. CST, from Joe Lee Griffin Field. In the first meeting of the season between Alabama and Samford, the Crimson Tide posted a 5-4 win over the Bulldogs in Tuscaloosa on Feb. 26. After the win earlier this season, Alabama is 90-15 all-time versus the Bulldogs. The Tide has won the last four games in the all-time series, and is 6-4 in the last 10 games, dating back to the 2009 campaign.

Follow the Alabama Crimson Tide baseball team on Facebook at Alabama-Baseball and on Twitter at @AlabamaBSB.


 

 

     
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