Baseball Remains on the Road to Play UAB in Hoover on Tuesday

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM Tuesday starter Tucker Hawley is 4-1 this season and leads the Crimson Tide in wins.
Tuesday starter Tucker Hawley is 4-1 this season and leads the Crimson Tide in wins.

March 25, 2013

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Alabama Crimson Tide (16-9, 5-1 SEC) will travel to Hoover, Ala., on Tuesday to take on the UAB Blazers (9-14, 0-3 C-USA) in a non-conference mid-week game. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. CST from the Hoover Metropolitan Stadium.

All Alabama baseball games throughout the 2013 season will be broadcast by the Crimson Tide Sports Network (CTSN). Tuesday’s game against UAB will be broadcast on WTSK 790 AM in Tuscaloosa, due to a conflict with Alabama’s men’s basketball NIT game, with Lee Tracey providing the commentary. Livestats will be available on, but there will not be a live webcast for this game through either the Alabama or UAB websites.

Alabama has won six straight games after posting a Southeastern Conference road series sweep against Georgia this past weekend. UAB enters the mid-week contest riding a five-game losing skid after dropping all three games of its Conference USA season opening series to Central Florida.  Alabama is slated to start junior RHP Tucker Hawley (4-1, 3.07 ERA) on Tuesday, while UAB will throw sophomore LHP Sam Kelley (1-1, 2.95 ERA).

TUESDAY                       W-L  ERA   G/GS  IP    H   R  ER  BB  SO
UA-Tucker Hawley (Jr., RHP)   4-1  3.07  6/2   14.2  11  7  5   5   10
UAB-Sam Kelley (Soph., LHP)   1-1  2.95  5/3   18.1  19  8  6   7   12

After Alabama defeated Georgia 6-3 on Friday and Saturday, the Crimson Tide completed the series sweep of the Bulldogs with a 3-0 win on Sunday. It was the first shutout of the season for the Tide. The road series sweep over Georgia marked the first SEC road sweep for the Crimson Tide since taking all three games at Tennessee to close out the 2010 regular season.

Following the sweep of Georgia, Kyle Overstreet hit .688 (11-for-16) with a .938 slugging percentage and a .773 on-base percentage in five Alabama wins last week. Ray Castillo recorded saves in three of the five games, while posting a 0.00 ERA in 4.1 innings, allowing three hits with five strikeouts, while holding opponents to a .176 average in three appearances last week.

The UAB Blazers enter Tuesday’s non-conference match-up with a 9-14 overall record. The Blazers have lost their last five games after being swept by Central Florida to open Conference USA play last weekend. UAB is hitting .249 as a team, while average 3.1 runs and 8.1 hits per game during the 2013 season. The Blazers’ pitching staff has a 4.68 ERA with a .264 opponent’s batting average. UAB has struck out 155 batters with 86 walks in 203.2 innings pitched.

The top hitter for UAB is third baseman John Frost, who is hitting .361 for the season. Frost leads the team with 30 hits and 15 RBI, has three doubles, the squad’s only triple and one of the team’s four home runs. Outfielder Ryan Prinzing is the only other regular player hitting over .300, and will enter Tuesday’s game with a .351 average. Prinzing leads the team with five doubles and a .455 on-base percentage, with eight RBI. Ivan De Jesus is second on the team with 11 RBI and enters the game with a .256 average. UAB is slated to start LHP Sam Kelley on Tuesday.  Kelley will be making his sixth appearance and fourth start of the season. He enters the game with a 1-1 record and a 2.95 ERA, with 12 strikeouts and seven walks in 18.1 innings pitched in 2013.

The Tuesday night mid-week game against UAB will make the 62nd meeting all-time between the two schools.  After dropping both games to the Blazers during the 2012 season, Alabama holds a 42-19 overall record against UAB. Alabama is 4-6 in the last 10 meetings against UAB, and has lost three straight overall. This will mark the 11th time that Alabama and UAB have played in Hoover. The Tide is 5-5 when playing UAB in Hoover. Alabama head coach Mitch Gaspard is 1-5 all-time when coaching against UAB.

• Alabama has won six straight games, tying its season-high for consecutive wins. The Crimson Tide has won eight of its last nine games overall.
• Alabama opened the season with a 6-0 start, then dropped eight of its next 10 games, before winning eight of its last nine.
• Alabama snapped a season-long five-game losing streak with a 4-2 win over Memphis on March 13.
• The Crimson Tide are 14-0 when leading after six, 15-0 when leading after seven and 16-0 when leading after eight innings. 
• The Alabama pitching staff has a 3.23 ERA with 193 strikeouts to rank sixth in the SEC. Of its 193 strikeouts, 75 have been looking, which ranks second in the conference.
• Alabama pitchers are averaging 7.7 strikeouts per game.
• The Tide is 35-for-47 (.744) in stolen base attempts and ranks fourth in the SEC in stolen bases.
• Alabama is outscoring its opponents 22-11 in the first inning, 16-4 in the sixth inning and 29-10 in the eighth inning. However, Bama is being outscored 19-10 in the seventh and 9-0 in the ninth innings. • Alabama has converted all 10 of its save opportunities and is second in the SEC with 10 saves.
• With three saves in five games last week, freshman RHP Ray Castillo leads the team with four saves to rank eighth in the SEC.
• During SEC play, Alabama leads the conference with a .335 team batting average, a .406 on-base percentage, 48 runs, 76 hits and 40 runs batted in. UA is second in doubles (13) and third in slugging percentage (.403) during SEC play.
• On the pitching side, UA leads the SEC with three saves and 43 hits allowed, is second in ERA (2.17) and opponent’s batting average (.228), and seventh in strikeouts (38).
Brett Booth, who had 10 walks in 55 games last season, is tied for the team lead with 15 this season. Booth is also tied for second in the SEC with a team-high 26 runs scored. Defensively, Booth has thrown out 21 runners (including two pick-offs). His 19 runners caught stealing are the most in the SEC.
• Last season in 43 games, Kenny Roberts has nine walks and five HBP. In 25 games in 2013, Roberts has 14 walks and six HBP for 20 free passes.
Brett Booth currently has a team season-high nine game hitting streak, leadoff man Georgie Salem is riding a seven-game hitting streak, and Austen Smith has a hit in his last five games.

Over the last nine games, the Alabama bats have come alive. The Tide is hitting .329 as a team over the last nine games and seven players are hitting over .300, as Kyle Overstreet leads the team with a .452 average during that stretch. With the increased offensive production the last nine games, Alabama is on a six-game winning streak and has won eight of its last nine games. Along with his .452 average, Overstreet leads the team with four doubles, a triple and eight walks for team-highs with a .645 slugging percentage and a .564 on-base percentage. Ben Moore is hitting .378 with four doubles, eight RBI, nine runs scored, has five walks and was hit by a pitch in the last nine games. Kenny Roberts is hitting .375 (12-for-32) over the last nine games with five walks and a team-high five HBP, and is now hitting .295 for the season. Austen Smith has a .343 (12-for-35) average with a home run, four doubles, seven RBI and a team-high 12 runs scored in the last nine games. Brett Booth his hitting .357 during that stretch and leads the team with 15 hits in 42 at-bats with 10 runs scored and seven RBI.  Mikey White is hitting .323 with eight RBI in the last nine games and Georgie Salem has a .310 average with nine RBI and six runs scored.

Alabama posted a 5-0 record during the week and has won its last six games and eight of its last nine overall. Alabama is riding a six-game winning streak which is currently has the longest active streak in the SEC. The Tide posted their first shutout of the season with a 3-0 win over Georgia on Sunday. Alabama swept Georgia to post its first road SEC sweep since May of 2010. Alabama improved to 5-1 in conference play and is tied for first place in the Western Division and overall in the SEC. The Crimson Tide posted a .322 average in the five games. Alabama tied its season-high by scoring 15 runs against Samford on Tuesday night. The Tide is now hitting .263 for the season after posting a .329 team batting average over the past nine games

Following the mid-week game against UAB, Alabama remains on the road for its third SEC series of the season when it travels to Auburn for a three-game set against the Tigers. The series begins on Thursday night with a 6 p.m. CST, first pitch from Plainsman Park. Game two will also be at 6 p.m. CST on Friday and the series wraps up on Saturday, with first pitch at 3 p.m. CST. The final game of the series will be televised on CSS with Matt Stewart and Joe Beckwith calling the action.

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