TUSCALOOSA, Ala. --
The No. 16 University of Alabama Crimson Tide baseball team (19-8, 5-1 SEC) hosts the No. 1 ranked Mississippi State Bulldogs (19-1, 4-1 SEC) in a key early season matchup in the Southeastern Conference Western Division baseball race.
Alabama is coming off a three-game sweep of defending SEC Western Division champion Ole Miss that has propelled the Crimson Tide to the top of overall SEC standings. MSU won its first 18 games of the season and trails Alabama and Vanderbilt by one-half game in the overall league race.
"We did a lot of good things this past weekend, besides winning," Alabama head coach Jim Wells said. "We played well and did some things against Ole Miss that we had not done all year."
The Crimson Tide and Bulldogs square off three times this weekend, beginning with Friday's series opener at 6:30 p.m. The two teams will also meet on Saturday, April 1 at 3:07 (CT) and Sunday, April 2 at 2 p.m. The Saturday game will be televised by FSN South and kickoff the league's eight-week "Game of the Week" package.
The first 500 fans to attend Friday's series opener will receive a Alabama Baseball six-pack cooler bag. On Saturday, Alabama fans are encouraged to wear red for the FSN South telecast.
Tickets for the MSU-Alabama baseball series are on sale now through the Alabama Athletic Ticket Office. Fans may purchase tickets on-line at www.rolltide.com or order by calling (205) 348-2262. Series ticket packages are available for $15 per person, which is one ticket to all three games. Individual game tickets are priced at $5 each.
"This is a big weekend for us," Wells added. "All the games are important, especially in the SEC. With a quality team like Mississippi State coming here ranked No. 1 and the fact this is A-Day weekend, we need a good home field advantage. This will be a tough series, but an exciting one as well."
Alabama will also be hosting its annual "Fan Day" and A-Day Football game this Saturday in Tuscaloosa, so tickets for the baseball series are expected to be in high demand.
"Fan Day" begins at Coleman Coliseum at 8:30 a.m. The Walk of Fame ceremony at Denny Chimes, featuring the 2006 permanent captains, will take place at 12:30 p.m. The football game will kickoff at 1:30 p.m. at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Alabama has not hosted the No. 1 ranked baseball team at The Joe since taking two of three from top-ranked LSU in 1997. The Bulldogs are just the third No. 1 team to play the Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa, joining Miami (1985) and LSU (1997). Ironically, both of those teams lost the series to Alabama, but won the national championship in Omaha that same year.