Bama Baseball Hosts Louisiana Tech on Tuesday

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ROLLTIDEDOTCOM

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM
Monday, April 05, 2004

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Game 31:  LOUISIANA TECH BULLDOGS AT ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE
SEWELL-THOMAS STADIUM -- TUSCALOOSA, ALABAMA -- 6:30 PM
APRIL 6, 2004 -- ALABAMA'S ONLY TUESDAY NIGHT GAME OF THE SEASON

Date    Game               Time        Radio/TV                  
Apr 6   vs. Louisiana Tech 6:30 PM   CTSN, WRTR-FM (105.5)
Apr 8   vs. Vanderbilt     6:30 PM   CTSN, WRTR-FM (105.5)
Apr 9   vs. Vanderbilt     4 PM      CTSN, WRTR-FM (105.5)
Apr 10  vs. Vanderbilt     2:07 PM   CTSN, WRTR-FM (105.5), CSS-TV

Rocky ScelfoON THE MOUND:  UA - 24 Andrew Walker (RH, 8 G, 1-0, 2.93) vs. TECH - 20 Blake Burns (RH, 9 G, 3-2, 5.94)

RADIO:  The games will be aired locally on WRTR-FM (105.5) or WACT-AM (1420) in Tuscaloosa. David Crane and Chris Stewart will broadcast the Louisiana Tech game on WRTR-FM (105.5) and the network. 

INTERNET BROADCAST:  Live stats (home games only) and audio broadcasts can be found at http://www.rolltide.com/

TICKETS:  Season tickets are available by calling the Alabama Ticket Office (205-348-2262).  Single-game tickets and standing-room only tickets are available for $5 each and the gates will open two hours prior to each game.  The Louisiana Tech game is "Buck Night" at the Alabama box office.  Tickets for Tuesday's game with Louisiana Tech are just one dollar for all bleacher seats.

BAMA RETURNS HOME TO FACE LA. TECH

The Alabama Crimson Tide baseball team returns home after a four-game road trip to host the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs in a 6:30 p.m. game on Tuesday, April 6 here at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.  The Crimson Tide went 2-2 on its four-game road trip last week, beating South Alabama (Mar. 31) and Arkansas (April 2) in consecutive road games.  Alabama has been very successful at the Joe this season, compiling a 15-3 (.833) record in its first 18 games, including a 13-game winning streak from Feb. 15-March 24, 2004.  The Crimson Tide will  be looking to avenge an earlier loss this season to Louisiana Tech.  The Bulldogs, behind the stellar pitching of RHP Clayton Meyer, beat Alabama 6-1 on Mar. 5 in the first round of the 2004 Centenary Gent Classic in Shreveport.  The loss snapped the Crimson Tide's season-high seven-game winning streak.  Tech first baseman Kyle Spangler launched a three-run home run in the first inning off losing pitcher Brent Carter to spark the Bulldogs offense. Alabama has played better of late, but lost two of three at Arkansas this past weekend with a depleted pitching staff because of injuries and illness.  The Crimson Tide has also been solid in its last five non-conference wins, out scoring SE Missouri State, Morehead State and South Alabama by a 54-4 count.  In those five wins, UA is batting .304 (52-for-171) with 15 doubles, three homers and 43 RBI.  Carlos Sosa is 7-for-15 (.467) with four doubles and six RBI in those five games. The pitching staff has allowed only three earned runs in 45 innings (0.60 ERA).   

THE RECORDS

Alabama (19-11, 3-6 SEC) enters the week having lost seven of its last 12 games. The Crimson Tide has two straight games for the second time this season.  Louisiana Tech (12-21, 3-6 WAC) has lost five of its last six games entering Tuesday's game at Alabama.  Since beating the Crimson Tide on Mar. 5, the Bulldogs have struggled and lost 13 of their last 18 games.

THE COACHES

Alabama's Jim Wells is in his 10th season with the Crimson Tide program.  He has compiled a 428-187 (.696) record at the helm of the Crimson Tide.  Overall, Wells is 620-276 (.692) in 15 seasons at Northwestern State and Alabama.  Wells is 18-6 (.750) in his career against the Bulldogs, including an 8-2 mark (.800) here at Alabama.  Tech coach Wade Simoneaux 32-57-1 (.361) in his two-years with the Bulldogs.  He is 1-1 (.500) against Bama.

NEXT GAME

Alabama hosts the Vanderbilt Commodores in the first of two straight home SEC series this weekend here at the Joe.  The series opener is Friday, April 9 at 6:30 p.m.

LOUISIANA TECH SERIES

Alabama leads the all-time series with Louisiana Tech, 11-2 (.8467).  The two teams are meeting for the fifth straight season and for the seventh time in the last eight years.

*Tech beat Alabama 6-1 on Mar. 5 in the first round of the Gent Classic in Shreveport. 

*Alabama has never beaten Tech in the state of Louisiana.

*Alabama is a perfect 11-0 (1.000) at home against Tech, including last year's 6-3 win.

*Alabama head coach Jim Wells is 18-6 (.750) in his career against Louisiana Tech, including an 8-2 (.800) mark here at Alabama.

*Wells is 14-0 (1.000) at home in his career against Tech and 4-6 (.400) on the road, including an 0-2 (.000) mark with the Tide.

*Tech coach Wade Simoneaux is 1-1 (.500) in his career against Alabama, dropping a 6-3 decision in Tuscaloosa last season and posting a 6-1 win earlier this year.

BAMA-TECH SCOREBOARD

1938        Alabama 3, La. Tech 0
            Alabama 4, La. Tech 3
1993        Alabama 8, La. Tech 5
1997        Alabama 9, La. Tech 3
            Alabama 13, La. Tech 7
1998        Alabama 23, La. Tech 3
            Alabama 5, La. Tech 3
2000        Alabama 12, La. Tech 5
2001        Alabama 13, La. Tech 1
            La. Tech 7, Alabama 2 (Ruston)
2002        Alabama 4, La. Tech  0
2003        Alabama 6, La. Tech 3
2004        La. Tech 6, Alabama 1 (Shreveport)

BAMA VS. WAC

Alabama holds a 15-2 (.882) lead against the current members of the Western Athletic Conference. The majority of those meetings have taken place with the league's newest member Louisiana Tech. 

*Alabama is also 2-0 against Rice, including a 6-5 win at the Minute Maid Park Classic last season in Houston, which was the Owls' only loss of the season until mid April.

*Alabama also posted a 6-5 win over Rice in the 1999 College World Series, eliminating the Owls from the national tournament.

*The Crimson Tide also handed Nevada both losses at the 2000 NCAA Palo Alto Regional hosted by Stanford.

RESULTS VS. WAC

                     Last        Series
Opponent             Meeting     Record

Fresno State         NA          0-0
Hawaii               NA          0-0
Louisiana Tech       2004        11-2
Nevada               2000        2-0
Rice                 2003        2-0
San Jose State       NA          0-0
TOTALS               2004        15-2

SCOUTING REPORT: LOUISIANA TECH

Since beating Alabama 6-1 on Mar. 5, Louisiana Tech has struggled on the field. 

*The Bulldogs have lost 13 of their last 18 games and are 12-21 after 33 games this season.

*As a team, Tech is hitting just .270 (306-for-1,134) with 25 home runs and 149 RBI this season.

*The offense is centered around first baseman Kyle Spangler (29 G, .355, 5 HR, 23 RBI), who leads the team in average, home runs and RBI after 33 games.

*Third baseman Stephen Winters (30 G, .337, 3 HR, 11 RBI) is the team's second-leading hitter, but has missed the last four games for Tech.

*Outfielder Jeff Walker (33 G, .333, 3 HR, 20 RBI), who is the only Tech player to see action in all 33 games this season, is the only other starter hitting better than .300 this season.

*On the mound, the Bulldogs are 12-21 with a 7.01 ERA (290.1 IP, 403 H, 298 R, 226 ER, 159 BB, 202 K) in 33 games.

*The Tech staff has allowed 9.03 runs and 12.2 hits per game this season. 

*Junior RHP Clayton Meyer (9 GS, 4-2, 3.92 ERA, 1 CG) is clearly the ace of the staff.  Meyer, who beat Alabama on March 5th, has worked 62 innings and allowed 42 runs, 27 earned runs, 13 walks and 46 strikeouts this year.

*Meyer will not pitch on Tuesday against Alabama.  He is scheduled to make his next start on Friday, April 9 at home against Nevada.

*On defense, the Bulldogs have been shaky with 88 errors in 33 games for a .938 fielding mark.  Tech averages 2.7 errors per contest. 

*Second baseman Brandon Haygood (19) and third baseman Stephen Winters (16) have combined for 35 errors this season.

LOUISIANA LIGHTNING

Alabama has four Louisiana natives on its 2004 baseball roster, including freshmen pitchers Wade LeBlanc (Lake Charles - Barbe HS), Brandon Belcher (Ruston HS), junior second baseman Rocky Scelfo (Youngsville) and junior outfielder Gabe Scott (Lake Charles - Barbe HS).

LOUISIANA PURCHASE

Alabama has enjoyed a fair amount of success over teams from the state of Louisiana.

*The Crimson Tide has forged a 292-168 (.635) all-time record against Louisiana teams, with the majority of those games coming against the flagship school LSU.

*Alabama is 108-35 (.755) against all Louisiana schools other than LSU.

Alabama vs. Louisiana Schools

Opponent                 Series Record      
Centenary                UA leads, 6-0
LSU                      UA leads, 184-133-3
Louisiana Tech           UA leads, 11-2
McNeese State            MSU leads, 1-0
New Orleans              UA leads, 7-4
Nicholls State           UA leads, 4-2
NE Louisiana             UA leads, 5-2
Northwestern State       UA leads, 3-0
SE Louisiana             UA leads, 7-0
Southern                 UA leads, 4-0
Tulane                   UA leads, 60-24

*Alabama will play 13 games this season against teams from the state of Louisiana.

*In addition to Tech, Alabama has already played New Orleans (Feb. 13-15), SE Louisiana (Feb. 27-29), La. Tech (Mar. 5) and Centenary (Mar. 6). 

*Bama will also play LSU (April 30-May 1) and Centenary (May 12) during the 2004 regular season.

LAST MEETING: Tech 6, Bama 1

Kyle Spangler hit a three-run home run in the first inning and junior RHP Clayton Meyer held Alabama to one run en route to his first complete game of the season at Louisiana Tech beat Alabama 6-1 in the opening round of the Gent Classic in Shreveport.  Meyer faced the minimum through six innings, allowing only one hit and three base runners.  At one point in the game, he retired 16 consecutive Alabama hitters.  

Bama avoided the shutout with a run in the bottom of the eighth inning when sophomore leftfielder Evan Bush doubled down the left line and later scored on junior second baseman Rocky Scelfo's single to right field.

Tech managed 14 hits in the game, including three by Hudson and two each by Spangler and Stephen Winters.

Junior third baseman Allen Rice went 0-for-4 in the loss with two strikeouts to end his hitting streak at 11 games this season and 14 straight games dating back to last year.