Bama Hosts Memphis; LeBlanc to Start on the Mound


Monday, April 11, 2005

Wade LeBlanc
Wade LeBlanc

APRIL 12, 2005

ON THE MOUND:  UM -- 33 Chris South (RHP, 12 G, 2-1, 6.94 ERA) vs. UA - 23 Wade LeBlanc (LHP, 4 GS, 2-1, 2.88 ERA)

RADIO/TV:  The Alabama-Memphis game will be broadcast through the Crimson Tide Sports Network and will be aired locally in Tuscaloosa on THE TUSK (WACT, 1420-AM).  Veteran play-by-play announcer David Crane and Chris Stewart (color) will describe the action from the Joe on Tuesday night.

Date      Game          Time           Radio/TV
April 12  vs. Memphis   6:30 PM        CTSN, WACT 1420-AM
April 15  at Florida    6:35 PM (ET)   CTSN, WACT 1420-AM
April 16  at Florida    4:07 PM (ET)   CTSN, WACT 1420-AM, FOX SportsNet South
April 17  at Florida    12:05 PM (ET)  CTSN, WACT 1420-AM

INTERNET BROADCAST:  Live audio broadcasts and live stats can be found at

TICKETS: Tickets to all Alabama home games are $5 and available through the Alabama Athletic Ticket Offiice or at the Sewell-Thomas Stadium box office, two hours prior to each home game.  Tickets to the Memphis-Alabama game are one dollar this Tuesday night at the Joe.


The No. 22 Alabama Crimson Tide (24-10, 8-4-SEC) steps out of conference action on Tuesday, April 12 to host the Memphis Tigers (8-20, 2-9 CUSA) in a 6:30 p.m. game at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.  This will be the first meeting between Alabama and Memphis in more than 20 years and will be the Crimson Tide's only Tuesday night home game of the 2005 season.  The headline for Tuesday night's game is the long awaited return of sophomore left-hander Wade LeBlanc to the mound.  The Lake Charles, La., native will start against the Tigers and will be a pitch count for Tuesday's game.  If all goes well, LeBlanc will also be in the Crimson Tide's pitching rotation this weekend at No. 5 Florida.  LeBlanc has not pitched since Mar. 11 against Miami (Ohio).  He suffered a bruised left shoulder following a post-game celebration of the Crimson Tide's 8-7 comeback win over Miami (Ohio) on Saturday, Mar. 11. Alabama has won 10 of the 15 games since LeBlanc's injury and leads the SEC Western Division with an 8-4 league record.  Alabama is coming off back-to-back series wins over No. 4 LSU and No. 9 Ole Miss the last two weekends.  The offense has improved due to the recent success of senior OF Gabe Scott, the reigning SEC Player of the Week.  Scott leads the team with a .407 (33-for-81) average with five home runs and 16 RBI.  He has hit all five home runs in his last six games.  Scott enters the Memphis game with a 21-game hitting streak, the longest by an Alabama player in six years.


"It has been hard (not being able to pitch).  I have spent a lot of time in the training room.  The team have moved on without me (UA 10-5 record since LeBlanc was injured) and that is a good thing.  I am very excited about pitching again.  I don't really remember what its like to be on the mound.  It has been such a long time.  I will approach this game like any other start.  I am planning on pitching (this weekend at Florida).  Coach Wells wanted me to pitch Tuesday, so that I could get ready for this weekend.  I plan on being there this weekend and start either Saturday or Sunday.  That's what I am hoping for."


Senior OF Gabe Scott (Lake Charles, La.)  was named the Southeastern Conference Player of the Week on Monday ... He batted .583 (7-for-12) with three home runs and seven RBI in the Tide's series win at No. 9 Ole Miss over the weekend ... Alabama has won 10 of its last 15 games since Mar. 16, including an 8-4 mark in SEC play ... Alabama leads the SEC Western Division by one game over second-place Arkansas ... The Crimson Tide shares the overall SEC lead with Eastern Division co-leaders Florida and South Carolina ... The Crimson Tide plays at Florida this weekend and hosts South Carolina next weekend at the Joe ... Alabama has won three of its first four SEC series after winning only one (Kentucky) league series last year ... Alabama is 5-4 (.556) against ranked teams this season and has won five of the last seven meetings against Top 25 clubs ... Bama has homered in six straight games ... The last time UA had a home run in six consecutive games was April 5-12, 2003 ... Bama has also homered in six straight SEC games for the first time since Mar. 24-April 13, 2002 ... UA has 10 home runs in six games this month ...  Alabama has 13 come-from-behind wins this season, more than one-half of its total victories ... The Memphis game is Alabama's only scheduled Tuesday night home game of the 2005 season ... Bama is 16-6 in non-conference games this season, including a 13-2 record at home ...


*Alabama renews its rivalry with Memphis this season after a 21-year hiatus on the diamond.  The Crimson Tide leads the all-time series, 10-4 (.714), but the two schools have not met since the 1984 season. 

*Alabama has won three of the last four meetings, dating back to its College World Series runner up finish during the 1983 season.

*The two teams first met in 1971 with the Crimson Tide posting an 8-4 win in Tuscaloosa.  Alabama won a pair of games in Memphis that season as well.

Alabama-Memphis File

at Tuscaloosa:    UA leads, 6-0 (1.000)
at Memphis:       Series Tied, 4-4 (.500)


Year     Result         Site
1971     W 8-4          Tuscaloosa
         W 8-4          Memphis
         L 7-2          Memphis
1974     W 4-1 (DH)     Tuscaloosa
         W 4-0 (DH)     Tuscaloosa
1982     L 10-9 (10)    Memphis
         W 3-0          Memphis
1983     W 12-7         Tuscaloosa
         L 5-2          Memphis
         W 3-2          Memphis
1984     W 14-4         Tuscaloosa
         W 18-8         Tuscaloosa
         L 11-8         Memphis
         W 18-5         Memphis


Alabama owns a 190-74 (.720) all-time record against teams from Conference USA.

*Alabama is 0-2 vs. C-USA teams this season, losing at UAB (Feb. 24) and Southern Miss (Mar. 29).

*The Crimson Tide won all six games against Conference USA schools in 2004, sweeping a three-game series from Cincinnati (Feb. 20-22), a two-game series from UAB and beating then-No. 10 Southern Miss (Mar. 10) in Tuscaloosa.


*Here is the overall statistical comparison of the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Memphis Tigers.

Category                Bama      UM
Record                  24-10     8-19

Batting Avg.            .287      .288
Runs/Game               6.4       6.2
Hits/Game               9.8       10.1
Home Runs               27        12
RBI                     190       147
Base on Balls           129       108
Strikeouts              215       210
SB-SBA                  43-56     32-48

Innings Pitched         308.2     233.1
ERA                     3.15      6.79
Runs Allowed/Game       4.0       8.1
Hits Allowed/Game       7.2       11.5
Base on Balls           119       113
Strikeouts              332       156
Opponents Avg.          .219      .320

Fielding Pct.           .961      .943
Errors                  52        61
Double Plays            30        27


*The Memphis Tigers (8-19) are coming off three straight losses at UAB over the wekeend.
*The Tigers have lost seven straight games, dating back to an 11-8 win over Austin Peay on March 30.
*As a team, Memphis is batting .288 (273-for-949) with 12 home runs and 147 RBI.
*The Tigers average 6.2 runs and 10.1 hits per game.
*Senior outfileder Chad House (Bartlett, Tenn.) is the club's leading hitter with a .350 (35-for-100) average and 12 RBI in 26 games.
*Senior outiflelder Ryan Martin (Collierville, Tenn.) is second on the team with a .345 (38-for-110) average with four home runs and 34 RBI.
*Sophomore first baseman Adam Amar (Lake Mary, Fla.) is hitting .291 (31-for-110) in 27 games, with four home runs and 27 RBI.
*Martin and Amar share the team lead with four home runs each.  The duo has hit eight of Memphis' 12 homers this season.
*Martin leads the club with 34 RBI in 27 games. 
*Martin (34) and Amar (27) have 61 of Memphis' 147 RBI (41.5 percent) this year.
*The Tigers pitching staff is 8-19 with a 6.79 ERA in 27 games.  The staff has worked 233 1/3 innings and allowed 311 hits, 219 runs and 176 earned runs, with 113 walks and 156 strikeouts.
*Opponents are hitting .320 against the Tigers staff and are averaging 8.1 runs and 11.5 hits per game.
*Memphis pitchers have yielded 29 home runs in 27 games.
*The Tigers will send redshirt freshman RHP Chris South (Bartlett, Tenn.) to the mound against Alabama.
*South is 1-2 with a 6.94 ERA in 12 games this season.  The Alabama game will be his first start of his Memphis career.
*South has worked 11 2/3 innings and allowed 20 hits, 10 runs and nine earned runs, with nine walks and five strikeouts.
*One familiar name on the Memphis staff is junior right-hander Stephen Gostkowski (Madison, Miss.), who serves as the place kicker for coach Tommy West on the Tigers football team.
*Gostkowski was the second-leading scorer for the Tigers last season with 108 points on the gridiron.
*He connected on 48 of 49 PAT attempts and made 20 of 24 FG attempts (.833), including all six from 40-49 yards.
*Gostkowski will be a Lou Groza Award candiate for the 2005 football season.
*On the mound, he is 1-4 with a 7.30 ERA in six starts.  In 37 innings, he has allowed 44 hits, 32 runs and 30 earned runs, with 14 walks and 27 strikeouts.
*On defense, Memphis has made 61 erorrs in 27 games, an average of 2.3 errors per game.
*The Tigers are fielding .943 in 27 games and have turned 27 double plays.