Alabama Continues Road Trip at SE Louisiana on Wednesday

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ROLLTIDEDOTCOM

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM

GAME NOTES

Game 36:  ALABAMA (25-10, 9-3 Sec) AT SE LOUISIANA (14-16, 5-7 SLC)

ALUMNI FILED (2,000) -- HAMMOND, LOUISIANA -- 6:30 PM (CT)

APRIL 12, 2006 -- BAMA CONTINUES 7-GAME ROAD TRIP

 

Date         Game                  Time                  

April 12   at SE Louisiana     6:30 PM (CT)      
April 14   at LSU                  6:30 PM (CT)     
April 15   at LSU                  2 PM (CT)          
April 16   at LSU                  1 PM (CT)                
Radio: CTSN, WACT (1420 AM)

ON THE MOUND:

UA   21 Jake McCarter (Jr., RHP, 6-0, 180, Kerrville, Texas; 11 G, 2 GS, 4-0, 1.72 ERA, 31.1 IP, 26 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 10 BB, 30 K)

SLU  31 Chad Catalano (Sr., RHP, 6-2, 180, Covington, La.; 7 G, 0-0, 8.68 ERA, 9.1 IP, 13 H, 12 R, 9 ER, 8 BB, 6 K)

               

INTERNET BROADCAST:  Live audio broadcasts and live stats can be found at www.rolltide.com.  The games are aired on the Crimson Tide Sports Network with David Crane (play-by-play) and Chris Stewart (color) describing the action. Live stats are also available at www.rolltide.com.  On the road, the Crimson Tide Sports Network can be heard at Alumni Field and Alex Box Stadium this week on 88.7 FM.


TICKETS: Tickets for the Alabama-SE Louisiana game are available at Alumni Field two hours prior to the start of Wednesday night’s game.

 

ALABAMA PROBABLE STARTING LINEUP

Odr          No.           Name                      Pos.         B/T          2006 Stats

 1             2             Emeel Salem               CF            L/L           .347, 1 HR, 16 RBI, 20-27 SB; Hit in 31/35 G
 2             32            Brandon Belcher        LF            L/L           .286, 0 HR, 9 RBI; Hit in 17/21 G since Mar 3
 3             14            Evan Bush                 2B            R/R           .257, 3 HR, 26 RBI; 3-7, 3 RBI in DH at USC
 4             9             Kody Valverde          C              R/R           .292, 8 HR, 31 RBI; 4-for-24 (.167) L 7 games
 5             16            Alex Avila                 DH           L/R           .260, 1 HR, 14 RBI; 4-game hittiing streak
 6             24            Spencer Pennington    B             L/R          .314, 0 HR, 9 RBI; .353 (11-34) in last 11 G
 7             26            Matt Downs              3B            R/R          .248, 2 HR, 25 RBI; 11 runs scored in last 11G
 8             34            Ryan Rhoden            RF            R/R          .257, 1 HR, 12 RBI; 5-for-14 (.357) L 5 gms
 or            22            Kent Matthes            RF            R/R          .172, 0 HR, 3 RBI; 0-for-7 since March 22
 or            1             Kyle Moore               RF            R/R          .241, 1 HR, 8 RBI; 2-for-5, 3 RBI at USC
 9             3             Greg Paiml                 SS           R/R          .282, 1 HR, 24 RBI; .333 (12-36), 10 RBI L 11G


PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS (vs. SE Louisiana and LSU)

Wednesday, April 12, 2006 (6:30 PM)
Pitcher             G-GS   W   L   SV    ERA   IP      H     R   ER   BB   K    CG
Jake McCarter   11-2    4    0   0     1.72    31.1  26    6    6     10    30    0
Chad Catalano   7-0     0    0   0     8.68    9.1    13    12   9     8   6      0             


Friday, April 14, 2006 (6:30 PM)
Pitcher            G-GS  W   L   SV   ERA    IP    H    R   ER   BB   K    CG
Wade LeBlanc (L)   9-9   6   0   0    2.47   69.1  47   19  19   15   69   3
Louis Coleman (R)  7-6   3   2   0    3.48   41.1  40   19  16   13   31   0


Saturday, April 8, 2006 (2 PM)
Pitcher             G-GS  W   L  SV   ERA    IP    H    R    ER  BB   K    CG
Bernard Robert (R)  9-8   5   1  0    2.79   51.2  50   21   16  18   38   1
TBA


Sunday, April 9, 2006 (1 PM)
Pitcher            G-GS   W   L  SV   ERA    IP    H    R    ER  BB   K    CG
Tommy Hunter (R)   11-7   5   2  1    2.95   55.0  46   21   18  10   41   1
Derrick Olvey (R)  9-9    6   1  0    2.29   63.0  46   18   16  13   52   1


UA CONTINUES ROAD TRIP ON THE BAYOU

The No. 8 University of Alabama Crimson Tide baseball team continues its seven-game road trip with four games in the state of Louisiana this week, including a midweek road game at Southeastern Louisiana in Hammond on Wednesday, April 12 at 6:30 p.m. at Alumni Field.  The non-conference game will mark the Crimson Tide’s first-ever game in Hammond.  Alabama made a detour last year on its way to the NCAA New Orleans Regional for a two-hour practice session at Alumni Field two days prior to the tournament when they were told Turchin Stadium was unplayable due to inclement weather.  Alabama (25-10, 9-3 SEC) has won nine of its last 11 games, including back-to-back SEC series wins over No. 1 ranked Miss. State (March 31-April 2) and No. 1ranked South Carolina (April 7-9).  In those 11 games, Alabama is hitting .320 (117-for-366) with eight home runs and 71 RBI.  Bama is averaging 7.4 runs and 10.6 hits per game since March 24.  The Crimson Tide has outscored the opposition 27-6 in the first and second innings in the last 11 games.  Four starters -- Emeel Salem, Sepncer Pennington, Brandon Belcher and Greg Paiml -- are all hitting .333 or higher since March 24.  Salem (Mountain Brook) leads the way with a .362 (17-for-47) average with one home run and five RBI.  Salem and third baseman Matt Downs (Centreville) lead UA with 11 runs each in the last 11 games.  Pennington (Fayette) is batting .353 (12-for-34) with three RBI.  Belcher (Ruston, La.) is hitting .333 (13-for-39) with four RBI, while Paiml (Hoover) is also hitting .333 (12-for-36) with one home run and 10 RBI.  Paiml is second on the team with those 10 RBI in the last 11 games.  Senior second baseman Evan Bush (Rainbow City) leads UA with two home runs and 12 RBI since March 24.   The pitching staff has logged a 9-2 record with four complete games, two saves and a 3.43 ERA in the last 11 games.  Freshman RHP Tommy Hunter (Indianapolis, Indiana) is 2-0 with two complete games and 1.99 ERA in his last three starts.  He was named the SEC Freshman of the Week after his complete-game effort in the Tide’s series clinching win at No. 1 South Carolina (7 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K) on April 9 as UA swept a dobule header at Sarge Frye Field.  Hunter is a three-time SEC Freshman of the Week winner this season.  Alabama will be playing its first midweek out-of-state non-confernece game since the 2003 season when it journeys to Hammond on Wednesday.  The Crimson Tide’s last midweek out-of-state game was April 8-9, 2003 when the UA beat Northwestern State and Centenary on back-to-back nights.  SE Louisiana (14-16) has dropped six of its last nine games, dating back to a 5-4 loss against LSU at Zephyr Field in Metarie on March 22.  Senior RHP Chad Catalano (7 G, 0-0, 8.68 ERA) will make his first start of the year on the mound against Alabama.  


ALABAMA-SE LOUISIANA SERIES

*Alabama leads the all-time series with SE Louisiana, 7-0.  The two teams first met in 1980 with the Crimson Tide posting a 13-0 win.

*The Crimson Tide swept a three-game series from the Lions in 2002 and 2004.

*The two teams were scheduled to play last year in Tuscaloosa but that game was rained out and never rescheduled.

*This will be Bama’s first-ever trip to Alumni Field in Hammond.


ALABAMA-SE LOUISIANA ALL-TIME SCORES

Year        Result                     Site

1980        W 13-0                    Tuscaloosa

2002        W 7-2                      Tuscaloosa

                W 11-9                    Tuscaloosa

                W 7-6                      Tuscaloosa

2004        W 13-3                    Tuscaloosa

                W 6-1                      Tuscaloosa

                W 8-2                      Tuscaloosa


BAMA VS. SOUTHLAND CONFERENCE

*Alabama owns a 20-6 (.769) record against the current members of the Southland Conference.

*Alabama enters the 2006 season with an 11-game winning streak against SLC teams, dating back to the 2001 season.

*The Crimson Tide swept a three-game home series from McNeese State last season to extend the current streak against SLC teams.

*Nicholls State was the last SLC team to beat Alabama, posting a 5-3 win in Tuscaloosa during the 2001 season.

*Alabama head coach Jim Wells spent five seasons at Northwestern State and compiled a 192-89 (.683) career record from 1990-94.

*During his tenure, Wells won three SLC titles (1991, 93, 94) and was named SLC “Coach of the Year” three times.

*He took the Demons to two NCAA regionals in 1991 and 1994.

 *Wells has compiled an 83-48 (.634) all-time record against Southland Conference schools.

*Former Alabama assistant coach Mitch Gaspard is the current head coach at Northwestern State, a position he has held since the 2001 season.


LOUISIANA LIGHTNING

*Alabama has seven Louisiana natives on its 2006 baseball roster, including left fielder Brandon Belcher (Ruston), LHP Kenneth Brown (Lafayette), RHP Casey Kebodeaux (Mandeville), LHP Wade LeBlanc (Lake Charles), Bernard Robert (Denham Springs), Jeff Texada (New Iberia) and Kody Valverde (Baton Rouge).


ROBERT RETURNS TO ALUMNI FIELD

*Although he is not scheduled to pitch, junior right-hander Bernard Robert (Denham Springs) returns to his former school for Wednesday night’s game at Alumni Field.

*Robert originally signed with SE Lousiana out of Central Private School in Baker, La.

*He pitched two seasons for former head coach Dan Canaveri, who resigned this summer as the Lions’ head coach.

*After Canaveri’s departure, Robert left SLU and transferred to Alabama, where he is currently the No. 2 starter in the Tide’s SEC weekend rotation.

*During his two-year career, Robert was 11-6 (.647) with 3.48 ERA in 32 career appearances, including 23 starts.

*He was a two-time All-Southland Conference selection in 2004 and 2005 and was named to the Southland Conference All-Tournament team in 2005.

SCOUTING REPORT: SE Louisiana Lions

*The Southeastern Louisiana Lions (14-16, 5-7 SLC) have lost six of their last nine games entering Tuesday’s game at Southern Miss and Wednesday night’s home game against No. 8 Alabama.

*The Lions are hitting .267 (269-for-1006) on the season with 13 home runs and 138 RBI and have only one starter hitting above .300 in the first 30 games.

*SLU averages 5.4 runs and 7.7 hits per game.

*The Lions have struck out 232 times (7.7) in 30 games, compared to only 82 (2.7) walks.

*Senior third baseman Jason Waguespack (LaPlace, La.) is the leading hitter with a .311 average (32-for-103) with one home run and 16 RBI.

*He is also the co-leader with 16 RBI this year.

*Waguespack is one of four Lions to see action in all 30 games, joining senior 2B Kyle Ginn (Tylertown, La.), junior shortstop Richard Imhoff (Picayune, Miss.) and senior outfielder Ryan Spencer (Covington, La.).

*Ginn is batting .287 (29-for-101) with two home runs and 16 RBI.

*Imhoff is hitting .279 (36-for-129) with two homers and 14 RBI.

*Spencer is batting only .259 (29-for-112) with two home runs and 16 RBI.

*Junior catcher/outfielder Tony Suarez (Gretna, La.) leads SLU with three home runs.

*On the mound, the Lions are 14-16 with a 4.73 ERA through 30 games.

*SLU pitchers have worked 264 1/3 innings and allowed 304 hits, 180 runs and 139 hits, with 105 walks and 220 strikeouts.

*Senior RHP Chad Catalano (Covington, La.) is scheduled to make the start on the mound against Alabama.

*Catalano is 0-0 with an 8.68 ERA in seven appearances this year.  He also has one save.

*The Alabama game will be his first start.

*The senior has worked only 9 1/3 innings and yielded 13 hits, 12 runs and nine earned runs, with eight walks and six strikeouts. 

*Defensively, SLU has struggled this season with a .952 fielding mark.  The Lions have made 52 errors (1.73) in 30 games.

*Imhoff leads the way with 17 errors at shortstop this year.

 

BEST SEC START SINCE 1995

*Alabama is 9-3 (.750) in SEC play and has equlled the best 12-game start in the Wells era.

*The 2002 Alabama also started with a 9-3 SEC record en route to the SEC Western Division championship.

*In addition, Alabama’s 9-3 start equals the sixth best 12-game SEC record in school history, dating back to 1933.

*The Crimson Tide was 8-4 after 12 games last season and was just 4-8 in league play two years ago at this time.

*Here is a look at the best 12-game starts in UA history and their records after 15 games.


BEST SEC STARTS (All-Time)

                                12-Game 15-Game

Year                         Record    Record

1955                        11-1        13-2

1950                        10-2        12-3

1935                        10-2        NA

1981                        9-2-1       12-2-1

2006                        9-3          NA

2002                        9-3          12-3

1991                        9-3          9-6


BEST SEC STARTS (Under Coach Wells)

                                12-Game 15-Game

Year                         Record    Record

1995                        8-4          9-6

1996                        8-4          10-5

1997                        8-4          10-5

1998                        7-5          10-5

1999                        8-4          9-6

2000                        4-8          5-10

2001                        7-5          9-6

2002                        9-3          12-3

2003                        6-6          8-7

2004                        4-8          5-10

2005                        8-4          9-6

2006                        9-3          NA

HIGH FIVE

*Alabama seeks its fifth straight SEC series win this weekend when it travels to No. 20 LSU.

*The Crimson Tide has won its first four SEC series this year against No. 23 Georgia, Ole Miss, No. 1 Miss. State and No. 1 South Carolina.

*The LSU series will mark the Crimson Tide’s third SEC road series in the first five weekends and the second in a row.

*All three of the Tide’s SEC road series have come against Top 25 teams.

*The Crimson Tide’s current streak of four straight series wins is the longest since UA won six straight SEC series in 1996.

*In 1996, Alabama won its first six SEC series and eight of 10 overall to share the regular-season title with Florida and LSU with identical 20-10 records. 

*The 1996 season marked UA’s first regular-season SEC title since 1968.

*The Crimson Tide opened that year with series wins over Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Kentucky and Miss. State.


ALABAMA NO. 2 IN LATEST RPI

*Alabama is second this week in the latest RPI rankings, according to Warren Nolan (www.warrennolan.com) and Boyd Nation (www.boydsworld.com).

*The Crimson Tide is the highest ranked team in the SEC through games of Monday, April 10, 2006. 

*Georgia is the only other SEC team ranked in the Top 10 this week.  The Bulldogs are fifth after a series win at Miss. State.


TOP 10 RPI (Warren Nolan)

Rk            Team                       RPI

 1.            Clemson                  .6659

 2.            ALABAMA               .6615

 3.            Nebraska                 .6346

 4.            Rice                         .6338

 5.            Georgia                   .6275

 6.            North Carolina         .6266

 7.            Georgia Tech          .6252

 8.            CS Fullerton            .6249

 9.            Texas                       .6216

10.           North Carolina St    .6189


TOP 10 RPI (Boyd Nation)

Rk            Team                       RPI

 1.            Clemson                  .671

 2.            ALABAMA               .664

 3.            Cal State Fullerton  .634

                Rice                         .634

                Nebraska                 .634

 6.            Georgia                   .631

 7.            Texas                       .627

 8.            North Carolina         .626

 9.            Georgia Tech          .625

10.           Wake Forest            .621

                NC State                  .621


BAMA HAS TOUGHEST SCHEDULE

*According to the lastest rankings, Alabama has played the most difficult baseball schedule in the land.

*The Crimson Tide owns a 25-10 record, including a 9-3 mark in the SEC. 

*Alabama and South Carolina are the SEC co-leaders through 12 games, while the Crimson Tide leads the SEC Western Division by 2 1/2 games over second place Miss. State.

*Bama has played 16 of its 35 games, or 45.7 percent of its schedule this season, against Top 25 teams.

*The Crimson Tide has played road series at No. 6. Nebraska, No. 23 Georgia and No. 1 South Carolina.

*Alabama is 4-5 (.444) in those nine games.

*The Crimson Tide has played home series with No. 26 Winthrop and No. 1 Miss. State and a single-game with No. 20 Southern Miss.

*The Crimson Tide is 4-3 (.571) in those seven games.

*Alabama has 12 games remaining with ranked teams, including SEC series with LSU, Vanderbilt, Arkansas and Florida.


TOP 10 STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE

Rk            Team                       SOS

 1.            ALABAMA               .6439

 2.            Clemson                  .6379

 3.            Stanford                  .6183

 4.            Georgia                   .6108

 5.            Long Beach State   .6070

 6.            Maryland                 .6046

 7.            UCLA                       .6043

 8.            Florida                     .6032

 9.            Auburn                    .6031

10.           Texas                       .6002


ROAD WARRIORS

*Alabama has been pretty successful on the road in the Jim Wells era, posting an 123-121 (.504) record in 244 road games since the 1995 season.

*The Crimson Tide has had three straight losing road records since the 2003 season.  Bama is 32-41 (.438) on the road since 2003.

*Alabama was 10-10 on the road during the 2002 season and has not had a winning road record since posting a 12-10 (.545) record in 2000.

*In SEC play, Alabama is 83-85 (.494) on the road in the Wells era, and has had six straight losing seasons away from home in conference play.

*Alabama has not had a winning SEC road record since posting an 8-7 (.533) record in 1999.

*The Crimson Tide is 5-5 (.500) on the road this season, including SEC series wins at No. 23 Georgia (March 31-April 2) and No. 1 South Carolina (April 7-9).

*Avila is the Tide’s leading hitter on the road this year with a .320 (8-for-25) average in nine games, with five RBI.

*Salem is second on the team with a .300 average (12-for-40) in 10 road starts, with eight runs scored, four doubles and four RBI.

*Valverde leads the team with two home runs.

*Downs leads UA with nine RBI in 10 road games.

*Robert is 2-1 with 3.39 ERA in four road starts, including a 2-0 mark in SEC road games.


 SEVEN GAME ROAD TRIP

*Alabama is in the midst of its longest road trip since the 1997 season.

*The SE Louisiana game will mark the fourth game of seven-game road trip that concludes with a three-game series at LSU this weekend.

*Alabama is 2-1 (.667) on the trip thus far, with a series win at No. 1 ranked South Carolina (April 7-9).

*The seven-game road trip is the third-longest road trip for the UA baseball team in the Wells era.

*Alabama had an eight-game road trip in both 1996 and 1997.

*The 1996 road trip included games against South Alabama, Vanderbilt (3), Auburn (at Paterson Field) and Kentucky (3) in a 10-day stretch.

*The Tide went 6-2 on that road trip.

*The 1997 road trip included dates with Auburn (3), South Alabama (1), Samford (1) and Miss. State (3) in 10-day stretch.

*Bama was 5-3 on the 1997 road trip.

*Alabama also played a five-game road swing in 1998 that sent the team to South Alabama (1), Troy (1) and LSU (3).

*Bama was 2-3 on that trip.


SE LOUISIANA RARE FIND

*The game with SE Louisiana marks just the seventh out of state midweek game for Alabama in the Wells era.

*The last time UA played a midweek game out of state was Aptil 8-9, 2003 at Northwestern State and Centenary.

*Northwestern State retired Jim Wells jersey (#17) prior to the Tide’s 12-8 win at Brown-Stroud Field on April 8, 2003.

*The Crimson Tide is 5-1 (.833) in its previous midweek, out-of-state games, including a five-game winning streak.


MIDWEEK GAMES OUT OF STATE

Year                                         Result

1995                                        Notre Dame 5, Alabama 3

                                                Alabama 9, Notre Dame 1

1997                                        Alabama 9, MTSU 6

2002                                        Alabama 17, Oklahoma 3

2003                                        Alabama 12, NW State 8

                                                Alabama 11, Centenary 9

2006                                        at SE Louisiana


 ALABAMA TAKES DOWN TOP RANKED TEAM IN BACK-TO-BACK WEEKENDS

*Pulling off a series win over the No. 1 ranked team in the nation is one thing, but to do it twice in the same season and in back-to-back SEC weekend series is something else.

*Alabama did just that with series wins over Miss. State (March 31-April 2) and South Carolina (April 7-9).

*The Crimson Tide took two of three from the top ranked Bulldogs in Tuscaloosa, winning 5-3 and 5-4 in the first two games to clinch the series.

*The following week, Alabama won two of three at No. 1 South Carolina.  After dropping the opener (7-6) in 11 innnigs, Alabama won a double header on Sunday, April 9 to clinch its first series win at Sarge Frye Field.

*With the win at South Carolina, Alabama has now won all six regular-season series with the No. 1 team in the land, dating back to the 1985 season.


ALABAMA SERIES WINS VS. NO. 1

Year                                         Opponent

1985                                        Miami, Fla.

1989                                        at Miss. State

1995                                        at Auburn

1997                                        LSU

2006                                        Miss. State

                                                at South Carolina


ALABAMA VERSUS NO. 1 TEAM

*After back-to-back series wins over Miss. State (Mar. 31-April 2) and South Carolina (April 7-9), Alabama has won its last six regular-season series against the No. 1 team in the nation.

*Alabama is 13-12 (.520) all-time against the No. 1 ranked team, including a 4-2 record this year.

*Three SEC teams -- Florida, Miss. State and South Carolina -- have been ranked No. 1 this season.

*Miss. State brought a glistening 22-1 record to the Joe on March 31 and left with a 23-3 overall record and its first series loss of the year.

*South Carolina was 26-4 entering the Alabama series, but suffered its first series loss when the Crimson Tide took two of three in Columbia.

*Alabama is 6-2 (.750) at Sewell-Thomas Stadium against the No. 1 ranked team.

*The Crimson Tide is 6-5 (.545) on the road against the No. 1 ranked team, including series wins over Miss. State (1989), Auburn (1995) and South Carolina (2006).

*Alabama is 1-5 (.200) at neutral sites against the No. 1 team, including five games at the College World Series in Omaha.


ALABAMA VS. NO. 1 RANKED TEAM

Team                                       UA Record

Auburn                                    2-1

LSU                                         2-1

Miami (Fla)                              2-3

Mississippi State                     4-2

Rice                                         1-0

South Carolina                        2-1

Texas                                       0-2

Tulane                                     0-2


OFFENSE SHOWS IMPROVEMENT

*Alabama’s offense has shown improvement over the last 16 games. 

*During that time, Alabama is batting .309 (170-for-550) with 10 home runs and 98 RBI.

*Alabama is averaging 7.0 runs and 10.6 hits per game over the last 16 games.

*The offense has shown marked improvement over the first 19 games, where the Tide hit just .250 (156-for-624) with 13 home runs and 97 RBI.

*Bama averaged only 5.8 runs and 8.25 hits per game through the first 19 games of the season.

*Valverde (.324) and Salem (.321) were the only UA starters hitting .300 or above in the first 20 games of the season.

*Here is a look at Alabama’s starters in the first 19 games compared to the last 16 games.


HITTING COMPARISON

                                First         Last

Player                      19 G         16 G

Avila                        .229         .292

Belcher                   .229         .321

Bush                        .222         .297

Downs                     .224         .273

Paiml                       .254         .315

Pennington              .270         .347

Rhoden                    .221         .333

Salem                      .307         .391

Valverde                  .333         .234