April 17, 2014
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Coming off an 8-1 victory over Jackson State on Tuesday and a 5-2 win over UAB on Wednesday, the No. 8-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide (26-11, 10-5 SEC) travels to Knoxville, Tenn., to play a three-game Southeastern Conference series against the No. 29 ranked Tennessee Volunteers (24-11, 6-9 SEC). The series between the Crimson Tide and Vols begins on Friday night, with first pitch scheduled for 5 p.m. CT from Nelson Stadium. Game two is scheduled for 3 p.m. CT on Saturday and the series finale is Sunday at 1 p.m. CT.
This week, the Tide is ranked No. 8 by Collegiate Baseball, marking the highest ranking in that poll since earning a No. 10 ranking in May of 2009. Alabama remains in the top-10 in the Baseball America poll, earning a No. 8 ranking this week. It’s the first time Bama has been in the Baseball America top-10 since the final poll of the 2006 campaign, and the highest by Baseball America since a No. 4 ranking on June 5, 2006. UA is ranked No. 11 by Perfect Game USA, No. 17 by the NCBWA and No. 19 in the USA Today Coaches poll.
No. 8 Alabama (26-11, 10-5 SEC) at Tennessee (24-11, 6-9 SEC)
Nelson Stadium – Knoxville, Tenn.
Schedule – Friday, 5 p.m. CT, Saturday, 3 p.m. CT, Sunday, 1 p.m. CT
Television – None
Steaming – UTSports.com (Subscription)
Radio – Tide 99.1 FM and CTSN
Livestats – RollTide.com
Probable Pitching Matchups
Friday – UA Spencer Turnbull (Jr., RHP, 4-2, 1.71 ERA) vs. Tenn-Nick Williams (Sr., RHP, 4-3, 2.60 ERA)Saturday – UA Justin Kamplain (Jr., LHP, 3-2, 3.57 ERA) vs. Tenn-Hunter Martin (Fr. RHP, 2-2, 2.91 ERA)Sunday – UA Jon Keller (Jr., LHP, 5-1, 1.86 ERA) vs. Tenn-Kyle Serrano (Fr., RHP, 3-2, 4.91 ERA)
Follow the Tide Live
All Alabama baseball games throughout the 2014 season will be broadcast by the Crimson Tide Sports Network (CTSN). The radio broadcast for all games of the 2014 season will be available on 99.1 FM in Tuscaloosa and available on the CTSN throughout the state. Chris Stewart and Lee Tracey will provide the call for all three games of the Tennessee series. The games will be available on the CTSN, locally on 99.1 FM in Tuscaloosa and online at RollTide.com, through the subscription plan on TIDETV. Livestats will be available on RollTide.com.
About the Crimson Tide
After suffering a 2-1 loss in the opening game of the Auburn series, the Tide enters this weekend’s series against the Vols with a four-game winning streak. Alabama has won nine of its last 12 games and 20 of the last 26 overall. At the midway point of the SEC schedule, the Crimson Tide has a 10-5 record and is in sole possession of first place in the overall conference standings.
Wade Wass and Georgie Salem enter the series against Tennessee with five-game hitting streaks. Wass is hitting .474 (9-19) with five RBI, two doubles and a run scored during his streak. Wass enters the series against the Vols with a .301 average for the season, while leading the team with a .350 average during SEC play. Salem is hitting .417 (10-24) with a double, one RBI and five runs scored in the last five games. Salem is now second on the team with a .302 average this season, while leading the team with 49 hits and 162 at-bats. Alabama’s leading hitter, Austen Smith has missed the last three games due to a bone bruise on his left wrist. Smith, who is hitting .355 for the season, is hopeful to return for the Tennessee series.
The Alabama pitching staff ranks third in the SEC and 10th nationally with a 2.32 ERA. The Tide ranks third in the SEC and fourth in the country allowing 6.4 hits per game. Spencer Turnbull will make the start of Friday and enters the series with a 4-2 record and a 1.71 ERA, which ranks eighth in the SEC. Justin Kamplain (3-2, 3.57 ERA), who will start on Saturday, was the SEC Pitcher of the Week last week and leads the team and ranks sixth in the SEC with 51 strikeouts. Jon Keller (5-1, 1.86 ERA) leads the team with five wins and will make his seventh start of the season on Sunday.
About the Tennessee Volunteers
Tennessee enters this weekend with a 24-11 overall record and is currently in seventh place in the SEC Eastern Division standings with a 6-9 conference mark. Following a 6-2 win over Western Carolina on Wednesday, Tennessee has won five of its last seven games. After winning the series opener against Georgia, 5-3, the Vols lost the next two games to the Bulldogs to lose the series. In its last SEC home series, Tennessee took two of three games from the fourth-ranked Vanderbilt Commodores two weeks ago. Tennessee has a .280 team batting average, while hitting .248 in conference games. The Vols have a 2.89 ERA for the season, with a 3.38 ERA during SEC competition, and opponents are hitting .225 against Tennessee.
Nick Senzel leads the team with a .339 average and is tied with Scott Price for the team lead with 27 RBI. Christin Stewart, who is second on the team with a .328 average and 26 RBI, leads the team with 11 doubles, three triples and four home runs. Will Maddox leads the team with 29 runs scored and 14 stolen bases, while posting a .313 average, with 20 walks for a .425 on-base percentage.
RHP Nick Williams (4-3, 2.60 ERA) will start on Friday night to make his team-leading ninth start of the year. Hunter Martin is slated to start on Saturday and enters the series with a 2-2 record and a 2.91 ERA. Sunday starter Kyle Serrano is 3-2 with a 4.91 ERA in 11 appearances and seven starts as a freshman. Drake Owenby leads the team with 17 appearances, posting a 1.71 ERA with a 2-1 record and a team-high five saves.
All-Time Series versus Tennessee
In a series that dates back to the 1897 season, Alabama is 71-34 all-time versus Tennessee. This weekend’s games will mark the 106th-108th games played all-time between the two schools. In the most recent series, Alabama posted a series win over the Vols, winning two of three games played in Tuscaloosa during the 2013 campaign. In the last series in Knoxville, the Vols swept the Tide during the 2012 season.
On Deck for the Tide
Following the SEC road series at Tennessee, Alabama returns home to host the Southern Miss Golden Eagles on Tuesday, April 22. First pitch for the game between the Tide and Eagles is slated for 6:05 p.m. CT from Sewell-Thomas Stadium. Southern Miss posted a 2-1 victory over the Tide on Feb. 26, when the teams played in Hattiesburg, Miss., earlier this season. Alabama is 71-28 in 99 games against USM.