Baseball Travels To No. 5 Florida for Three Games

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM Junior Adam Morgan takes the mound for Saturday's ESPN2 game at No. 5 Florida.
ROLLTIDEDOTCOM
Junior Adam Morgan takes the mound for Saturday's ESPN2 game at No. 5 Florida.
ROLLTIDEDOTCOM

April 21, 2011

Alabama versus Florida Game Notes

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The Alabama baseball team (25-15, 8-7 SEC) wraps up the week with a three-game series at No. 5 Florida (28-10, 11-4 SEC) this weekend. The series begins on Friday night, with first pitch scheduled for 6 p.m. CT from McKethan Stadium in Gainesville, Fla. The series continues on Saturday, with first pitch scheduled for 5 p.m. CT in a game that will be televised on ESPN2. The series concludes on Sunday with a noon CT start.

ALABAMA (25-15, 8-7 SEC) AT #5 FLORIDA (28-10, 11-4 SEC)
McKethan Stadium (5,500) • Gainesville, Fla.
Game 41 • Friday, April 22 • 6:00 p.m. CT
Game 42 • Saturday, April 23 • 5:00 p.m. CT (ESPN2)
Game 43 • Sunday, April 24 • 12:00 p.m. CT

Radio: Crimson Tide Sports Network (CTSN)
Play-by-Play: Chris Stewart and Lee Tracey
Stations: WFFN-FM 95.3, WTSK-AM 790- Tuscaloosa, and CTSN Affiliates
TV: ESPN2/ESPN3.com (Saturday only)
Broadcasters: Clay Matvick, Kyle Peterson and Jessica Mendoza
Streaming Audio: www.RollTide.com
Live Stats: www.RollTide.com

Probable Starting Pitchers
Friday, April 22
RHP Nathan Kilcrease (4-3, 2.62 ERA) vs. Hudson Randall (6-1, 1.70 ERA)

Saturday, April 23
LHP Adam Morgan (4-3, 4.12 ERA) vs. Brian Johnson (5-1, 2.42 ERA)

Sunday, April 24
TBA vs. Karsten Whitson (4-0, 2.38 ERA)

Alabama on the Radio
The three games between Alabama and Florida can be heard on the on the radio through the Crimson Tide Sports Network. The game will be aired on WFFN-FM 95.3 and WTSK-AM 790 in Tuscaloosa, as well as other stations around Alabama, or on RollTide.com. Chris Stewart and Lee Tracey will call the action for the broadcast live from McKethan Stadium. The game will also be available on Satellite Radio on Sirius 122 and XM 143.

Crimson Tide on TV
Only the Saturday game of the three-game series between Alabama and Florida will be televised, and can be seen on ESPN2 beginning at 5 p.m. CT, with play-by-play by Clay Matvick, color commentary provided by Kyle Peterson, with sideline reporter Jessica Mendoza. The broadcast will also be available on ESPN3.com.

No. 5 Florida Gators at a Glance
Florida is one of the top three teams in the SEC and is ranked No. 5 in the country by Baseball America, the NCBWA, and in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches polls, and No. 6 in the Collegiate Baseball News rankings. Following an 8-6 loss to Central Florida on Wednesday night, the Gators enter this weekend's series with a 28-10 overall record and are tied for second with Vanderbilt in the SEC Eastern Division, one game behind South Carolina. The Gators are leading the conference in batting, hitting an impressive .313 as a team and are tied for the lead in slugging percentage with Kentucky where they post an impressive .443 average. They are second to LSU in runs scored with 244 and have considerable power, as their 26 home runs are tied with Mississippi for third in the conference. Josh Adams, the sophomore second baseman leads the team in batting average with a season average of .377 (49-for-130) despite batting just .224 as a freshman. Adams is just one of seven Gator starters batting over .300 on the year.  Mike Zunino (.356), Daniel Pigott (.338), Preston Tucker (.333), Brian Johnson (.319), Austin Maddox (.306), and Nolan Fonatana (.303) are the other consistent Gator offensive threats. On the mound, Florida is also third in the conference with a 2.77 team ERA, and opponents are only batting .240 against the Gator pitching staff. The Florida pitchers have great control and lead the conference in walks allowed with just 70 this season; the Crimson Tide are second in that category with 94 walks allowed. Hudson Randall (6-1, 1.70 ERA) leads the way for the Gators and has thrown both of Florida's complete games this season. Karsten Whitson (4-0, 2.38 ERA) and Brian Johnson (5-1, 2.42 ERA) are the other Florida pitchers with nine starts this season. Anthony DeSclafani (4-2, 3.28 ERA) leads the team with three saves, the team's other five saves are split between four different pitchers.

Series History Versus Florida
Alabama and Florida have met 102 times on the baseball diamond in the series history, and the Crimson Tide hold a 55-47 advantage in those games. The last 10 meetings however have been more Gator-oriented, as Florida has claimed six of those 10 contests, including a three-game sweep in 2009. Last season the Tide and the Gators split the season series 2-2 as Florida took two out of three games in Tuscaloosa, but Alabama beat the Gators 5-2 in the SEC Tournament Semifinals.

Tide Embarks on Season-Long Road Swing
With Tuesday's game at Samford, Alabama embarked on the first of eight straight road games. UA will play three games at Florida this weekend, and after traveling to Hattiesburg, Miss. to battle No. 19 Southern Mississippi on April 26, the Tide ends the season-long eight-game road swing with three SEC games at Mississippi State, playing a doubleheader on April 30 and wrapping up the series on May 1.

Reaves Hits in Six Straight
Junior shortstop Jared Reaves has the longest active hitting streak for the Crimson Tide heading into the weekend at six games. During the last six games, Reaves is hitting .455 (10-for-22) with five doubles, five RBI and six runs scored. Additionally, he has taken over the team lead with 30 RBI and passed Taylor Dugas for the most doubles on the team with 14. Reaves has also been stellar on the defensive side of the ball, converting all 32 chances he's had. Reaves has six errors in 175 chances this season for a .967 fielding percentage while starting every game for the Tide.

The Last Outing
Alabama scored five runs over the last three innings en route to a 7-5 non-conference road win over Samford on Tuesday night. With the score tied at 5-5, Austen Smith tripled off the left field wall to lead off the ninth inning. Smith scored the game-winning run on a safety squeeze by Allen Dye, as the Crimson Tide defeated Samford for the first time in five tries. Jonathan Smart pitched the final two innings for Alabama to get his second win of the season, improving to 2-0 on the year. Smart allowed one hit with three strikeouts in 2.0 innings to close the game. Alabama starting pitcher Adam Windsor threw 4.1 innings, allowing one run on two hits with three strikeouts. Josh Rosecrans allowed one hit in 1.2 innings, getting the Tide out of a jam in the sixth, before throwing a scoreless seventh inning. Taylor Dugas was 2-for-5 with two RBI and a double, Jared Reaves was 2-for-4 with a double and a walk, and David Kindred was 2-for-4 with a RBI and a run scored.

On Deck for the Tide
Next week, Alabama will play its final midweek game of the season when it travels to No. 19 ranked Southern Mississippi on Tuesday, April 26. First pitch for the game against the No. 19 ranked Golden Eagles is scheduled for 6 p.m. CT from Pete Taylor Park. The Tide wraps up the week with three games at Mississippi State, beginning with a doubleheader on Saturday, April 30, at 2 p.m. CT. The first game of the doubleheader will be televised on SportSouth. The series wraps up with a single game on Sunday, May 1, beginning at 1:30 p.m. CT.