April 21, 2014
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Coming off a Southeastern Conference road series win at Tennessee, the No. 8-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide (28-12, 12-6 SEC) will host the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles (24-17, 13-5 C-USA) on Tuesday night. First pitch for the non-conference midweek game is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. CT from Sewell-Thomas Stadium.
This week, the Tide is ranked No. 8 by Collegiate Baseball, Baseball America and Perfect Game USA. Alabama remained in the top-10 in the Baseball America poll, earning a top-10 national ranking in back-to-back weeks by Baseball America for the first time since the 2006 season. It's the highest by Baseball America since a No. 4 ranking on June 5, 2006. UA is also ranked No. 17 by the NCBWA and No. 18 in the USA Today Coaches poll.
After winning the first two games of the series at Tennessee (8-5 and 7-6), Alabama closed the series with a 10-9 loss, which snapped a six-game win streak for the Tide. Alabama has won 13 of its last 17 games and 24 of the last 31 overall. With 12 games remaining on the SEC schedule, the Crimson Tide is 12-6 in conference play to lead the Western Division and share first place in the overall standings with Florida.
No. 8 Alabama (28-12, 12-6 SEC) vs. Southern Mississippi (24-17, 13-5 C-USA)
Sewell-Thomas Stadium, Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Schedule - Tuesday, 6:05 p.m. CT
Television - None
Steaming - RollTide.com (TIDETv subscription)
Radio - Tide 99.1 FM and CTSN
Livestats - Rolltide.com
Probable Pitching Matchup
Tuesday: UA-Nick Eicholtz (Fr., RHP, 2-0, 1.96 ERA) vs. Cameron Giannini (Sr., RHP, 2-2, 4.44 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 Tuesday's game, which 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 and the webcast for Tuesday's game will be available on RollTide.com
About the Crimson Tide
The Crimson Tide is fourth in the SEC with a .283 batting average, while averaging 5.6 runs and 9.8 hits per game. When the Tide scores three or more runs they are 28-2, but 0-10 when scoring less than three runs. Alabama has had 10 or more hits in 23 games this season, while reaching the 10-hit mark in seven straight games and 11 of the last 13. Alabama has 28 home runs in 40 games (second in the SEC and 17th nationally) surpassing its 2013 season total of 26 home runs in 63 games. The 28 home runs are the most for Alabama since the bat change following the 2010 season. After starting the year 4-5, Alabama is 24-7 in its last 31 games, while hitting .301 with a .457 slugging percentage, with 24 of its 28 home runs and 54 of their 63 doubles during that stretch.
The Alabama pitching staff has been solid this season, posting the sixth-best ERA in the SEC at 2.57. In 360.1 innings, Alabama has given up 126 runs (103 earned) on 263 hits with 303 strikeouts and 138 walks. Opponents are hitting .208 against the Tide, which ranks third in the SEC. Alabama is fourth in the country, allowing 6.5 hits per game. In 139 innings, the Tide bullpen has allowed 48 runs (42 earned) for a 2.72 ERA, while allowing a .210 batting average. Alabama is 19-5 when playing at Sewell-Thomas Stadium and 9-7 away from home, including a 7-7 mark in road games and a 2-0 mark at neutral sites.
Wade Wass enters Tuesday night's game with an eight game hitting streak. During the streak, Wass is hitting .455 (15-33) with four doubles, a home run, six RBI and four runs scored. Casey Hughston is on a season-long seven game hit streak, where he is hitting .458 (11-24) with two doubles, a triple, four RBI and a run scored. After missing three games with a bruised wrist, Austen Smith started all three games of the Tennessee series. He hit .400 (4-10) in the series with two home runs, a double, five RBI and three runs scored. Smith leads the team in five offensive categories including batting average (.358), home runs (6), RBI (31), slugging (.583) and on-base percentage (.443).
About the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles
Southern Miss comes to Tuscaloosa with a 24-17 overall record following a Conference USA series sweep over Louisiana Tech this past weekend. The Golden Eagles have won four of their last five games and seven of their last 10 overall. USM is hitting .244 with 18 home runs, 61 doubles and three triples. The Eagles average 4.7 runs and 8.1 hits per game. Southern Miss has a 3.56 team ERA while holding opponents to a .244 batting average. USM is allowing 4.4 runs and 8.2 hits per game.
Matt Durst is the team's leading hitter with a .301 average. Durst also leads the team four home runs, 26 RBI and a .441 slugging percentage. Michael Sterling leads the team with 31 runs scored while hitting .248. Tim Lynch has a .299 average and is second on the team with eight doubles and 24 RBI. Although he's hitting .217, Mason Robbins leads the team with 11 doubles and is second on the club with three home runs, 24 RBI and 23 runs scored.
On the pitching side, Luke Lowery leads the team with 16 appearances, while posting a 2-0 record with a 2.19 ERA. Cameron Giannini will make his 10th appearance and 10th start of the season on Tuesday. Giannini has a 2-2 record with a 4.44 ERA in 46.2 innings with 34 strikeouts and 17 walks, and opponents are hitting .225 against him this season.
All-Time Series vs. Southern Miss
In a series that dates back to the 1962 season, Tuesday's game between Alabama and Southern Miss will mark the 100th all-time meeting between the two schools. Alabama has a 72-27 record all-time versus USM. In the first meeting this season, the Golden Eagles defeated the Tide, 2-1, when the team met in Hattiesburg, Miss., on Feb. 26. Alabama is 3-2 in the last five games and 5-5 in the last 10 meetings against Southern Miss. When playing in Tuscaloosa, Alabama has a 49-9 overall record against the Golden Eagles.
On Deck for the Tide
Following Tuesday's game against Southern Miss, Alabama will travel to South Carolina for a three-game SEC series beginning on Friday. The series at Carolina Stadium begins at 6 p.m. on Friday, with game two starting at 1 p.m. CT on Saturday. The series finale will be Sunday at Noon CT. Both the Saturday and Sunday games will be televised on ESPN. In a series that dates back to the 1973 season, Alabama is 25-29 all-time versus the Gamecocks. South Carolina has won the last five games played between the two schools, with the last Alabama win coming with a 2-1 victory on May 19, 2011. Alabama's last win in Columbia, S.C., was a 6-4 win over No. 3 South Carolina on May 1, 2010. The Tide is 7-17 all-time when playing South Carolina in Columbia.