April 24, 2014
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Coming off a 6-3 non-conference loss to Southern Miss on Tuesday, the No. 8-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide (28-13, 12-6 SEC) travels to No. 8 South Carolina (32-10, 10-8 SEC) for a three-game Southeastern Conference series this weekend. First pitch for the Friday night series opener is set for 6 p.m. CT from Carolina Stadium. Game two of the series will begin at 1 pm. CT on Saturday, and the series finale begins at noon CT on Sunday. The Saturday and Sunday games will be televised nationally on ESPN with Tom Hart and Kyle Peterson calling the actions.
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.
Alabama has won 13 of its last 18 games and 24 of the last 32 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 (28-13, 12-6 SEC) at No. 8 South Carolina (32-10, 10-8 SEC)
Carolina Stadium - Columbia, S.C.
Schedule - Friday, 6 p.m. CT, Saturday, 1 p.m. CT, Sunday, 12 p.m. CT
Television - ESPN (Saturday and Sunday)
Steaming - gamecocksonline.com (Friday only - Subscription)
Radio - Tide 99.1 FM and CTSN
Livestats - RollTide.com
Probable Pitching Matchups
Friday - UA-Spencer Turnbull (Jr., RHP, 5-2, 2.14 ERA) vs. SC -Jordan Montgomery (Jr., LHP, 5-3, 3.62 ERA)
Saturday - UA-Justin Kamplain (Jr., LHP, 3-2, 3.54 ERA) vs. SC-Jack Wynkoop (So., LHP, 5-2, 2.07 ERA)
Sunday - UA-TBA vs. SC-Wil Crowe (Fr., RHP, 6-2, 2.37 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 South Carolina 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 their fifth SEC series win of the season, the Tide leads LSU by 1.5 games in the Western Division standings and is tied for first place with Florida in the overall standings with a 12-6 conference mark. The Crimson Tide is fourth in the SEC with a .283 batting average, while averaging 5.5 runs and 9.7 hits per game. Over the last six games, Alabama is hitting .330 with 10 doubles, two triples and six home runs. When the Tide scores three or more runs they are 28-3, 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 11 of the last 14 games.
Wade Wass enters the South Carolina series with a nine-game hitting streak. During the streak, Wass is hitting .432 (16-37) with four doubles, a home run, six RBI and four runs scored. Casey Hughston is on a season-long eight-game hit streak, where he is hitting .429 (12-28) with two doubles, a triple, four RBI and a run scored. Ben Moore has hit safely in the last six games and is hitting .520 (13-25) with three doubles, a triple, two home runs, nine RBI and nine runs scored over that stretch. He has had at least two hits in each of the last six games, which includes a 3-for-5 night against Southern Miss on Tuesday. After missing three games with a bruised wrist, Austen Smith started the last four games, posting a .417 (5-12) average with a double, two home runs and five RBI since returning to the lineup. Smith leads the team in five offensive categories including batting average (.361), home runs (6), RBI (31), slugging (.582) and on-base percentage (.451).
About the South Carolina Gamecocks
Following midweek wins over Davidson (8-0) and USC Upstate (6-1), South Carolina enters the series against Alabama with a 32-10 overall record. The Gamecocks are in second place in the SEC Eastern Division standings with a 10-8 record. South Carolina is ranked No. 8 by the NCBWA and in the USA Today Coaches poll, while ranking 10th by Perfect Game USA, 11th by Baseball America and 18th by Collegiate Baseball. The Gamecocks are tied with Alabama for fourth in the SEC with a .283 team batting average. South Carolina has a 2.00 ERA to lead the conference and rank second in the country.
Kyle Martin leads the team with a .354 batting average, which ranks sixth in the SEC. Grayson Greiner, who is hitting .319 for the season, leads the team with 39 RBI, to go along with four home runs and eight doubles. Connor Bright is hitting .340 with a team-high 10 doubles. Joey Pankake has a .315 average with three home runs and 20 RBI.
Friday starter Jordan Montgomery is 5-3 with a 3.62 ERA in 10 starts and leads the team with 59 strikeouts. Jack Wynkoop is 5-2 with a 2.07 ERA in a team-leading 61.0 innings pitched. Sunday starter Wil Crowe leads the team with six wins, while posting a 2.37 ERA in 60.2 innings. Joel Seddon has appeared in 17 games out of the bullpen, posting a 2-1 record with a 0.33 ERA and 10 saves.
All-Time Series versus South Carolina
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 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 victory over No. 3 South Carolina on May 1, 2010. The Tide is 7-17 all-time when playing the Gamecocks in Columbia.
On Deck for the Tide
Following the weekend series at South Carolina, Alabama will play a midweek road game at Samford on Tuesday. First pitch between the Crimson Tide and Bulldogs is scheduled for 6 p.m. CT from Joe Lee Griffin Field. Tuesday's game between Alabama and Samford will mark the second meeting of the season. UA defeated the Bulldogs, 12-1, when the teams met in Tuscaloosa on March 11. In a series that dates back to the 1894 season, Alabama is 92-15 all-time versus Samford.