Baseball Travels to No. 4 South Carolina This Week
April 25, 2012
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Following a 5-4 mid-week win over Samford on Tuesday, the Crimson Tide will travel to Columbia, S.C., for three games against the two-time defending National Champions, No. 4 South Carolina. The first game of the series will be on Thursday night, as part of the Thursday Night SEC Baseball package. First pitch for game one of the series is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. CT and will be televised on ESPNU and ESPN3.com. Game two of the series is scheduled for 6 p.m. CT on Friday, and the series wraps up with a 12:30 p.m. CT game on Saturday.
All games for the 2012 season will be broadcast on the Crimson Tide Sports Network. All three games against South Carolina can be heard on WFFN-FM 95.3. Chris Stewart and Lee Tracey will provide the radio commentary for the South Carolina series. The audio broadcast along with live stats will be available at RollTide.com.
For the second time this season, Alabama freshman outfielder/catcher Ben Moore was named the Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week, which was announced by the conference office on Monday afternoon. Moore finished the five-game week with a .579 (11-for-19) batting average, which included an 8-for-11 (.727) performance in the three-game SEC series against Vanderbilt. Additionally, Moore scored five runs, drove in five, had three doubles, hit his second home run of the season, and had 17 total bases for an .895 slugging percentage last week.
Probable Pitching Match-ups
Friday W-L ERA G/GS IP H R ER BB SO
Saturday W-L ERA G/GS IP H R ER BB SO
Alabama posted a 3-2 record last week that included a split of a doubleheader with Mississippi Valley State and winning two of three games against Vanderbilt. Following the one-run victory at Samford on Tuesday, Alabama has won three of its last four games.
Ben Moore collected 11 hits last week for a .529 (11-19) average, and after a 1-for-3 night at Samford he leads the Crimson Tide with a .368 batting average and is fourth in the SEC with a .406 average. Moore leads the team with 56 hits, is tied for the team lead with 10 doubles, is second with 25 runs scored and is third with two home runs and 25 RBI.
Taylor Dugas is second on the team with a .335 average, and he leads the team with 19 walks and 17 HBP for a team-high .453 on-base percentage. Dugas has five triples this season, and holds the school record with 16 career triples. With his 10th double of the season on April 18 against MVSU, he has 65 career doubles to surpass Dave Magadan for the school record. After collecting a pair of hits against Samford on Tuesday, Dugas is second in career hits at Alabama and needs seven more to break Andy Phillips’ school record of 322.
Jared Reaves is tied with Brett Booth for the team lead with four home runs. Booth leads the team with 28 RBI and Reaves is second on the squad with 27 RBI. Reaves is hitting .317 for the year, which is third best for the Tide.
South Carolina comes into the seventh week of SEC play with a 30-11 overall record and an 11-7 mark in conference play. The Gamecocks, who are coming off a sweep of Auburn last weekend, are ranked No. 4 in the NCBWA poll, No 5 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll, and No. 7 in the Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball polls. After opening SEC play with a 1-5 start, SC is 10-2 over its last four conference series. The Gamecocks are hitting .276 for the season with 28 home runs, and the SC pitching staff has a 3.15 ERA while holding opponents to a .210 average.
Christian Walker leads the club in all three triple crown categories, with a .336 average, seven home runs and 40 RBI. Walker also leads the team with 27 walks and seven HBP for a team-best .455 on-base percentage. LB Dantzler is tied with Walker for the team led in home runs and is second on the team with 35 RBI. Tanner English is second on the team with a .313 average and Evan Marzilli is third on the club with a .296 average. Marzilli has seven of the team’s 20 stolen bases on the season.
Game one starter Michael Roth is 4-0 in 10 starts this season with a 2.84 ERA. Roth has a team-high 66.2 innings pitched to go along with a team-high 57 strikeouts. Freshman Jordan Montgomery is slated to start game two, and enters the series with a 4-0 record in nine appearances, seven as a starter. Montgomery has a 2.59 ERA in 41.2 innings pitched with 32 strikeouts to just four walks. Junior Colby Holmes will throw the final game of the series, as he leads the team with six wins for a 6-0 record in 10 starts. Holmes has a 3.29 ERA in 52.0 innings with 44 strikeouts. Matt Price is 3-3 with a 2.96 ERA and four saves in 48.2 innings. Price has 57 Ks to match Roth for the team lead. Evan Beal leads the team with five saves and Tyler Webb has a team-leading 23 appearances this season.
In a series that began in 1973, the three games this weekend will be games 52-54 between the two schools. After winning two of three games in Tuscaloosa last season, SC holds a slim 26-25 advantage overall. Last year, Alabama won the opening game of the series, 2-1, against the second-ranked Gamecocks. SC won games two and three 6-3 and 3-2 respectively. In the last series played in Columbia, Alabama won two of three games against third-ranked South Carolina. Head coach Mitch Gaspard is 3-3 all-time against South Carolina, will all six games coming in his three seasons at the Capstone.
After the series at South Carolina, and for the first time since the opening week of the season, Alabama will not play a mid-week game next week. The Crimson Tide returns to SEC play on Friday with game one of a three-game series against Mississippi State at 6:35 p.m. CT, from Sewell-Thomas Stadium. Game two of the series begins at 2:05 p.m. CT, on Saturday, and the series finale is slated for 1:05 p.m. CT, on Sunday.
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