Baseball Travels to Starkville for Three against No. 15 Mississippi State

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM Sophomore RHP Spencer Turnbull will get the start on Friday night in the series opener against Mississippi State.
Sophomore RHP Spencer Turnbull will get the start on Friday night in the series opener against Mississippi State.

May 2, 2013

Alabama Game Notes_MSU Get Acrobat Reader

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Alabama Crimson Tide (27-18, 11-9 SEC) will travel to Starkville, Miss., to play three Southeastern Conference games against 15th-ranked Mississippi State (33-13, 10-11 SEC) this weekend. The series begins on Friday with first pitch scheduled for 6:04 p.m. CST, from Dudy Noble Field. The series opener will be televised on ESPNU with Tom Hart and Ben McDonald calling the action. Game two will begin at 2 p.m. CST on Saturday and the final game of the series will be at 1:37 p.m. CST, on Sunday and will be televised on the CBS Sports Network with John Sadak and Marlon Anderson calling the game.

All Alabama baseball games throughout the 2013 season will be broadcast by the Crimson Tide Sports Network (CTSN). All three games between Alabama and Mississippi State will be broadcast on 95.3 The Bear in Tuscaloosa, with Chris Stewart and Lee Tracey calling the action. Livestats will be available on Friday’s game will be televised on ESPNU and Sunday’s game will be broadcast on the CBS Sports Network. A live webcast for all Saturday’s game will be available at through Mississippi State’s online subscription package.

Alabama is coming off a two-game, rain-shortened series sweep over the Texas A&M Aggies last weekend. The Tide posted a pair of 3-2 wins over the Aggies before Sunday’s game was rained out. Alabama is currently receiving votes in the NCBWA poll and the USA Today Sports Coaches poll and has an RBI of 31 (NCAA). In their most recent action, the Bulldogs were swept on the road by No. 3 Vanderbilt last weekend, and are currently in fifth place in the SEC Western Division, 1.5 games behind third place Alabama.

Alabama will start sophomore RHP Spencer Turnbull (4-1, 2.26) on Friday, senior RHP Charley Sullivan (4-4, 3.27) on Saturday, and sophomore LHP Justin Kamplain (1-0, 4.82) on Sunday. The Bulldogs’ rotation will be senior LHP Luis Pollorena (6-2, 3.42) on Friday, senior RHP Kendall Graveman (5-4, 2.17) on Saturday and sophomore LHP Jacob Lindgren (4-2, 3.47) on Sunday.

Probable Starting Pitchers
Friday                            W-L  ERA    G/GS  IP    H   R   ER  BB  SO
UA-Spencer Turnbull (Soph., RHP)  4-1  2.26  10/10  63.2  62  22  16  23  33
MSU-Luis Pollorena (Sr., LHP)     6-2  3.42  14/7   55.1  52  24  21  28  48

Saturday                          W-L  ERA    G/GS  IP    H   R   ER  BB  SO
UA-Charley Sullivan (Sr., RHP)    4-4  3.27  11/11  66.0  68  28  24  19  59
MSU-Kendall Graveman (Sr., RHP)   5-4  2.17  11/11  70.2  69  25  17  18  47

Sunday                            W-L  ERA    G/GS  IP    H   R   ER  BB  SO
UA-Justin Kamplain (Soph., LHP)   1-0  4.82  16/3   37.1  28  21  20  13  30
MSU-Jacob Lindgren (So., LHP)     4-2  3.47  10/10  46.2  36  20  18  13  54

Mississippi State enters the series with a 33-13 overall record, after the Bulldogs were swept by the third-ranked Vanderbilt Commodores last weekend to fall to 10-11 in SEC play. MSU is ranked No. 15 in the NCBWA and USA Today Sports Coaches’ poll, No. 22 by Baseball America, No. 17 by Perfect Game and No. 28 by Collegiate Baseball. Mississippi State is 24-6 when playing at home this season, while posting a 5-4 record at home against SEC opponents. The Bulldogs rank third in the SEC with a .294 batting average for the season, while the team’s .263 mark during SEC play ranks fourth in the conference. MSU has a 2.46 ERA for the year, good for third in the SEC, but has a 3.09 ERA during SEC play, which is sixth best in the league. Opponents are hitting .217 against the Bulldogs this season.

The top hitter for MSU is outfielder Hunter Renfroe with a SEC-leading .403 average. Renfroe also leads the team with 13 doubles and a conference leading 14 home runs. Renfroe has a .799 slugging percentage to go along with 48 RBI. Shortstop Adam Frazier is hitting .332, is tied with Renfroe with 13 doubles and leads the club with 42 runs scored. Second baseman Brett Pirtle chips in with a .308 average and Alex Detz is hitting .299 for the season.

Friday starter, Luis Pollorena has a 6-2 record with a 3.42 ERA this season. Pollorena has made 14 appearances with seven starts, totaling 55.1 innings pitched. RHP Kendall Graveman will get the start on Saturday and enters the weekend with a 5-4 record and a 2.17 ERA. Graveman has 47 strikeouts in a team-high 70.2 innings pitched. The Bulldogs are slated to start Jacob Lindgren on Sunday. Lindgren is 4-2 with a 3.47 ERA in 10 starts this season and is tied for the team lead with 54 strikeouts. Closer Jonathan Holder has 12 saves in 20 appearances this season and is tied with Lindgren for the team lead with 54 strikeouts. Holder has a 1-0 record with a 1.50 ERA in 30.0 innings pitched.

The three-game series between Alabama and Mississippi State will mark games 383-385 all-time between the two schools. In a series that dates back to 1896, Alabama holds a 210-169-3 record against the Bulldogs. In the most recent series between the two schools, the Bulldogs won the series 2-1 in Tuscaloosa in 2012, winning games one and two, 3-2 and 3-1, respectively. The Tide won the series finale 8-7 thanks to a two-out, two-run walk-off double by Austen Smith in the ninth inning. Alabama is 7-3 in the last 10 meetings against the Bulldogs, and have a 7-3 record in the last 10 games played at Dudy Noble Field. The Tide has won the last three series played in Starkville, Miss.

• Alabama has had two season-long winning streaks of six games this season.
• The Crimson Tide is 5-5 in its last 10 games, 8-7 in its last 15 games, and 11-9 in the last 20.
• The Tide is 16-9 against non-conference opponents this season and has a 10-3 record in midweek games.
• The Crimson Tide is 24-0 when leading after six, 25-0 when leading after seven and 27-0 when leading after eight innings. 
• The Alabama pitching staff has a 3.12 ERA with a .249 OBA to rank sixth in the SEC. The Tide has 319 strikeouts to rank seventh in the SEC, while its 136 looking strikeouts rank second in the conference.
• Alabama pitchers are averaging 7.1 strikeouts per game.
• During SEC play, Alabama ranks fifth in the conference with a 2.90 team ERA and a .243 opponent’s batting average.
• The Tide is 43-for-66 (.651) in stolen base attempts and ranks sixth in the SEC in stolen bases.
• Alabama is outscoring its opponents 30-16 in the first inning, 29-11 in the sixth inning and 36-25 in the eighth inning. However, Bama is being outscored 25-20 in the seventh and 12-3 in the ninth and 6-1 in extra innings.
• Alabama got its first runs in the ninth inning this season when Kenny Roberts hit a 3-run home run to tie the game against No. 2 LSU in the 41st game of the year. 
• Alabama has converted all 16 of its save opportunities and is second in the SEC with 16 saves. South Carolina leads the conference with 19 saves this season.
• Freshman right-handed pitcher Ray Castillo leads the team with eight saves to rank ninth in the SEC.
Brett Booth, who had 10 walks in 55 games last season, leads the team with 23 this season. Booth is also 13th in the SEC with a team-high 35 runs scored. Defensively, Booth has thrown out 36 runners (including five pick-offs). His 31 runners caught stealing are the most in the SEC. The next best in the SEC is Mississippi’s Stuart Turner with 19.
• Alabama second baseman Kyle Overstreet ranks second in the SEC with 41 fielding double plays, while shortstop Mikey White is fifth in the conference with 35 fielding double plays this season.

Charley Sullivan notched his fifth quality start of the season, throwing 7.0 innings, allowing two runs on six hits with three strikeouts and two walks against Texas A&M on Friday … in 11 starts, Sullivan is 4-4 with a 3.27 ERA in a team-high 66.0 innings pitched. In his third start of the year, Justin Kamplain earned his first win of the season after throwing a career-long 7.1 innings against Texas A&M on Saturday … Kamplain threw seven scoreless innings before allowing two runs in the eighth inning, and struck out five, walked one and allowed five hits. Jay Shaw threw a career-high 3.1 innings against Southern Miss, without allowing a hit or a run with a walk and a strikeout … Shaw now has a 1.98 ERA in 13.2 innings pitched this season. Tucker Hawley threw a scoreless ninth inning at Southern Miss to record his first save of the year and second of his career … Hawley also threw a scoreless inning in relief on Saturday against the Aggies … Hawley is 4-2 with a save and has a team-low 1.80 ERA in 35.0 innings pitched this season. Keaton Haack made a couple appearances totally 1.2 innings pitched without allowing a run on one hit with two strikeouts. Taylor Guilbeau got the win at Southern Miss after throwing two scoreless innings in relief.

Ben Moore paced the Tide with a .500 (5-for-10) average, with three doubles, a home run, three RBI and four runs scored last week… Moore now leads the team with a .284 average, 10 doubles, four triples and 29 RBI and he’s tied for second on the team with three home runs … Moore had the game-winning RBI in the win over Southern Mississippi. Austen Smith had a 3-for-4, three RBI and two runs scored night at Southern Miss on Wednesday … Smith finished the week with a team-leading four RBI to give him 25 for the season. Kyle Overstreet was 3-for-11 for the week and scored three runs. Brett Booth clubbed his team leading fourth home run of the season in the second inning of game one of the series against Texas A&M … Booth leads the team with 23 walks and is third on the club with 26 RBI.

After playing three games at No. 15 Mississippi State, Alabama returns home to open a five-game homestand to complete its schedule at Sewell-Thomas Stadium this season. The Tide will host Mississippi Valley State on Tuesday night, with first pitch at 5:05 p.m. CST, and Troy on Wednesday night, with first pitch at 6:05 p.m. CST. The game against MVSU will replace the rained out game Alabama had scheduled against Texas A&M on Sunday, April 28. Alabama closes out its home schedule with a three-game SEC series against Missouri, beginning on Friday, May 10.

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