Baseball to Host LSU This Weekend for Three Games

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM Sophomore third baseman Brett Booth has appeared in 43 games this season.
ROLLTIDEDOTCOM
Sophomore third baseman Brett Booth has appeared in 43 games this season.
ROLLTIDEDOTCOM

May 5, 2011

Alabama vs. LSU Game Notes

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The Alabama baseball team (28-19, 10-11 SEC) will play three Southeastern Conference games against the LSU Tigers (29-17, 7-14 SEC) at Sewell-Thomas Stadium, Friday-Sunday, May 6-8. First pitch for game one of the series is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. CT on Friday. The start time for game two has been moved up to 3:06 p.m., from its original 6:35 p.m. start, and will be televised on CSS. Game three will begin at 1:05 p.m. CT on Sunday.

ALABAMA (28-19, 10-11 SEC) VS. LSU (29-17, 7-14 SEC)
Sewell-Thomas Stadium (6,571) • Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Game 48 • Friday, May 6 • 6:35 p.m. CT
Game 49 • Saturday, May 7 • 3:06 p.m. CT (CSS)
Game 50 • Sunday, May 8 • 1:05 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: CSS/ESPN3.com (Saturday game only)
Broadcasters: Matt Stewart and Scott McClanahan
Streaming Audio/Video: www.RollTide.com
Live Stats: www.RollTide.com

Probable Starting Pitchers
Friday, May 6
RHP, Nathan Kilcrease (5-3, 3.12 ERA) vs. RHP, Kurt McCune (5-3, 3.34 ERA)

Saturday, May 7
LHP, Adam Morgan (4-4, 4.28 ERA) vs. RHP, Kevin Gausman (3-5, 4.36 ERA)

Sunday, May 8
TBA vs. RHP, Ben Alsup (6-4, 4.17 ERA)

Alabama Athletics Tornado Relief Effort for LSU Series
Admission will be free to all three of the Alabama baseball games from May 6-8 with a donation. The Red Cross will have a cargo truck parked in front of Sewell-Thomas Stadium to receive donations. Monetary donations will be directed to the UA Acts of Kindness Fund, cash donations will be handled by the Red Cross and checks will be accepted for the UA Acts of Kindness Fund. Beyond the right field fence, food will be provided by local churches and local restaurants for those affected directly by the storms. There will be a moment of silence prior to Friday's baseball game. "Sweet Home Alabama" and "Yea, Alabama" will be played during the 7th inning stretch. A portion of Centerplate's net sales will go towards the UA Acts of Kindness Fund. In-game giveaways will be increased and Friday Night Fireworks have been canceled for the remainder of the season.

Alabama on the Radio
All three games of the series between Alabama and LSU can be heard on the radio through the Crimson Tide Sports Network. The games will be aired on WFFN-FM 95.3 and WTSK-AM 790 in Tuscaloosa, as well as other stations around Alabama, and on RollTide.com. Chris Stewart and Lee Tracey will call the action for the broadcasts live from Sewell-Thomas Stadium.

Crimson Tide on TV
Only the Saturday game of the series against LSU will be available on television in Alabama, and can be seen on CSS beginning at 3 p.m. CT. Play-by-play will be provided by Matt Stewart and the color commentator will be former UA outfielder Scott McClanahan. The broadcast will also be available on ESPN3.com.

LSU Tigers at a Glance
The LSU Tigers enter the weekend in Tuscaloosa with a 29-17 overall record. LSU has won seven of its last 10 games and are riding a five-game winning streak. After being swept by No. 3 Vanderbilt (April 22-24), the Tigers started the winning streak with a 12-3 win over Nichols State on April 26. A three-game sweep over Kentucky last weekend has the Tigers at 7-14 in SEC play, and LSU defeated Tulane, 6-2, on Tuesday. The Tigers are sixth in the SEC with a .291 team batting average. The leading hitter is Mikie Mahtook with a .361 average, and the junior outfielder leads the conference with 12 round-trippers and is tied for second with 44 RBI. Raph Rhymes is hitting .351, has a team-high 61 hits, with two home runs and 35 RBI. The LSU pitching staff has a 4.36 ERA for the season while opponents are hitting .251 against them. Friday probable starter Kurt McCune has a 3.34 ERA with a 5-3 record in 11 starts and leads the team with 70.0 innings pitched as a freshman. Fellow freshman, Kevin Gausman, is slated to start on Saturday and enters the weekend with a 3-5 record and a 4.36 ERA. Gausman leads the team with 62 strikeouts in 66.0 innings. Sunday starter Ben Alsup has a 6-4 record with a 4.17 ERA in 58.1 innings. Matty Ott and Kevin Berry lead the team with 23 appearances. Ott has six of the team's eight saves with the remaining two being collected by Berry.  

Series History Versus LSU
In a series that dates back to 1906, Alabama holds a 192-151-3 record in 346 career games between the two schools. LSU has controlled the series as of late, winning the season series the past five years with a 13-4 record against the Tide. In the most recent meeting, the No. 8 seeded Tigers defeated the No. 7 seeded Crimson Tide 4-3 in 11 innings at the 2010 SEC Tournament. The SEC Tournament loss was the fourth of the season, as Alabama was swept in the regular season in Baton Rouge.

The Last Outing
Alabama dropped the final game of the weekend series at Mississippi State, 8-5, after winning the first two games of the series by scores of 5-4 in a Saturday doubleheader. Jonathan Smart pitched the final 2.1 innings and got the win in game one, as Brett Whitaker hit a game-winning leadoff home run in the 10th inning to lift the Tide to a one-run victory. Smart got the save in game two of the doubleheader, pitching the final inning of the game, and reliever Trey Pilkington got the win to improve to 2-3 on the season. Alabama led 5-2 after 6.5 innings in the series finale, but MSU scored six times in its last two at-bats, including a four-run eighth inning, to salvage the final game.

Tide Competes Season-Long Road Swing
Alabama is coming off a season-long eight-game road trip. The Crimson Tide won two out of three games at Mississippi State to improve to 4-4 over the past two weeks on the road. After going 1-3 the first week, UA posted three straight wins, the first a 7-3 victory at No. 15 Southern Mississippi on April 26. The Tide won the first two games of the series at Mississippi, winning both games of a doubleheader by scores of 5-4.

Jared Reaves Heating Up Over Last Three Weeks
Over the last 13 games, junior shortstop Jared Reaves leads the team with a .457 (21-for-46) average, with team-highs in doubles (6), RBI (11) and runs scored (10). He now has 15 doubles for the season to lead the Tide and rank second in the SEC. Additionally he has a .652 slugging percentage and a .544 on-base percentage, hitting safely in 12 of his last 13 games. Reaves has also been stellar on the defensive side of the ball, converting 62 of his 63 chances in the field. For the season, Reaves has committed seven errors in 211 chances for a .967 fielding percentage while starting every game at shortstop for the Tide.

Austen Smith Hitting His Stride
In the last 13 games, freshman first baseman Austen Smith is hitting .395 (17-for-43) with a double, a triple, and a home run, with five RBI and seven runs scored. Since taking over as the everyday first baseman on March 18, against Mississippi, Smith has seen his average climb from .235 to .289. Over the last 30 games, all as the starting first baseman, Smith is hitting .315 (34-for-108) with a team-high 18 RBI.

Dugas Joins 200-Hit Club
When Taylor Dugas recorded his second hit against Eastern Illinois on March 13, he notched his 200th hit at Alabama, becoming the 19th player in school history to reach the 200-hit mark. With four hits in the series against Mississippi State, he now has 236 career hits and passed Dustan Mohr (1995-97) to move into 11th all-time at Alabama. With three more hits, Dugas will move into the top 10, passing Scott McClanahan's (1999-2002) total of 238 hits.

Jonathan Smart Named to Stopper of the Year Watch List
Senior left-handed pitcher Jonathan Smart was named to the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Midseason Watch List. Smart, who is one of 46 Division I pitchers selected to the list, leads the Tide and is fourth in the SEC with eight saves. He has a 3-1 record with a 2.22 ERA in 44.2 innings pitched, and his team-high 23 appearances, including two starts, ranks second in the conference. Smart has converted all eight save opportunities this season and has finished 16 games for Alabama.

On Deck for the Tide
Next week, Alabama will only play three Southeastern Conference games when its travels to play in-state rival Auburn for a three-game set, Friday-Sunday, May 13-15. The series begins on Friday, May 13, with first pitch slated for 6:00 p.m. from Plainsman Park. Game two begins at 12:06 p.m. CT and will be televised on CSS and game three starts at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday.