Alabama Hosts South Carolina in Key SEC Weekend Series

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM
ROLLTIDEDOTCOM

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM
Thursday, May 08, 2003

Adam Pavkovich
Adam Pavkovich

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May 9   vs South Carolina      6:30 pm CT
        CTSN (WRTR, 105.5 FM)
May 10  vs South Carolina      3:07 pm CT
        CTSN (WRTR, 105.5 FM), FOX Sports
May 11  vs South Carolina      2 pm CT
        CTSN (WRTR, 105.5 FM)
May 13  vs Jacksonville State  6:30 pm CT
        CTSN (WRTR, 105.5 FM)

QUICK FACTS

Game 49-51:  SOUTH CAROLINA GAMECOCKS AT Alabama Crimson Tide
MAY 9-11, 2003
SEWELL-THOMAS STADIUM
TUSCALOOSA
6:30 PM (CT)
REMATCH OF SEC’S BEST TEAMS IN 2002

RADIO:  The games will be aired locally on WRTR-FM (105.5) or WACT-AM (1420) in Tuscaloosa.  David Crane and Chris Stewart will call the action.  TV:  Alabama and South Carolina will be the SEC “Game of the Week” on Fox Sports Net South (Comcast channel 37) this Saturday afternoon.  Dave Neal and Larry Conley will call the action from the Joe.

INTERNET BROADCAST:  Live stats (home games only) and audio broadcasts can be found at www.rolltide.com

TICKETS:  Season tickets are available by calling the Alabama Ticket Office (205-348-2262).  Any unused ticket from the 2003 season will be honored for the BSC game on May 6th.  Single-game tickets and standing-room only tickets are available for $5 each and the gates will open two hours prior to each game.

RANKINGS:  Alabama and South Carolina are unranked entering the penultimate weekend of conference play.

BAMA-USC SQUARE OFF IN CRUCIAL SEC SERIES

The two best teams in the SEC last season, square off in a crucial three-game series this weekend as the defending SEC Champion South Carolina Gamecocks visit the 2002 Western Divison champion Alabama Crimson Tide.  The three-game series opens Friday, May 9 at 6:30 p.m.  Alabama and South Carolina split four meetings last year, with the Crimson Tide winning the 2002 SEC Tournament Championship game by a 6-2 margin at the Hoover Met.  The Gamecocks won the regular-season series in Columbia, winning the final two games.  Alabama posted a 10-6, 13-inning victory in the opener before USC rebounded to take the next two games and the series.  Alabama has won all three SEC series with South Carolina here in Tuscaloosa, including a three-game sweep during the 2001 season.  Alabama, USC, Arkansas and Ole Miss enter the penultimate weekend of SEC play with identcial 13-11 records.  USC leads the Eastern Division, while Bama, Arkansas and Ole Miss are in a three-way tie for fourth in the Western Divsion.

THE RECORDS

Alabama (32-18, 13-11 SEC) lost its fourth SEC road series of the 2003 season this past weekend at Tennessee.  UA has lost three of its last four games. South Carolina (32-17, 13-11 SEC) has won four straight games and five of their last six.

THE COACHES

Alabama’s Jim Wells is in his ninth season at the Capstone, compiling a 403-168 (.706) record at the helm of the Crimson Tide.  Overall, Wells is 595-257 (.698) in his 14th season as a Division I head coach.  South Carolina head coach Ray Tanner has compiled an impressive 701-303-3 (.000) record in his 16 years of coaching.  Tanner, who has led USC to two SEC Championships and a berth in the College World Series, has posted a 306-130 (.000) record in seven years in Columbia.  Tanner was named the head coach of US National Team this summer by USA Baseball.

LAST TIME OUT

The Crimson Tide lost its sixth straight SEC road series by dropping a 7-4 decision at Tennessee in the rubber game of an SEC series this past weekend in Knoxville.  The lack of clutch hitting and three errors by the Tide defense proved costly in its fifth series loss of the season.  UT scored all seven runs in the middle three innings to hand UA its second straight loss.  Travis Garner had two hits and scored three runs for Alabama.  Al Hecklinski added a solo home run for Bama.

NEXT GAME

Alabama and South Carolina meet at 3:07 p.m. (CT) Saturday in a game televised by Fox Sports Net South.

BAMA VS. SOUTH CAROLINA

Alabama holds a 15-12 (.536) lead over South Carolina in a series that dates back to the 1973 season.  The Crimson Tide won that initial meeting by a 1-0 score at the Joe Sewell Classic.  South Carolina posted a shutout win in the second meeting (6-0) in that same tournament.

*The two teams met only six times prior to the Gamecocks arrival into the SEC in 1992.  The Crimson Tide won four of the those six meetings.

*In addition to the 1973 meetings, UA and USC split a pair of meetings at the 1986 NCAA Atlantic Regional played at Mark Light Stadium in Coral Gables, Fla.  USC won the first game, 8-2, while Bama posted an 8-7 in an elimination game two days later.

*Alabama and South Carolina first met in league play in 1994 at Sarge Frye Field in Columbia, with the Gamecocks taking two of three in the initial SEC series.

*Alabama, did however, win the first-ever SEC meeting with South Carolina, 8-4.

*Since joining the SEC, South Carolina holds a slight 12-11 (.521) series lead over Alabama.

*The Crimson Tide has won all three SEC series with the Gamecocks here in Tuscaloosa, including a three-game sweep here in 2001.

*Alabama holds a 9-3 (.750) series lead here at the Joe, including a 7-2 (.778) mark in nine SEC games.

*South Carolina and Alabama split four meetings last year, with the Gamecocks taking the regualr season series in Columbia. After dropping a 13-inning affair in the series opener, 10-6, USC bounced back to win the next two and take the series.

*Alabama evened up the season series with a 6-2 win over South Carolina in the 2002 SEC Tournament championship game.  The win gave UA its sixth post-season tourney crown and fifth under Jim Wells.

*South Carolina is the defending SEC Champions, while Alabama won the Western Division title and placed second overall last year.

*USC was also the national runner-up last year, losing in the national title game to Texas at the 2002 College World Series.

Alabama-South Carolina Series File

At Tuscaloosa:   UA leads, 9-3
At Columbia:     USC leads, 9-3
Neutral Sites:   UA leads, 3-1

Wells vs. USC:   10-9 (.526)
Tanner vs. UA:   8-7 (.533)

PLAYER CAREER NOTES VS. USC

*Beau Hearod has three home runs and eight RBI in his career against the Gamecocks.  He hit two home runs last year and added one home run and six RBI during the 2001 season.

*Travis Garner batted .500 (9-for-18) in last year’s  four meetings with South Carolina.

*Garner homered in back-to-back games for the Tide on March 29-30 for the first time in his UA career.

*Garner also matched the Alabama single-game record with five hits in the loss at USC on March 30.

*Jeffrey Norris tossed a complete game shutout (9, 10, 2 ER, 5 K) in the SEC Tournament championship game. 

*Brian Reed allowed a grand slam to Brian Buscher in the 7th inning of last year March 30 loss in Columbia.

*Taylor Tankerlsey recorded a win and a loss in two relief appearances last year in Columbia.

*South Caroina’s Steven Boundurant clinched the regular season series with a complete game win over Alabama (9 IP, 9 H, 3 ER, BB, 7 K) on March 31.