Baseball Travels to Lexington for Final Road Series of the Season
May 10, 2012
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama will play a three-game series at No. 7 Kentucky this weekend. The first game of the series will be Friday night with first pitch scheduled at 6 p.m. CT, from Cliff Hagan Stadium. Friday’s game will be televised on CSS and game two of the series will be broadcast on Fox Sports South. Game two of the series is scheduled for 1 p.m. CT on Saturday, and the series wraps up with a 12 p.m. CT game on Sunday.
All games for the 2012 season will be broadcast on the Crimson Tide Sports Network. All three games against Kentucky can be heard on WFFN-FM 95.3. Chris Stewart and Lee Tracey will provide the radio commentary for the Kentucky series. The audio and video broadcast, along with live stats will be available at RollTide.com.
PROBABLE STARTING PITCHER MATCH-UPS
SATURDAY W-L ERA G/GS IP H R ER BB SO
SUNDAY W-L ERA G/GS IP H R ER BB SO
Alabama comes into the week with an 18-30 overall record following a series loss to Mississippi State last weekend. The Tide won the final game of the series, 8-7, thanks to a two-run, walk-off double by Austen Smith. UA comes into the final road SEC weekend with an 0-12 record on the road in SEC play. For the season, Alabama is just 3-16 away from Sewell-Tomas Stadium.
Ben Moore is hitting .352 for the season to lead the Tide, which ranks fifth overall in the SEC. He is hitting .366 during conference games, to rank fourth in the SEC. Moore is tied with Taylor Dugas for the team-lead with 62 hits, and he’s second with 10 doubles, 28 runs scored and third with 28 RBI. Dugas is second on the team with a .343 average and he leads the team with 21 walks and 18 HBP for a team-high .457 on-base percentage. Dugas now holds the school record for career hits with 327, after he broke Andy Phillips’ 13-year old record on May 5, against Mississippi State. Jared Reaves and Brett Booth are tied for the team lead with four home runs and 29 RBI. Reaves is third on the team with a .305 average this season. James Tullidge has started the last 22 games, is fourth on the team with a .293 average, and is second on the team with 17 walks and a .463 on-base percentage.
Kentucky (38-11, 15-9 SEC) comes into the week ranked No. 7 in the Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball polls and No. 9 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches and NCBWA polls. Coming off a 6-5 12-inning road win over Indiana on Wednesday night, the Kentucky Wildcats are 38-11 overall and are in second place in the SEC Eastern Division with a 15-9 record. Heading into the ninth week of conference play, Kentucky has a .303 team batting average, which is third best in the SEC. The Wildcats rank second in the conference and 10th in the country with 50 home runs. The Kentucky pitching staff has a 3.57 ERA while allowing opponents to hit .260 against them.
Austin Cousino leads the team with a .345 batting average and is third on the squad with eight home runs. Luke Maile leads the team with 11 home runs and 45 RBI, while hitting .320 for the season. Cameron Flynn is second on the team with nine homers and A.J. Reed is second with 39 RBI.
Friday night starter Taylor Rogers has a 5-3 record with a 4.81 ERA, and leads the team with 67 strikeouts. Rogers is 1-3 with a 5.11 ERA during SEC play. Saturday starter Jerad Grundy is 4-2 with a 4.08 ERA, while holding opponents to a .242 batting average. In 12 starts this season, Sunday starter Corey Littrell has a 7-0 record with a team-best 2.30 ERA in a team-high 74.1 innings pitched. Littrell is 5-0 with a 2.50 ERA during conference play.
In a series that dates back to the 1925 season, this year’s series between Alabama and Kentucky will mark games 90-92 all-time. After sweeping the series in Tuscaloosa last season, 4-0, 6-5, and 8-3, the Tide leads the series 56-33. When the teams last played in Lexington in 2010, Kentucky won the first two games, 7-6 and 8-2, before the Tide won the finale, 11-9. Alabama is 21-15 all-time in games played at Kentucky. The Wildcats have won the last two series played in Lexington, and are 5-1 in those six games. UA has posed four three-game sweeps in Lexington, while the Wildcats have swept the Tide twice in three games series’ at home. UA head coach Mitch Gaspard is 4-2 all-time as a head coach against Kentucky.
Taylor Dugas continues to add to his storied career at Alabama, as he set the school record for career hits on Saturday, breaking Andy Phillips’ 13-year old record. On the day he went through graduation, he collected hits 322 and 323 to pass Phillips. Dugas broke the record with a bunt single in the fifth inning. Dugas now holds the school record for hits (325) singles (227), doubles (67) and triples (17), and in SEC history he is fifth in triples, sixth in hits, ninth in doubles and 12th in runs scored. With his two runs scored last week, Dugas now has 229 runs scored in his career, which ranks third in school history behind Jeremy Brown (244) and Brent Boyd (233). Dugas was also hit by a pitch on Sunday, marking the 39th time in his career and 18th time this season he’s been hit by a pitch. The 39 career HBP ranks fourth at UA, while the 18 HBP in a season is the fourth most.
Freshman outfielder/catcher Ben Moore continues to lead the Crimson Tide with a .352 batting average. Moore has the top batting average by a freshman in the SEC, which is fifth best in the conference, while his .366 average during SEC games is fourth best. Moore has had two hitting streaks of at least 10 games this season, one for 13 games (a team season-high) and one for 11 games. Moore has reached base safely in all but four games this season, which included a streak of 26 consecutive games during the middle portion of the season. Moore’s average of .352 is the sixth best by a UA freshman since 1972. Dave Magadan hit .389 as a freshman in 1981, Scott McClendon hit .374 in 1983, Josh Rutledge hit .369 in 2008, G.W. Keller had a .369 average in 1997, and Joe Vitiello hit .353 as a freshman in 1989.
Alabama will play its final non-conference mid-week game on Tuesday, May 15, when it hosts Troy at 6:05 p.m., at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. The Crimson Tide returns to SEC play on Thursday, May 17, with game one of a three-game series against Georgia at 6:35 p.m. CT. The series continues with game two on Friday at 6:35 p.m. and wraps up on Saturday with a 1:05 p.m. game. Prior to the start of the Friday night game against Georgia, Alabama will honor eight senior student-athletes, which include: Taylor Dugas, Hunter Gregory Jon Kelton, Nathan Kennedy, Jared Reaves, Josh Rosecrans, James Tullidge and Jason Zylstra.
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