May 12, 2014
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - After splitting a weather shortened Southeastern Conference series at LSU last weekend, the No. 19 Alabama Crimson Tide (32-19, 14-12) travels to Jacksonville, Ala., to take on the Jacksonville State Gamecocks (29-21, 17-10 OVC) for its final non-conference game of the regular season on Tuesday night. First pitch for the game between the Tide and Gamecocks is scheduled for 6 p.m. CT, from Rudy Abbott Field.
For the sixth straight week, Alabama is ranked in all five national polls. This week, the Tide is ranked No. 19 by Baseball America and Perfect Game USA, and No. 22 in the NCBWA poll, the USA Today Coaches Poll and by Collegiate Baseball.
With three games remaining on the SEC schedule, the Crimson Tide is 14-12 in conference play and sits in seventh place overall and in fourth place in the SEC West Division, 2.5 games behind Ole Miss. Alabama is 4-6 in its last 10 games overall, while posting a 2-6 record in its last eight SEC contests.
No. 19 Alabama (32-19) at Jacksonville State (29-21)
Rudy Abbott Field, Jacksonville, Ala.
Schedule - Tuesday, 6:05 p.m. CT
Television - None
Steaming - None
Radio - Tide 99.1 FM and CTSN
Livestats - JSUgamecocksports.com
Probable Pitching Matchup
Tuesday: UA-Nick Eicholtz (Fr., RHP, 3-1, 2.48 ERA) vs. JSU-Tony Urban (Jr., LHP, 1-2, 6.23 ERA)
The Tide is slated to start freshman RHP Nick Eicholtz (3-1, 2.49 ERA). Eicholtz will be making his 19th appearance and eighth start of the year. Against JSU last week, Eicholtz threw four scoreless innings, allowing two hits with a walk and a strikeout. Jacksonville State is slated to start junior LHP Tony Urban on Tuesday. Urban has appeared in 13 games with three starts this season, posting a 1-2 record with a 6.23 ERA in 21.2 innings this season.
Follow the Tide Live
All Alabama baseball games throughout the 2014 season will be broadcast by the Crimson Tide Sports Network (CTSN). The radio broadcast for all games of the 2014 season will be available on 99.1 FM in Tuscaloosa and available on the CTSN throughout the state. Lee Tracey will provide the call for Tuesday's game, which will be available on the CTSN, locally on 99.1 FM in Tuscaloosa and online at RollTide.com, through the subscription plan on TIDETV. Livestats will be available on JSUgamecocksports.com.
About the Crimson Tide
Entering the final week of the regular season, Alabama is fourth in the SEC Western Division and currently seventh in the SEC overall standings. Alabama is 2.5 games behind SEC West Division leader Ole Miss. The Tide can win the Western Division, if the following happens: UA sweeps Mississippi State, Ole Miss gets swept at Texas A&M and LSU drops one game at Auburn the final weekend of the season. With a 14-12 mark in SEC play, Alabama has secured a spot in the SEC Baseball Tournament and can finish no lower than 10th in the overall standings. Alabama can finish as high as the two seed in the SEC Baseball Tournament.
The Crimson Tide is seventh in the SEC with a .279 batting average, while averaging 5.2 runs and 9.5 hits per game. Alabama's had 10 or more hits in 28 games this season, while reaching the 10-hit mark in 16 of the last 24 games. Alabama has 38 home runs (second in the SEC and 15th nationally) in 51 games, surpassing its 2013 season total of 26 home runs in 63 games. The 38 home runs are the most for Alabama since the bat change following the 2010 season.
After starting the year 4-5 with a .224 batting average through nine games, Alabama is 28-14 in its last 42 games, while hitting .291 with a .417 slugging percentage, with 34 of its 38 home runs and 65 of their 74 doubles coming during that stretch.
In the last 10 games, Alabama is 4-6 while posting a .261 average and averaging 3.7 runs and 8.7 hits per game. On the pitching side, Alabama has a 4.76 ERA while allowing the opponents to hit .280 against them. Despite the recent troubles on the mound, Alabama is eighth in the SEC with a 3.06 ERA for the season, ranking 40th nationally. UA ranks fourth in the SEC with a .222 opponent's batting average, while ranking sixth in the country, allowing 7.2 hits per nine innings.
Ben Moore had a team-high 13 game hit-streak snapped with an 0-for-3, one RBI game against JSU last week. Moore has hit safely in 15 of the last 16 games, while posting a .391 average, with five home runs, four doubles, a triple, 15 RBI and 15 runs scored, with a .719 slugging percentage during that stretch. Austen Smith continues to lead the team in a number of offensive categories, including average (.346), RBI (34), walks (25), slugging percentage (.529) and on-base percentage (.451). In the SEC, Smith ranks sixth in average and slugging, second in on-base percentage and eighth in home runs with six.
About the Jacksonville State Gamecocks
The Jacksonville State Gamecocks enter Tuesday's match up with a 29-21 overall record, following an Ohio Valley Conference sweep of Eastern Kentucky last weekend. The Gamecocks have won seven of their last nine games, and are tied for second in the OVC with a 17-10 record. JSU enters the midweek game with a .285 team batting average, while averaging 5.8 runs and 10.0 hits per game. The Jacksonville State pitching staff has a 4.38 ERA while allowing opponents to hit .269 against them. JSU opponents are averaging 5.3 runs and 9.3 hits per game.
Griff Gordon leads the team in average (.360), hits (73), home runs (5) and walks (23). Gordon is second on the team in RBI (36), runs (38) and triples (4).Stephen Bartlett his hitting .352 and leads the team 15 doubles to go along with three home runs, 22 RBI and a .544 slugging percentage. Paschal Potrongolo leads the squad with six triples and 38 RBI while hitting .275 for the season. Gavin Golsan has been a menace on the base paths, as he is 27-for-31 in stolen base opportunities.
Graham Officer leads the pitching staff with 21 appearances, posting a 2-0 record with three saves and a 4.25 ERA. In 20 relief appearances, totaling 28 innings, Travis Stout has a 2-0 record with 11 saves and a 1.61 ERA, while holding opponents to a .181 average. Michael Mason has a 5-1 record in 21 relief appearances this season. Maseon is third on the team with 44 strikeouts in 26.2 innings pitched.
Series versus Jacksonville State
In a series that dates back to the 1967 season, Tuesday's game will mark the 35th meeting all-time between the two schools. Following a 6-1 win over the Gamecocks last week, Alabama holds a 27-7 overall record against JSU, and has won the last 10 games in the series, dating back to 2005. When playing in Jacksonville, Ala., the Tide has a 3-3 record. Bama has won the last two games played at Rudy Abbott Field. The last time UA played at JSU, the Tide posted a 10-4 win on April 7, 2010.
On Deck for the Tide
Following the weekend final midweek game of the season at JSU on Tuesday, Alabama closes out the regular season at home against Mississippi State this weekend. The three-game Southeastern Conference series against the Bulldogs begins on Thursday night, with first pitch scheduled for 6:35 p.m. CT from Sewell-Thomas Stadium. Game two of the series will begin at 6 p.m. CT on Friday, and the series wraps up on Saturday with a 3 p.m. CT start. Game one of the series will be available on ESPN3/WatchESPN, game two will be televised on CBS Sports Net, and game three will be a CSS production and will be available on ESPN3/WatchESPN.