No. 19 Baseball hosts No. 16 Mississippi State to Wrap up Regular Season

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM
ROLLTIDEDOTCOM

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM

May 14, 2014

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - After posting a 15-10 win at Jacksonville State on Tuesday, the No. 19 Alabama Crimson Tide (33-19, 14-12) will host the No. 16 ranked Mississippi State Bulldogs (33-19, 16-11 SEC) in the final regular season series of the 2014 campaign. 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.

Alabama is ranked in all five national polls this week, as 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.

No. 19 Alabama (33-19, 14-12 SEC) vs. No. 16 Mississippi State (33-19, 16-11 SEC)
Sewell-Thomas Stadium - Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Schedule - Thursday, 6:35 p.m. CT, Friday, 6:05 p.m. CT, Saturday, 3:05 p.m. CT
Television - Thursday (ESPN3) Friday (CBSSN), Saturday (CSS)
Streaming - None
Radio - Tide 99.1 FM and CTSN
Livestats - RollTide.com

Probable Pitching Matchups
Thursday - UA - Geoffrey Bramblett (Fr., RHP, 4-1, 3.71 ERA) vs. MSU - Trevor Fitts (Jr., RHP, 4-3, 2.62 ERA)
Friday - UA - Spencer Turnbull (Jr., RHP, 5-5, 2.36 ERA) vs. MSU - TBA
Saturday - UA - Justin Kamplain (Jr., LHP, 5-3, 3.29 ERA) vs. MSU - TBA

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. Chris Stewart and Lee Tracey will provide the call for the Mississippi State series. Livestats will be available at for all three games at RollTide.com.

About the Crimson Tide
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 5-5 in its last 10 games overall, while posting a 2-6 record in its last eight SEC contests. The Crimson Tide is sixth in the SEC with a .283 batting average, while averaging 5.4 runs and 9.7 hits per game. Alabama's had 10 or more hits in 29 games this season, while reaching the 10-hit mark in 17 of the last 25 games. Alabama has 38 home runs (second in the SEC and 15th nationally) in 52 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.

Over the last eight games, Mikey White has a .441 (15-34) average with two home runs, a double, a triple, eight RBI and 10 runs scored. Ben Moore has hit safely in 16 of the last 17 games, while posting a .397 average, with five home runs, four doubles, a triple, 16 RBI and 17 runs scored, with a .706 slugging percentage during that stretch. Austen Smith continues to lead the team in a number of offensive categories, including average (.344), RBI (36), walks (25), slugging percentage (.522) and on-base percentage (.450). In the SEC, Smith ranks sixth in average and slugging, second in on-base percentage and eighth in home runs with six.

Geoffrey Bramblett will make his 16th appearance and fourth start of the season on Thursday, and his first start against an SEC opponent. In SEC play, Bramblett has appeared in six games, posting a 1-0 record with a 12.46 ERA in 4.1 innings pitched. He gave up all six runs in a relief appearance at Arkansas on March 21. Friday night starter Spencer Turnbull will make is 14th start of the year and enters the MSU series with a 5-5 record with a 2.36 ERA. Turnbull leads the team with 80 innings pitched, while holding opponents to a .193 batting average. Coming off a complete game victory at LSU last week, Justin Kamplain (5-3, 3.29 ERA) will make his 14th start of the year on Saturday. Kamplain leads the Tide with 62 strikeouts in 67.2 innings this season. 

About the No. 16 Mississippi State Bulldogs
Mississippi State enters the final weekend of the regular season in second place in the SEC Western Division and tied for third in the overall SEC standings with a 16-11 conference record. After winning the series against Tennessee last week, the Bulldogs have won five of their last six games and have a 33-19 overall record. MSU is ranked in all five polls, with its highest ranking of No. 16 by Collegiate Baseball. The Bulldogs are ranked No. 20 by Baseball America and Perfect Game USA and No. 21 in the NCBWA and USA Today Coaches polls. The Bulldogs rank 10th in the SEC with a .272 batting average, while the team's 2.91 ERA is sixth best in the conference.

Brett Pirtle leads the team with a .342 batting average and is second on the club with 26 runs scored. Wes Rea leads the team with four home runs and 34 RBI, while hitting .256 for the season. Alex Detz has three of the team's 13 home runs and is tied with Rea for the team lead in RBI.

Jacob Lindgren leads the squad with 22 appearances out of the bullpen, posting a 4-1 record with three saves and a 1.02 ERA. Lindgren has 82 strikeouts in 44.0 innings, to average 1.8 strikeouts per inning pitched. Jonathan Holder leads the team with six saves, while posting a 5-1 record with a 2.43 ERA in 18 appearances. 

Series versus Mississippi State
In a series that dates back to the 1896 season, this weekend will mark games 386-388 between Alabama and Mississippi State in baseball. The Tide holds a 210-172-3 overall record against the Bulldogs, but MSU has won six of the last 10 between the two schools. Last season, MSU swept the season series in Starkville, and in 2012, the Bulldogs won two of three games when they played in Tuscaloosa. The last series win for the Tide came in 2011, when Alabama won the first two games of the series played in Starkville. The last sweep in the series for Alabama came in Tuscaloosa in 2010.

On Deck for the Tide
Next week the Alabama baseball team will compete in the 2014 Southeastern Conference Baseball Tournament at the Hoover Met from Tuesday, May 20 through Sunday May 25. The top four seeds will receive a bye and will not play their first game until Wednesday, May 21. Seeds five through 12 will play single-elimination games on Tuesday, with games starting at 9 a.m. CT, running through the completion of game four that evening. Double-elimination play begins on Wednesday, before single-elimination play resumes Saturday. A champion will be crowned on Sunday, with first pitch scheduled for 3:30 p.m. CT.