May 23, 2010
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Alabama coaching staff has named junior left-fielder Jon Kelton, senior third baseman/pitcher Jake Smith and junior right-handers Jimmy Nelson and Nathan Kilcrease as its players of the week, head baseball coach Mitch Gaspard announced Sunday afternoon.
Alabama (34-21, 15-15 SEC) closed the regular season with a five-game winning streak, including a three-game sweep at Tennessee this weekend to secure the Tide’s sixth consecutive SEC Tournament berth. The Crimson Tide’s starting pitchers compiled a 2.73 ERA in the series with Volunteers.
“We had a tremendous weekend and it’s a credit to our players for the way they closed the year to qualify for the SEC Tournament,” Gaspard said. “Every player on our team contributed in series against Tennessee. We felt like, guys separated themselves in some key moments in the series. Nelson and Peanut (Kilcrease) have been outstanding the last three weeks on the mound. Smith hit a big home run and gave us two scoreless innings on the mound. Kelton had a big series too, with some quality at-bats in some key situations.”
Nelson logged his second straight complete game with an 11-3 series opening win over Tennessee. He no-hit the Volunteers for 3 2/3 innings and took a shutout into the seventh. He held UT to three runs on eight hits with eight strikeouts and two walks.Kilcrease pitched nine solid innings in game two as Alabama punched its ticket to the SEC Tournament. The junior held UT to two runs on four hits with four strikeouts and no walks in the Tide’s 4-2 win in 11 innings. He came within three outs of his second straight complete game before allowed a game-tying home run in the ninth.
Nelson and Kilcrease both worked nine innings in the Tennessee series to give Alabama four consecutive games in which the starting pitcher worked nine innings, with three complete games.
Smith was a two-way threat in the series and played a huge role in the Tide’s series-clinching win on May 21. The senior hit a game-winning two-run home run in the top of the 11th inning to give Alabama a 4-2 lead. He pitched two scoreless innings in relief of Kilcrease to earn his first career win on the mound as the Tide won its first SEC road series of the season. He hit .308 (4-for-13) in the three-game series with two home runs and six RBI.
Kelton paced the Tide at the plate for the second time this season in SEC play. He hit .556 (5-for-9) with two doubles, two runs scored and two sacrifice bunts in the series. He doubled and scored the tying run in the fourth inning of UA’s 4-2 comeback win on May 21.
Alabama will open the 2010 SEC Tournament on Wednesday, May 26, when the No. 7 seed Crimson Tide faces No. 2 seed Auburn at 9:30 a.m. (CDT) at Regions Park in Hoover.
SEC Baseball Tournament Ticket Update:
-Session One Reserved Tickets Sold Out-
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Reserved tickets for Session One of the 2010 SEC Baseball Tournament have sold out.
Tickets for Wednesday’s first session are now only available in the general admission sections. The session includes Alabama vs. Auburn at 9:30 a.m. and Ole Miss vs. South Carolina 30 minutes immediately following.
Tickets for Wednesday evening’s session remain available in both the reserved and general admission sections. The evening session includes Florida vs. LSU at 4:30 p.m. and Arkansas vs. Vanderbilt immediately following.
Reserved singles are $17 each, and General Admission singles are $12 each. Additionally, a limited number of Reserved Books (all sessions) are still available for $100, and General Admission Books (all sessions) are still available for $75.
All tickets can be purchased by logging onto www.secsports.com or calling (800) 732-4849. Fans may also purchase tickets at the Regions Park box office.