Baseball Opens 2014 NCAA Tournament against Kennesaw State on Friday

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM
ROLLTIDEDOTCOM

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM

May 29, 2014

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The Alabama Crimson Tide (34-22) will travel to Tallahassee, Florida, for the opening round of the 2014 NCAA Baseball Championship. Alabama opens the Tallahassee Regional on Friday, May 30, against the Kennesaw State Owls (37-21), with first pitch scheduled for 11 a.m. CDT, at Mike Martin Field at Dick Howser Stadium.

Alabama enters the Tallahassee Regional as the No. 2 seed after earning an at-large bid into the tournament. Kennesaw State is the No. 3 seed in the regional, earning an automatic bid into the tournament after winning the Atlantic Sun Tournament. The game between Alabama and Kennesaw State will be available on ESPN3.com, with Joe Davis and Greg Swindell calling the action.

Florida State (43-15), the No. 1 seed in the Tallahassee Regional and the No. 5 national seed will take on the No. 4 seeded Georgia Southern Eagles (39-21) at 5 p.m. CT on Friday night. Florida State was an at-large entry into the NCAA Baseball Championship. Georgia Southern won the Southern Conference Tournament by defeating Samford, 4-3, in the championship game on Sunday.

No. 2 Seed Alabama (34-22) vs. No. 3 Seed Kennesaw St. (37-21)
Mike Martin Field at Dick Howser Stadium - Tallahassee, Fla.
Schedule - Friday, May 30 at 11 a.m. CT
Television - None
Steaming - ESPN3.com/WatchESPN
Radio - Tide 99.1 FM and CTSN
Livestats - RollTide.com

Probable Pitching Matchup
Friday: UA-Spencer Turnbull (Jr., RHP, 5-6, 2.28 ERA) vs. KSU-TBA

The Tide will start junior right-handed pitcher Spencer Turnbull on Friday against Kennesaw State. Turnbull has a 5-6 record with a 2.28 ERA. In 14 starts this season, Turnbull has thrown a team-high 87 innings, with 59 strikeouts while holding opponents to a .193 batting average. Kennesaw State has not made a decision on a pitcher for Friday's game, but it's likely that the Owls will start either sophomore RHP Jordan Hillyer or sophomore LHP Travis Bergen.

Alabama in the NCAA Tournament
Alabama is making its 24th NCAA tournament   appearance, posting a 67-47 (.587) in 114 career NCAA tournament games. UA has been to the NCAA tournament in six of the last seven seasons. Alabama missed the 2012 NCAA tournament, snapping a four-year run. Mitch Gaspard's led the Tide to the NCAA tournament in four of his five seasons as the head coach at Alabama. This is Gaspard's sixth NCAA tournament as a head coach (Northwestern State, 2005).

UA is making their fifth trip to Tallahassee for an NCAA Regional. Alabama played in Tallahassee in 1983, 1991, 2011 and 2013. The Tide is 9-6 in NCAA Regional games in Tallahassee. UA won the 1983 region and advanced to the championship game in 1991 and 2011. 

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 every game that the Crimson Tide plays in the NCAA tournament. Livestats will be available at for all games of the NCAA Tallahassee Regional at RollTide.com.

About the Crimson Tide
The Crimson Tide is seventh in the SEC with a .278 batting average, while averaging 5.2 runs and 9.5 hits per game. Alabama's had 10 or more hits in 29 games this season, while reaching the 10-hit mark 17 times in the last 29 games. After starting the year 4-5 with a .224 batting average through nine games, Alabama posted a .290 average with a .412 slugging percentage, with 36 of its 40 home runs and 70 of their 79 doubles coming during that stretch. The Tide ranks second in the SEC and 17th in the country with 40 home runs this season.

Alabama is eighth in the SEC with a 3.29 ERA for the season, ranking 56th nationally. UA ranks fifth in the SEC with a .228 opponent's batting average, while ranking 10th in the country, allowing 7.38 hits per nine innings. Alabama posted a 21-11 record at Sewell-Thomas Stadium and 13-11 away from home, including an 11-10 mark in road games and a 2-1 mark at neutral sites.

Scouting the No. 3 Seeded Kennesaw State Owls
Kennesaw State is making its first ever NCAA tournament appearance, after winning the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament last week with a 7-1 win over Lipscomb. The Owls are 37-21 overall and have won 23 of their last 24 games, dating back to April 6. The only loss for KSU during that stretch was an 8-6 defeat to Western Carolina on May 13. Since the loss, KSU has won seven straight games.

As a team, the Owls are hitting .301 while averaging 6.1 runs and 10.8 hits per game. Leading the offense is junior catcher Max Pentecost, who has a .423 average with nine home runs, 55 RBI, 21 doubles and 57 runs scored. Bo Way is second on the team with a .364 average and Alex Liquori is hitting .363 with 42 RBI.

On the mound, KSU has a 3.50 team ERA, while allowing 4.5 runs and 9.3 hits per game. Jordan Hillyer has a 7-3 record with a 3.36 ERA and a team-high 71 strikeouts in 93.2 innings and 15 starts. Travis Bergen is 7-4 with a 2.74 ERA in 14 appearances as a starter this season. Justin McClavin has been solid out of the bullpen, appearing in a team-high 35 games, posting a 4-3 record with 14 saves and a 2.24 ERA.

Series versus Kennesaw State
Friday's game between Alabama and Kennesaw State will be the first ever meeting between the two schools.

Scouting the No. 1 Seeded Florida State Seminoles
Florida State enters the regional with a 43-15 overall record and is ranked as high as No. 3 in the USA Today Coaches Poll. The Seminoles finished second in the ACC with a 21-9 record, which led the Atlantic Division. FSU has a .278 team batting average, while averaging 6.7 runs and 9.3 hits per game. DJ Stewart leads the team with a .348 average, to go along with seven home runs, 48 RBI and 19 doubles. John Nogowski leads the team with 49 RBI and 47 runs scored, while hitting .311 with five home runs and 12 doubles.

The Seminoles have a 3.02 ERA, while holding opponents to a .236 average, allowing 3.5 runs and 7.9 hits per game. Luke Weaver is 8-3 with a 2.66 ERA in 15 starts, and he leads the team with 101.1 innings pitched and 81 strikeouts. In 14 starts, Mike Compton is 7-2 with a 3.06 ERA. Jameis Winston has made 23 appearances, posting a 1-0 record with seven saves in 23 appearances.

Series versus Florida State
Alabama is 2-7 all-time versus Florida State, after losing twice to the Seminoles in the 2011 Tallahassee Regional. The Tide's first win against FSU was a 4-3 victory on March 23, 1967. UA's other victory over the Seminoles was a 7-5 win in the NCAA South Regional, in Tallahassee, in 1983.

Scouting the No. 4 Seeded Georgia Southern Eagles
Georgia Southern is making its 14th NCAA Regional appearance, after winning the Southern Conference Tournament last week, earning the conference's automatic bid into the NCAA tournament. The Eagles finished the year with a 39-21 record, while posting a 15-12 mark turning SoCon play. GSU is hitting .289 for the season, while averaging 6.7 runs and 10.1 hits per game. Garrett Chapman leads the club with a .346 average, with seven home runs and 30 RBI. Aaron Mizell leads the team with 13 home runs and 52 RBI while hitting .313 for the year. Stryker Brown has a .325 average with 10 home runs, 44 RBI and a team-high 46 runs scored, and Kody Adams is hitting .304 and is second on the team with 44 runs scored.

On the pitching side, GSU has a 3.17 ERA while holding opponents to a .251 average. The Eagles are giving up 4.2 runs and 8.6 hits per game. Jason Rishman leads the team with 45 appearances, posting a 5-1 record with a 1.06 ERA. Matt McCall has appeared in 38 games, posting a 4-2 record with nine saves and a 4.08 ERA. Josh Wirsu is 9-3 with a 2.43 ERA in 15 starts and a team-high 92.2 innings pitched.

Series versus Georgia Southern
In a series that dates back to the 1980 season, the Crimson Tide is 13-6 against the Eagles all-time. In the most recent meeting, Alabama swept a three-game series when the teams met in Tuscaloosa, Feb. 15-17, 2002. Alabama has won six straight games against Georgia Southern.

NCAA Tallahassee Regional Schedule
Friday, May 30
11 a.m. CT               Game 1: No. 2 Alabama vs. No. 3 Kennesaw State
5 p.m. CT                 Game 2: No. 1 Florida State vs. No. 4 Georgia Southern

Saturday May 31   
Noon CT                  Game 3: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2
4 p.m. CT                 Game 4: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2

Sunday, June 1
11 a.m. CT               Game 5: Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4
4 p.m. CT                 Game 6: Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5

Monday, June 2
6 p.m. CT                 Game 7: Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6 (if necessary)


 

 

     
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