TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Following a 9-5 win at Samford on Wednesday, the No. 12 Alabama Crimson Tide (30-15, 13-8 SEC) welcomes SEC-leading and No. 5 ranked Florida (30-15, 15-6 SEC) to Sewell-Thomas Stadium for a three-game series beginning on Friday. First pitch for the series opener is set for 6:35 p.m. CT and the game will be televised on CSS. Game two of the series, which will be televised on CBS Sports Net, begins at 3:05 p.m. CT on Saturday, and the series finale is set for 2:05 p.m. CT on Sunday and will be available on ESPN3/WatchESPN.
For the fifth straight week, Alabama is ranked in all five national polls, but after a 1-3 week, the Tide dropped slightly in every national ranking. This week, the Tide is ranked No. 12 by Baseball America, No. 14 by Perfect Game USA, No. 16 by Collegiate Baseball and No. 20 by both the NBCWA and in the USA Today Coaches Poll.
With nine games remaining on the SEC schedule, the Crimson Tide is 13-8 in conference play and is tied for first place in the SEC Western Division with Ole Miss. Alabama is currently two games behind Florida (15-6) for first place in the SEC overall standings. Alabama has won 15 of its last 22 games and 26 of the last 36 overall.
No. 12 Alabama (30-15, 13-8 SEC) vs. No. 5 Florida (30-15, 15-6 SEC)
Sewell-Thomas Stadium - Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Schedule - Friday, 6:35 p.m. CT, Saturday, 3:06 p.m. CT, Sunday, 1:05 p.m. CT
Television - Friday (CSS), Saturday (CBSSN), Sunday (ESPN3)
Steaming - None
Radio - Tide 99.1 FM and CTSN
Livestats - RollTide.com
Probable Pitching Matchups
Friday - UA Spencer Turnbull (Jr., RHP, 5-3, 2.45 ERA) vs. FLA - Logan Short (Fr., RHP, 5-2, 1.76 ERA)
Saturday - UA Justin Kamplain (Jr., LHP, 4-2, 3.32 ERA) vs. FLA-Aaron Rhodes (So., RHP, 5-2, 2.08 ERA)
Sunday - UA Jon Keller (Jr., LHP, 5-1, 1.91 ERA) vs. FLA-Karsten Whitson (RS-Jr., RHP, 1-0, 3.46 ERA)
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 Friday and Saturday games, while Tracey will be solo on Sunday. Friday's game will be televised by CSS and will be available on ESPN3/WatchESPN. Saturday's game will be televised on the CBS Sports Network and Sunday's game will be available on ESPN3/WatchESPN with Chris Stewart and Mick Gillispie calling the action. Livestats will be available on RollTide.com.
About the Crimson Tide
The Crimson Tide is sixth in the SEC with a .281 batting average, while averaging 5.4 runs and 9.6 hits per game. Over the last 11 games, Alabama is hitting .304 with 17 doubles, two triples and 12 home runs. When the Tide scores three or more runs they are 29-5, but 1-10 when scoring less than three runs. Alabama has had 10 or more hits in 25 games this season, while reaching the 10-hit mark in 13 of the last 18 games. Alabama has 34 home runs in 45 games (second in the SEC and 22nd nationally) surpassing its 2013 season total of 26 home runs in 63 games. The 34 home runs are the most for Alabama since the bat change following the 2010 season.
The Alabama pitching staff has been solid this season, posting the sixth-best ERA in the SEC at 2.90, to rank 27th nationally. In 403.1 innings, Alabama has given up 156 runs (130 earned) while holding opponents to a .219 average.UA ranks fourth in the SEC in opponent's batting average, while ranking fifth in the country, allowing 6.9 hits per game. Alabama is 19-6 when playing at Sewell-Thomas Stadium and 11-9 away from home, including a 9-9 mark in road games and a 2-0 mark at neutral sites.
With a 5-for-5 performance against Samford on Wednesday, Mikey White posted the 30th five-hit game in school history, tying a school record. White had two home runs and three singles, and had career-highs with four RBI and four runs scored. Ben Moore has hit safely in the last 10 games and is hitting .463 (19-41) with four doubles, a triple, four home runs, 12 RBI and 12 runs scored over that stretch. He's had at least two hits in eight of the 10 games during the streak. He is second on the team with a .317 average, 11 doubles and 30 RBI and leads the team with seven home runs and 35 runs scored. After missing three games with a bruised wrist, Austen Smith started the last eight games, posting a .363 (8-22) average with three doubles, two home runs, five RBI and four runs scored since the injury. Smith leads the team in five offensive categories including batting average (.356), RBI (31), walks (23), slugging (.576) and on-base percentage (.468).
Alabama Friday night starter Spencer Turnbull will make is 12th start of the year and enters the series against Florida with a 5-3 record with a 2.45 ERA. Turnbull leads the team with 66 innings pitched, while holding opponents to a .195 batting average. Coming off a win at South Carolina last week, Justin Kamplain (4-2, 3.32 ERA) will make his 12th start of the year on Saturday. Kamplain leads the Tide with 57 strikeouts in 62.1 innings this season. After missing his start last week due to a suspension for violating team runs, Jon Keller will start for the Tide on Sunday. Keller is 5-1 with a team-best 1.91 ERA this season.
About the No. 5 Florida Gators
The Florida Gators enter this weekend with a 30-15 overall record and are in first place in the SEC overall standings with a 15-6 conference record. Following a series sweet of Missouri, the Gators have won nine of their last 11 games and are riding an eight-game winning streak in league play. Florida is ranked as high as No. 4 by Perfect Game USA, while ranking No. 5 by Baseball America, No. 8 by Collegiate Baseball, and No. 12 in the USA Today Coaches Poll and No. 14 by the NCBWA. The Gators enter the three-game series with a .269 average for the season, while hitting .287 during SEC play. The UF pitching staff has a 3.23 ERA while holding opponents to a .250 batting average.
Taylor Gushue is hitting .335 for the season to lead the team, while his four home runs, 13 doubles and 36 RBI are all team-highs. During SEC play, Gushue leads the team with a .400 average, two home runs, six doubles and 17 RBI. Casey Turgeon is tied with Gushue for the team lead with four home runs and is second on the club with 27 RBI. Richie Martin leads the team with 35 runs scored and is second on the team with 18 walks.
Logan Shore leads the team with a 1.76 ERA, while posting a 5-2 record in 11 appearances with 10 starts. He has 41 strikeouts in 66.1 innings pitched. Aaron Rhodes, who is coming off a complete game against Missouri last week, leads the team with 49 strikeouts in 52.0 innings. Rhodes has a 5-2 record with a 2.08 ERA in 19 appearances and three starts. Karsten Whitson will make his seventh start and first SEC start of the season on Sunday. Whitson has a 1-0 record with a 3.46 ERA in 26 innings this season. Bobby Poyner and Kirby Snead lead the team with 22 appearances, while Danny Young has 21 appearances and Ryan Harris has appeared on the mound 20 times.
Series versus Florida
Alabama and Florida have met 106 times since the series began in 1920. The Tide holds a 55-51 advantage in the series all-time, but the Gators have won last four games and nine of the last 11 overall. In the last meeting in Tuscaloosa, the Gators won two of three games during the 2010 season. UA's last series win over Florida came in 2008, when the Tide won two of three games at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.
On Deck for the Tide
Following the series against Florida, Alabama will remain at home for a Tuesday night game against the Jacksonville State Gamecocks. First pitch between the Crimson Tide and Gamecocks is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. CT from Sewell-Thomas Stadium. The non-conference midweek game will be available on ESPN3/WatchESPN. In a series that dates back to the 1967 campaign, Tuesday's game will mark the 34th meeting all-time between the two schools. Alabama holds a 26-7 overall record against JSU, and has won the last nine games against the Gamecocks. UA is 23-4 all-time when playing Jacksonville State in Tuscaloosa.