USCALOOSA, Ala. – After posting a 6-1 victory over Jacksonville State in the last non-conference home game of the season on Tuesday night, the No. 19 Alabama Crimson Tide (31-18, 13-11) travels to Baton Rouge, La., for a three-game Southeastern Conference series against the No. 6-ranked LSU Tigers (35-13-1, 13-3-1 SEC) this weekend.
The series against the Tigers begins on Friday, with first pitch scheduled for 7 p.m. CT from Alex Box Stadium. Game two begins at noon CT and game three starts at 1 p.m. CT. The final two games of the series will be televised on CSS 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, No. 20 by Collegiate Baseball and Perfect Game USA, No. 22 in the USA Today Coaches Poll and No. 23 in the NCBWA poll.
With six games remaining on the SEC schedule, the Crimson Tide is 13-11 in conference play and sits in sixth place overall and in fourth place in the SEC West Division, two games behind Ole Miss. Alabama has dropped seven of its last 10 games overall and six of its last seven against Southeastern Conference opponents.
No. 19 Alabama (31-18, 13-11 SEC) at No. 6 LSU (35-13-1, 13-10-1 SEC)
Alex Box Stadium – Baton Rouge, La.
Schedule – Friday, 7 p.m. CT, Saturday, 12 p.m. CT, Sunday, 1 p.m. CT
Television – CSS and ESPN3/WatchESPN (Saturday and Sunday)
Steaming – LSUsports.net (Friday only - Subscription)
Radio – Tide 99.1 FM and CTSN
Livestats – LSUsports.com
Probable Pitching Matchups
Friday – UA-Spencer Turnbull (Jr., RHP, 5-4, 2.38 ERA) vs. LSU-Aaron Nola (Jr., RHP, 7-1, 1.58 ERA)Saturday – UA-Justin Kamplain (Jr., LHP, 4-3, 3.59 ERA) vs. LSU-Jared Poche (Fr., LHP, 6-3, 2.58 ERA)Sunday – UA-TBA vs. LSU-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 all three games of the LSU series. The Saturday and Sunday games at LSU will be televised on CSS and will be available on ESPN3/WatchESPN, with Matt Stewart and Ronnie Rantz calling the action. Livestats will be available at LSUsports.net.
About the Tide
After being swept by Florida last weekend, Alabama enters this week in fourth place in the SEC Western Division standings, two games behind Ole Miss (15-9). The Tide is now five games behind Florida (18-6) in the overall standings and are tied for sixth in the overall standings with South Carolina.
The Crimson Tide is sixth in the SEC with a .282 batting average, while averaging 5.3 runs and 9.7 hits per game. Over the last 15 games, Alabama is hitting .302 with 21 doubles, three triples and 14 home runs. Alabama has had 10 or more hits in 28 games this season, while reaching the 10-hit mark in 16 of the last 22 games. Alabama has 36 home runs (second in the SEC and 15th nationally) in 49 games, surpassing its 2013 season total of 26 home runs in 63 games. The 36 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 27-13 in its last 40 games, while hitting .296 with a .422 slugging percentage, with 32 of its 36 home runs and 65 of their 74 doubles coming during that stretch.
In the last nine games, Alabama is 3-7 while posting a .280 average and averaging 4.4 runs and 9.5 hits per game. On the pitching side, Alabama has a 5.87 ERA whole allowing the opponents to hit .301 against them. Despite the recent troubles on the mound, Alabama is eighth in the SEC with a 3.11 ERA for the season, ranking 49th nationally.UA ranks fourth in the SEC with a .224 opponent’s batting average, while ranking 10th in the country, allowing 7.2 hits per nine innings.
Austen Smith continues to lead the Tide with a .343 average and 33 RBI. His six home runs are second on the team and his 10 doubles are third on the squad. Wade Wass has the longest active hitting streak on the team at five games and is fourth on the team with a .300 average. Over the last five games, Mikey White is hitting .524 (11-21) and is now hitting .302 for the season, which ranks third on the team.
About the LSU Tigers
The LSU Tigers enter the weekend series with a 35-13-1 overall record after dropping two of three games at Texas A&M last weekend. LSU is currently in third place in the SEC West Division with a 13-10-1 conference record. LSU ranks ninth in the SEC with a .274 batting average, while averaging 5.7 runs and 8.7 hits per game. The Tigers’ pitching staff is fourth in the conference with a 2.63 ERA, while holding opponents to a .224 average this season.
The Tigers are ranked as high as No. 6 in the USA Today Coaches Poll, while ranking eighth in the NCBWA poll, 10th by Perfect Game USA and No. 15 by Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball.
Andrew Stevenson enters the series with a .351 average to rank sixth in the SEC in hitting. Stephenson leads the team with 34 runs scored and ranks second in the SEC with five triples this year. Sophomore shortstop Alex Bregman leads the team with 31 RBI, and is hitting .292 with 10 doubles and three home runs. Connor Hale is second on the team with a .312 average and 29 runs scored. Kade Scivicque and Sean McMullen are tied for the team lead four home runs each.
Junior RHP Aaron Nola highlights the pitching staff with a 7-1 record and a 1.58 ERA. Nola leads the SEC with 102 strikeouts in 85.2 innings, while holding opponents to a .173 batting average. Joe Broussard has been the anchor to the LSU bullpen as he leads the team with 27 appearances, posting a 3-1 record with eight saves in 27.1 innings. Jared Poche is 6-3 with a 2.58 ERA in 12 starts. Poche has 43 strikeouts in 69.2 innings this season.
Series versus LSU
In a series that dates back to the 1906 season, Alabama and LSU have played 358 games all-time. Alabama holds a 195-160-3 record against the Tigers, but have dropped seven of the last 10 games overall. When these teams met in Baton Rouge in 2012, the third-ranked Tigers posted a series sweep over the Tide. LSU has won seven straight home games over the Tide.
On Deck for the Tide
Following the weekend series at LSU, Alabama will play its final non-conference game, when it travels to Jacksonville State on Tuesday night. First pitch for the game at Rudy Abbott Field is scheduled for 6 p.m. CT. In the first meeting of the season, Alabama defeated the Gamecocks 6-1 on May 6. The Crimson Tide is now 27-7 all-time versus Jacksonville State following this season’s win.