April 11, 2016
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Crimson Tide returns home to Tuscaloosa to begin a six-game homestand at Sewell-Thomas Stadium, starting first with UAB on Tuesday evening. The Crimson Tide and Blazers are scheduled for a 6:30 p.m. CT first pitch on SECN+. Mick Gillispie and Lance Cormier will have the call for the matchup of in-state foes.
- The Blazers come to Tuscaloosa following a 1-2 weekend against 25th-ranked Rice. UAB fell in games one and three, earning the 6-2 victory in the middle contest. The Blazers’ fell at Jacksonville State on Tuesday, 11-10, before Wednesday’s game in Birmingham was cancelled due to weather.
- Alabama and UAB will meet for the 72nd time in a series that dates back to 1974. The Crimson Tide owns a 47-24 advantage, including a 26-9 mark at home in Tuscaloosa. The two teams met earlier this season in Birmingham, with the Blazers shutting out the Tide, 8-0 at Regions Park on March 22.
- The Crimson Tide will call on senior right-hander Jake Hubbard in the midweek contest. Hubbard has made one start this season, tossing 5.0 innings of shutout baseball in game two of last Tuesday’s doubleheader against Alcorn State to earn his first win of the season. His outing against the Braves set a career-high mark for pitches thrown with 78. For his career as a starter, Hubbard is 2-1 with a 3.21 ERA (5 ER/14.0 IP) and has struck out 13 compared to five walks. Overall in 2016, the senior is 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA (6.0 IP) and has struck out five with four walks allowed.
- The Blazers look to senior left-hander Stephen Baggett for Tuesday’s contest. Baggett is 0-2 on the season and owns a 6.45 ERA (16 ER/22.1 IP) with 11 walks and 19 strikeouts. He has made nine total appearances this season, including two starts.
- Tuesday’s game is a “Two-for-One” Tuesday. All grandstand tickets are buy one at regular price and get the second one free for the matchup with the Blazers.
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUP
UA – Jake Hubbard (Sr., RHP) vs. UAB – Stephen Baggett (Sr., LHP)
- Alabama returns to Tuscaloosa after finishing last week 3-2 overall. The Crimson Tide first swept Alcorn State in a Tuesday doubleheader, before traveling to Kentucky. The series in Lexington saw UA finish 1-2, claiming the lone victory in Sunday’s finale.
- Game one against the Wildcats finished in favor of Kentucky, 3-2, despite a strong start from Geoffrey Bramblett. The junior starter worked 8.0 innings and struck out a season-high nine batters for the Tide. Bramblett allowed three runs on five hits with a walk and retired 11 straight form the second inning through the fifth. A single in the fifth broke the streak and then an infield error put two in scoring position before a wild pitch and a bases-clearing double scored three for the Wildcats.
- Kentucky walked it off with a ninth-inning grand slam to claim the series with a 6-2 win in game two of the series. The Wildcats loaded the bases in the ninth with no outs before the Tide made a pitching change. The UA reliever recorded a strikeout for the first out before giving up a grand slam to end the game. Jake Walters worked 5.1 innings of one-run baseball, giving up five hits and walking three while striking out five.
- Alabama took game three thanks to a standout start from junior right-hander Nick Eicholtz. The Tide’s starter tossed a career-long 7.2 innings, allowing only one run on three hits with a walk and three strikeouts for his second win of the season. He retired the first nine batters faced before giving up a single, and then followed that with a streak of eight straight sat down before issuing a walk. Eicholtz recorded the first two outs of the eighth before turning the ball over to Thomas Burrows. The junior closer allowed two hits in the eighth, but bounced back with a 1-2-3 ninth that featured a pair of strikeouts for his seventh save of the year.
- A Tuesday doubleheader was in order as Alabama hosted Alcorn State for a pair of games. In game one, the Tide built an early lead but fell behind, 5-4, in the seventh before rallying back with a four-run eighth inning. Matt Foster earned his team-leading third win, while Burrows locked down his sixth save of the year.
- Game two went in favor of Alabama, as the Crimson Tide arms shut out the Braves, 8-0, in seven innings. Senior starter Jake Hubbard tossed a career-high 78 pitches across 5.0 innings of work to earn his first win of the season. He was followed by Zac Rogers and Colton Freeman, who each worked a scoreless frame to seal the win.
- The Tuesday offense was highlighted by Chandler Avant, who broke out for a 6-for-9 day that included a pair of doubles, three RBI and a team-leading four runs scored. Cobie Vance finished his day 3-for-5 with a double, a team-high four RBI, two runs scored and two walks.
- Alabama returned home this season after spending 2015 on the road. The Tide played a total of 34 “home” games across the state of Alabama on top of the 22 road contests slotted into the schedule. Thirty of the team’s home games were played at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium in Hoover. The Crimson Tide also played a weekend series at Hank Aaron Stadium in Mobile and a single game inside Joe W. Davis Municipal Stadium in Huntsville.
- In addition to the “home” contests, UA also traveled to Riverwalk Stadium in Montgomery for the annual MAX Capital City Classic against Auburn, and then to Regions Field in Birmingham for an away game with UAB.
- Alabama’s roster features 21 letterwinners from the 2015 squad that reached the quarterfinals of the 2015 SEC Tournament. The 2016 Tide returns five positional starters, and five pitchers who made five or more career starts.
SERIES HISTORY – UAB
- Alabama and UAB will meet for the 72nd time in a series that dates back to 1974.
- The Crimson Tide owns the all-time advantage, 47-24, including a 26-9 mark in Tuscaloosa.
- UAB and Alabama met earlier this season, with the Blazers blanking the Tide, 8-0, at Regions Field on March 22.
- The Tide is 11-4 over the last 15 home meetings (including the 2015 matchup in Hoover).
- Alabama claimed wins in the first five games of the series before falling for the first time in the second matchup of the 1979 season.
GASPARD VS. NON-CONFERENCE OPPONENTS
- Under head coach Mitch Gaspard’s tutelage, Alabama teams are 115-58 (.665) overall in regular season, non-conference matchups across his seven seasons leading the Tide.
- The Crimson Tide has had a winning record against non-conference foes in every year except 2012 and has won 18 or more games in all five of those seasons, with a high of 19 in 2010 and 2014.
- Alabama is 13-7 against non-conference opponents this season, including a 2-1 series win over then No. 27 Maryland, a sweep of North Dakota and a 3-1 weekend at the USA-Baseball Irish Classic in Cary, N.C.
Following Tuesday’s game with UAB, the Crimson Tide will welcome eighth-ranked Ole Miss to Tuscaloosa for a three-game series this weekend at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. Friday’s first contest is set for a 7 p.m. CT start with Saturday’s game two scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. CT to accommodate Alabama football’s A-Day Game. The finale on Sunday will begin at 1 p.m. CT. All three games will air live on SECN+ with Mick Gillispie and Lance Cormier on the call.