April 20, 2015
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama returns home to the Hoover Met this Tuesday for a midweek doubleheader with Mississippi Valley State. The Crimson Tide and Delta Devils are scheduled for a 2 p.m. CT start in the first game of the afternoon, with the second contest scheduled to start 30 minutes following the final out of game one.
FOLLOW THE TIDE
Fans can watch/follow Tuesday’s games via the below outlets:
Listen: 99.1 FM (Tuscaloosa) / TuneIn app (mobile devices)
Web: SECN+ (Friday)
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUP
GAME 1: UA — Nick Eicholtz (So., RHP) vs. MVSU — TBA
GAME 2: UA — Will Carter (Jr., RHP) vs. MVSU — TBA
· Alabama and Mississippi Valley State will meet for the 22nd and 23rd times on Tuesday when the two teams square off for the twinbill. The Tide owns the all-time series, 20-1, and most recently swept the Delta Devils last season in a three-game set from March 7-9. Alabama’s pitchers combined to toss three consecutive shutouts on the weekend as UA collected three early wins.
· Mississippi Valley State is coming off a weekend in which the Delta Devils fell in one contest against Belhaven University, 6-4. Friday’s series opening game of the weekend was cancelled due to weather. MVSU is currently in the middle of an 11-game losing streak.
· Alabama will send Nick Eicholtz to the mound in the first of the two games on Tuesday. The Crimson Tide will then send Will Carter out for the start in game two of the day.
· Mississippi Valley State has yet to announce a starter for either of the two games on Tuesday afternoon.
· The Crimson Tide is 6-2 overall in midweek contests this season and has claimed wins in each of the last three Tuesday contests after falling to South Alabama, 3-0, on March 24. The Tide’s only other midweek loss came on March 3 vs. Auburn in the Capital City Classic. In that game, Alabama fell 5-3 inside Riverwalk Stadium, home to the Double-A Montgomery Biscuits.
· Tuesday’s doubleheader is the second midweek pairing of games this season. The Tide already took down Savannah State in two games on Feb. 24. Alabama took the first game, 7-2 and then came away with the 4-2 win in game two of the evening. Alabama will take part in one more midweek twinbill this season, as UA will host Alabama A&M in two games on May 5. The game was rescheduled after rain cancelled the inital meeting on March 10.
· The doubleheader will once again be a “Two for One” Tuesday at The Met. Fans can purchase one general admission ticket to the game and receive a second one for free. It will also be “Dollar Dog Night” where fans can get hot dogs for just $1.
· The Crimson Tide enters the doubleheader after claiming one victory this past weekend at No. 14 Missouri. Prior to the three games in Columbia, Alabama earned a 5-1, midweek victory over UAB.
· In the first game of the weekend, Alabama starter Taylor Guilbeau tossed a complete game, allowing just four runs, but was outdueled by Missouri’s starter who collected the 4-3 win in a game all about pitching.
· The two teams played a doubleheader on Saturday due to the threat of rain showers all day Sunday. In Saturday’s first contest, the Crimson Tide used a standout start from freshman Jake Walters to claim the 6-0, shutout win. Walters tossed 7.0 innings of scoreless baseball in his first career SEC start. Thomas Burrows came in to close out the final two innings for the combined shutout win. The Alabama offense was powered by three home runs, including a two-run shot from Casey Hughston and solo shots from Georgie Salem and Kyle Overstreet.
· On Tuesday, six Tide arms combined to help the Crimson Tide claim a 5-1 victory over in-state foe UAB. A string of five relievers combined to hold the Blazers hitless across the final 5.1 innings of the game following a five-strikeout start from sophomore Nick Eicholtz. Will Haynie’s three-run homer in the second gave the Tide all the runs it would need, but UA was able to add another two in the fifth inning to ensure the victory.
· UA is led offensively by Mikey White and Casey Hughston, both team leaders in a combined 12 statistical categories. In recognition of their efforts this season, both were named to the Golden Spikes Award Midseason Watch List last Thursday. The two Tide players make up the national list of 60 players.
· White ranks second in the SEC in triples (5) and is tied for fourth in doubles (13). He leads the Crimson Tide in runs (35), doubles, triples, total bases (85), slugging percentage (.594) and on-base percentage (.442). In the field, he leads the team in assists with 122 at the shortstop position.
· Hughston currently leads the Crimson Tide in hits (54), home runs (5) and RBI (30). The sophomore has also added a team-high five outfield assists from the right field position.
· Freshman Cody Henry has heated up as of late. For his efforts last week, the first-year player was named SEC Freshman of the Week. He collected an eight-game hitting streak from April 2-17 and has started the last 14 games at first base.
· Ray Castillo highlights the Crimson Tide bullpen, making 16 relief appearances across a team-high 33.1 innings out of the pen. He leads relievers in wins with a perfect 3-0 record and has maintained a 2.16 ERA (8 ER/33.1 IP).
· The Tide has collected 19 multi-hit efforts this season and is 13-6 when doing so, with eight of those double-digit performances coming in SEC play. Alabama has collected 10 or more hits in nine of its last 15 games.
· Alabama returns 23 letterwinners from last season’s team that reached the NCAA Tallahassee Regional. The 2015 Tide also features five positional returners, and three pitchers who made five or more starts last season.
SCOUTING MISSISSIPPI VALLEY STATE
· Mississippi Valley State is coming off a weekend in which they lost in one of two games with Belhaven University. The second game of the series was cancelled due to weather. Prior to the Belhaven series, MVSU fell to Delta State, 3-1 on Wednesday. The Delta Devils are currently in the midst of an 11-game losing streak.
· In the lone game with Belhaven, MVSU fell behind 2-0 early, but countered with one run in the sixth inning to narrow the gap. BU would put up four in the seventh inning to draw out the lead to 6-1, but the Delta Devils would battle back for three in the eighth. MVSU would get no closer, as the rally would fall short with a 6-4 final.
·Delta State put together one-run innings in the second, third and fifth innings. The three runs would be more than enough for DSU to move past Mississippi Valley State as the Delta Devils could score just one run in the game. MVSU fell in its lone midweek contest by a score of 3-1.
· The Delta Devils are batting .269 as a team, but have three players batting above .300. MVSU also sports four players on its roster with double-digit RBI totals.
· The offense is highlighted by seniors Brady McBride and Kalik May. McBride leads the team in average at .351 (40-114) and is tied for the team lead for home runs (2). May ranks second in batting average (.319), but leads the team in hits (44), triples (5), slugging (.493), on-base (.405), walks (16) and stolen bases with 17. May is also the only Delta Devil to have started all games this season. Sophomore Arrington Smith has put together the team’s third-highest average at .318 (35-110).
· Every member of the MVSU pitching staff owns an ERA above 5.00. The team-leader in appearances is junior Cecil Hodges. The righty has made 13 appearances, including two starts, and has collected 22.2 innings of work.
· Mississippi Valley State was selected to finish last in the SWAC.
· Alabama and Mississippi Valley State will meet for the 22nd and 23rd time on Tuesday.
· The Crimson Tide owns the all-time series, 20-1, with the only loss coming in the second game of an April 18, 2012, doubleheader in Tuscaloosa. In that game, MVSU claimed an 8-3 win in seven innings of play.
· The series began on March 12, 2002, with the Crimson Tide winning the inaugural contest by a score of 19-0.
· Alabama has recorded a shutout in eight of the 20 wins against Mississippi Valley State.
Next up for Alabama is a weekend series at Ole Miss. The Crimson Tide will travel to Oxford for three games, with Saturday’s contest airing on the SEC Network and Sunday’s game televised on ESPN. Friday’s first game is scheduled for a 6:30 p.m. CT start with Saturday set to start at 7 p.m. CT. The first pitch for Sunday’s series finale will come at Noon CT. Alabama owns the all-time series, 204-141-2, with the Tide sweeping Ole Miss last season in Tuscaloosa. The year before, the Rebels swept the Crimson Tide in a weekend series in Oxford.