Alabama/Samford baseball notes

The University of Alabama baseball team hits the road for the second time this season, playing its next five games away from Sewell-Thomas Stadium. The road trip begins with a 6 p.m. game Wednesday, March 19 against Samford at Joe Lee Griffin Field in Birmingham.

The Samford game will mark the first of two consecutive Wednesday night games in the Magic City for the Crimson Tide. Next week (Mar. 26), Alabama closes out its five-game road trip against nationally-ranked UAB at Young Memorial Field.

RADIO: The game will be aired locally on WRTR-FM (105.5) or WACT-AM (1420) in Tuscaloosa. David Crane and Chris Stewart will call the action.

RANKINGS: Alabama (14th USA Today Sports Weekly, 15th NCBWA, 18th Collegiate Baseball and 21st NCBWA) is ranked in all four polls Samford is not ranked.

Starting Pitching Rotation

Alabama: #16 Ryan Beagle L-L 2 G, 1 GS, 0-0, 3.00 ERA First career start came against Centenary (2/19)
Samford: #2 Stephen Artz R-R 7 G, 3 GS, 0-2, 4.22 ERA Suffered losses to MTSU and Belmont

The Records

Alabama (16-3, 3-0 SEC) has won eight straight games and 13 of its last 14 games, dating back to Feb. 23. The Crimson Tide is 3-0 in the SEC for the second straight year and for the third time (1998, 2002 and 2003) under Wells. Samford (5-15) has lost four in-a-row and nine of its last 11 games since Feb. 27.

The Coaches

Alabama's Jim Wells is in his ninth season at the Capstone, compiling a 387-155 (.714) record at the helm of the Crimson Tide. Overall, Wells is 579-244 (.703) in his 14th season as a Division I head coach. Samford coach Tim Parenton has compiled a 105-190 (.356) record in six seasons with the Bulldogs.

Last Time Out

For the second time in three days, Alabama overcame a five-run deficit to post a 7-5 win over the Georgia Bulldogs, completing the three-game sweep of the initial SEC series of the year. Georgia scored five times in the first inning, chasing starter Jeffrey Norris just five batters into the game. Allen Ponder and Brian Reed shutout the Bulldogs over the final 8 1/3 innings as the Crimson Tide mustered enough offense to sweep its third straight SEC series. Alabama scored six runs in the fifth inning to erase a 5-1 deficit and claim its fourth straight win over Georgia.

Next Game

Alabama continues its road trip with a three-game SEC series at Florida, beginning Friday, Mar. 21 at 6:30 p.m. (ET).

Alabama vs. Samford

Alabama holds a commanding 80-7 (.920) lead over Samford in a series that dates back to the infant stages of Alabama baseball in 1894.
  • The Crimson Tide enters the 2003 season riding a 14-game winning streak over Samford, the longest current mark over any opponent.
  • Alabama has not lost to Samford since dropping two games during the 1992 season. The Crimson Tide also posted a 14-game winning streak over the Bulldogs from 1965-91.
  • Alabama enters the 2003 season having won 28 of the last 30 meetings with the Bulldogs. From 1896-1962, Alabama posted a 46-game winning streak over then Howard, the longest such streak in the Alabama record books.
  • After not playing from 1967-85, the two schools have met every year since 1986.
  • Alabama coach Jim Wells is 12-0 (1.000) in his career against Samford. He is 9-0 against the Bulldogs in Tusclaoosa and 3-0 in Birmingham.
  • Alabama and Samford are playing a home-and-home series this season for the first time since 2000.
  • UA leads, 69-4 (.944) at Tuscaloosa
  • UA leads, 11-3 (.786) at Birmingham

Atlantic Sun Conference

Alabama owns a 140-28-1 (.831) record against the current members of the Atlantic Sun Conference. Formerly known as the Trans America Athletic Conference, the Atlantic Sun was founded and approved in June, 2001. Gardner-Webb will join the Atlantic Sun Conference for the 2002-03 academic school year.

Man's Best Friend

The old adage says dog is man's best friend. That has certainly been true for the Crimson Tide baseball team this season. The Samford game will mark Alabama's fifth consecutive game against a team with a "Bulldog" for a mascot. Alabama has won all four of those previous games with Louisiana Tech and Georgia.

Man's Best Friend II

Alabama will send left-hander Ryan Beagle to the mound in Wednesday night's game with the Samford Bulldogs. In this dog-eat-dog world in which we live, the "bulldog" and "beagle" are compatible canines. Tonight's matchup is the most clever matchup name-wise by Alabama since B.J. Green beat Eastern Illinois (22-1) on St. Patrick's Day in 1998.

Bama Successful Against In-State Foes

Alabama has enjoyed a great deal of success against in-state teams, compiling a 430-215 (.667) all-time record against teams from the state of Alabama.
  • Coach Jim Wells is 67-23 (.744) against in-state opponents in his nine years at the Capstone.
  • The Crimson Tide went 10-1 (.909) last year against in-state teams and closed out the season with a nine-game winning streak.
  • Alabama's nine-game winning streak against in-state foes is the second-longest streak under coach Wells. UA won 14 consecutive games from 1995-97.

Streaking with Samford

Alabama enters the 2003 season having won the last 14 meetings with Samford, the second-longest active winning streak among UA opponents. The longest active streak is 17 games with Stillman College, although the two teams have not met in nearly 30 years.
  • Alabama had two long winning streaks come to an end last season with Arkansas and Florida.
  • The Razorbacks ended an 13-game losing streak with a 10-0 win in Fayetteville on March 23, 2002.
  • The Gators put an end to the Crimson Tide's 12-game winning streak with a 7-4 win in the SEC Tournament.
  • Alabama also holds a 10-game winning streak over Southern Miss, but the two teams do not play this season.
  • Alabama posted a 16-game unbeaten streak against LSU (14-0-2) from 1929-35.
  • Alabama posted an 21-game unbeaten streak against Vanderbilt (20-0-1) from 1925-56.
  • Alabama's current 14-game winning streak over Samford is tied for the fifth longest winning streak over any opponent in school history.
  • Alabama has also had two other 14-game winning streaks in history against the Bulldogs.
  • The longest winning streak is school history is also against Samford, when the Crimson Tide won 46 consecutive games from 1896-1962.

Magic City

Alabama's baseball history in the city of Birmingham dates all the way back to the school's very first game.
  • Overall, Alabama has compiled a 53-27 (.663) record in Birmingham, which includes games played at the Hoover Met.
  • Alabama's inaugural game was played July 1, 1892 at Birmingham's Lakeview Park, with Alabama beating Sewanee, 6-3.
  • Alabama lost a best-of-three SEC Playoff series to Auburn at Rickwood Field in 1958 for the SEC Championship. The Tigers won 3-2 (13) and 5-4 to win the league title.
  • In 1999, Alabama hit an NCAA record 13 home runs en route to a 30-4 win over UAB at Jerry D. Young Memorial Field.
  • The Alabama-Samford game on Wednesday, March 19 marks the first of two straight Wednesday night games in the "Magic City". The Crimson Tide returns to downtown Birmingham next Wednesday, March 26 to face the UAB Blazers at Young Memorial Field.
  • Alabama coach Jim Wells is 26-9 (.743) in games played in Birmingham.
  • Alabama has compiled a 20-8 (.714) record in games played at the Hoover Met and has won SEC Tournament Championships in 1996, 1999 and 2002.

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