Bama/UAB baseball notes

The Alabama Crimson Tide baseball closes out a five-game road trip Wednesday night against the UAB Blazers at Jerry D. Young Memorial Field (7 p.m.). The UAB marks the second straight Wednesday night game for the Crimson Tide in the city of Birmingham. <br><br>Last week, Alabama posted a 3-2 win over the Samford Bulldogs, with home runs from Adam Pavkovich and Al Hecklinski.

The Crimson Tide is currently 2-2 in its current four-game road trip and has lost back-to-back games for the first time this season.

Starting Pitchers

Bama: #38 Jared Woodward R-R 7 G, 3 GS, 1-0, 5.00 ERA
UAB: #20 Chris Thorup R-R 6 G, 2 GS, 1-1, 5.40 ERA

RADIO: The games will be aired locally on WRTR-FM (105.5) or WACT-AM (1420) in Tuscaloosa. David Crane and Chris Stewart will call the action. In Birmingham, the LSU series will be aired on WAPI (1070 AM) this weekend.

INTERNET BROADCAST: Live stats (home games only) and audio broadcasts can be found at www.rolltide.com

TICKETS: Season tickets are available by calling the Alabama Ticket Office (205-348-2262). Single-game tickets are available for $5 each and the gates will open two hours prior to each game.

RANKINGS: Alabama (16th USA Today Sports Weekly, 17th NCBWA, 20th Collegiate Baseball and 23rd NCBWA) is ranked in all four polls UAB is not ranked.

The Records

Alabama (18-5, 4-2 SEC) has lost back-to-back games for the first time this season, following a 6-5 defeat at Florida in the series finale on Sunday afternoon. The Crimson Tide opened the season with four straight SEC wins for the second year in a row.

UAB (18-5, 4-1 C-USA) is one of college baseball's most improved teams. The Blazers won only 16 games last year and has already surpassed that total less than two months into the season. UAB started the season by winning its first 13 games, a school record.

The Coaches

Alabama's Jim Wells is in his ninth season at the Capstone, compiling a 389-157 (.712) record at the helm of the Crimson Tide. Overall, Wells is 581-246 (.703) in his 14th season as a Division I head coach.

UAB head coach Larry Giangrosso is 87-107 (.448) in his third season as a Division I head coach. Prior to taking the UAB job, "Gino" served as head coach at Central Alabama Community College, where he coached two future Alabama All-Americans in Dax Norris (C, 1995-96) and Jarrod Kingrey (RHP, 1997-98).

Last Time Out

Brett Dowdy's two-out single single scored Stephen Barton with the winning run in the bottom of the eighth innings as Florida edged Alabama 6-5 in the series finale. Dowdy's base hit capped the scoring in a game that saw four lead changes and two ties. Alabama left the bases loaded in the fifth inning, which loomed large in the one-run loss. In all, Bama stranded eight base runners.

Next Game

Alabama opens a crucial SEC Western Division series with LSU this Friday night at 6:30 p.m. at the Joe.

Alabama-UAB Series

Alabama leads the all-time series with UAB, 30-12 (.714). The two teams first met in 1974 and have met every year since 1989, usually on a home-and-home basis. The Crimson Tide won both meetings last year, including an 8-1 victory over the Blazers in Tuscaloosa on May 1. UA also posted a 5-3 win in Birmingham in March.
  • UAB swept the season series in 2001, its first over Alabama since the 1990 season.
  • In 1999, Alabama posted its two most lopsided wins ever against UAB, winning two games by a combined 52-9.
  • The Crimson Tide hit an NCAA record tying 13 home runs in its 30-4 win at UAB in April, 1999. Two weeks later, the Crimson Tide blasted the Blazers again, 22-5, at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.
  • Alabama coach Jim Wells is 10-5 (.667) in his career against the Blazers. He is 6-2 (.750) in games played in Tuscaloosa and 4-3 (.571) in the Magic City.
  • Alabama senior designated hitter Al Hecklinski played two years at UAB before transferring to the Capstone for his final season of eligibility.
  • In two years with the Blazers, Hecklinski batted .278 (55-for-198) with six home runs and 36 RBI.
  • Hecklinski was instrumental in the Blazers two-game sweep of the Crimson Tide in 2001. In those two games, he batted .429 (3-for-7) with one home run and six RBI.
  • In the Blazers 10-6 win at Sewell-Thomas Stadium on April 10, 2001, Hecklinski had thee hits, scored three runs and added three RBI (3-run HR).
  • UAB coach Larry Giangrosso is 2-3 (.400) in his career against Alabama, with both wins coming in 2001. The 2001 season marked the first sweep by the Blazers over the Crimson Tide since 1990.
  • Prior to taking over at UAB, Ginagrosso was the head coach at Central Alabama Community College, where he coached two future Alabama All-Americans in catcher Dax Norris and pitcher Jarrod Kingrey.

Alabama-UAB File

at Tuscaloosa: UA leads, 16-5 (.762)
at Birmingham: UA leads, 14-7 (.667)

Wells vs. UAB: 10-5 (.667)
Gino vs. UA: 2-3 (.400)

UA Win Strk: 5 (1974-79)
UAB Win Strk: 2 (4 Times)

Bama and Conference USA

Alabama owns a 182-75 (.708) record against the current Conference USA field. Not all of those meetings have taken place while members of CUSA, which formed during the 1995-96 school year. Since the formation of the league, Alabama has faced Southern Miss (10-0), UAB (8-4), Houston (4-3) and Tulane (0-1), posting a 22-8 (.733) ledger. In addition, Alabama has never faced Charlotte and Cincinnati.

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