Fourth Time Will Be Charm For One

Alabama baseball had a nice outing in the three-game series to open the 2011 season last weekend. Bama took three games from Alcorn State, Now the Crimson Tide of Coach Mitch Gaspard has what appears to be a more difficult task.



Alabama has gotten its season off to a 3-0 start, but so has Tuesday's competition, Alabama State. The Hornets take on the Crimson Tide at Sewell-Thomas Stadium with first pitch scheduled for 3:05 p.m. CST.

The Hornets appear to have the ability to sting. Last week Alabama State defeated Tuskegee 9-5 on Friday, and then took a doubleheader from Clark University by a total score of 33-2, winning 19-0 and 14-2. The Hornets batted .364 over the weekend.

That powerful hitting will be up against an Alabama pitching staff that performed very well in its 2011 debut.

Alabama's starting pitching earned the win in all three games, as Adam Morgan was the winner on Friday, Nathan Kilcrease on Saturday and Tucker Hawley on Sunday. Morgan allowed just one hit in 5.1 innings with six strikeouts. Kilcrease tied a career-high with eight strikeouts in 6.0 innings, allowing one earned run on four hits. Hawley pitched into the sixth inning, allowing one unearned run on six hits with five strikeouts.

The starting pitching for Alabama allowed one earned run in 16.1 innings, with 19 strikeouts and just two walks. The Tide bullpen didn't yield a single run in 10.2 innings and gave up only seven hits. Combined, the Alabama pitching staff posted a 0.33 ERA in the series, with 30 strikeouts, six walks and three extra base hits.

Alabama and Alabama State have only played five times and the Crimson Tide has won all five of the contests. The two teams first met in 1983, but have not played since 1988.

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