Tide Baseball Opens SEC Play Vs. Rebs

It's a brand new ball game. Southeastern Conference baseball teams generally play a handful of non-conference games prior to the start of SEC play, and then continue playing out-of-conference games through the season during the middle of the week, and SEC games on weekends.

Alabama has completed those pre-SEC non-conference games with an 11-6 record, and now begins league play with a tough assignment. Bama goes to Ole Miss for games Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. In the pre-season Scout.com poll, the Rebels were picked to finish second in the SEC Western Division.

Mississippi is 14-4.

The Crimson Tide of Coach Mitch Gaspard and the Rebs will meet at 6:30 p.m. CDT Friday at Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field to start the series. The second game at 2 p.m. Saturday will be regionally telecast on CSS. The series concludes with the third game beginning at 1:30 Sunday.

Starting on the road is not best for Bama. At the Tide's home field, Sewell-Thomas Stadium, Alabama is 11-1 this year. Away from Tuscaloosa, Bama is 0-5, including two exhibition games against SEC teams, Georgia and Auburn. Alabama's latest outing was a 2-1 loss to Auburn in Montgomery.

Alabama is expected to start senior right-hander Nathan Kilcrease (2-0, 2.22 ERA) on Friday against the Rebels junior left-hander Matt Crouse, who has a 4-0 record and 1.67 ERA this year.

Saturday's starters are expected to be junior left-hander Adam Morgan (2-1, 3.74) for Alabama against junior right-hander David Goforth (0-2, 2.42) for the Rebels. Sunday it will be sophomore right-hander Tucker Hawley (3-1, 2.16) for Bama against junior left-hander Austin Wright (2-1, 2.66) for Mississippi.

Alabama returns to Tuscaloosa for midweek games against UAB Tuesday and Jacksonville State Wednesday before hosting Kentucky for SEC games next weekend.

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