Bama Baseball Has Tough Task At Vandy

Alabama's baseball team is working its way up in the national rankings. This weekend the Crimson Tide takes on a team with no place to go but down. Bama is at Vanderbilt, and the Commodores are ranked number one in the nation.

Alabama has reached as high as 19th in one poll this week after winning two of three games against nationally ranked Arkansas last week. Bama has a 21-10 record, including a 7-2 mark in Southeastern Conference games that is best in the SEC West and tied with three Eastern Division teams -- including Vanderbilt -- for the best worksheet in the conference.

Vanderbilt is 27-3 overall.

The Crimson Tide and the Commodores will play at Vandy's Hawkins Field at 6 p.m. CDT Friday (a game that will be regionally telecast by CSS), 2 p.m. Saturday, and 1 p.m. Sunday.

Alabama's starting pitcher Friday will be senior right-hander Nathan Kilcrease, who is 4-1 with a 1.90 earned run average. The Commodores will counter with junior right-hander Sonny Gray (6-1, 1.74 ERA). On Saturday it will be Bama junior left-hander Adam Morgan (5-1, 4.10 ERA) against Vanderbilt junior left-hander Grayson Garvin (5-1, 2.36). The Tide has not announced a Sunday pitcher. Vandy has scheduled senior right-hander Taylor Hill (2-0, 2.84).

Alabama moved into the national rankings for the first time last week. This week Bama moved up in three of the four polls -- to 19th in College Baseball News, 21st in Baseball America, and to 24th in the Coaches Poll. The Tide stayed 24th in the Baseball Writers rankings.

Vanderbilt is first in three polls and second in the other, behind the only team in America with a better record than the Commodores. Virginia is 28-2.

Alabama leads the all-time series against Vandy, 84-47-2.

Bama will be back in Tuscaloosa for next weekend's series against Tennessee (Thursday, Friday and Saturday as part of A-Day weekend). The Tide will host Mississippi Valley State for midweek games Tuesday and Wednesday.

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