Tide At Samford Before Florida Trip

Maybe it's not fair to say that Alabama's recent baseball slump began when the Crimson Tide lost a mid-week game to Samford a couple of weeks ago. After all, Bama had also lost to Arkansas that week. Still, the Tide was leading the Southeastern Conference when it hosted the Birmingham Bulldogs.

This week Alabama has another mid-week game against Samford. The Crimson Tide will visit Birmingham for a 6 p.m. CDT Tuesday game against the Bulldogs.

Alabama has gone in the tank in SEC games. Bama lost three games to No. 1 Vanderbilt in Nashville after losing to Samford, then lost two of three games to lowly Tennessee in Tuscaloosa last weekend. In between the SEC games last week were mid-week romps over a Mississippi Valley State team that is not competitive.

Alabama has now dropped to 24-15 overall and 8-7 in SEC play.

Following the Samford game, Bama is not headed for a spot a team would pick to pull out of a tailspin. Bama will be at No. 4 Florida for games at 6 p.m. CDT Friday, 5 p.m. CDT Saturday, and noon CDT Sunday.

Alabama needs to get its bats going. Two of the losses to Tennessee came in a pair of seven-inning games on Saturday. Tide pitchers gave up two runs in the first game and one in the second. But Bama scored one in the first game and none in the second. Alabama had won the first game of the series, 8-2.

Nathan Kilcrease ran his record to 5-2 as Alabama's only winning pitcher of the weekend.

Austen Smith, a freshman first baseman from Cantonment, Fla., had a good week at the plate for Bama. He was 7-14 with five runs scored and four runs batted in.

Relief pitcher Jonathan Smart continues to throw well. He played in all five Bama games last week and did not allow a run in his six innings. He struck out seven of the 20 batters he faced. In the series opener against Tennessee he faced six Vols and used 18 pitches to retire all six.

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