Alabama Baseball Starkville-Bound

Which Alabama baseball team will show up in Starkville this weekend—the one that blasted nationally-ranked Southern Miss in Hattiesburg earlier this week or the one that has been in a dismal hitting slump for most of the month.

Once upon a time Alabama was leading the Southeastern Conference with a 7-2 record. Since then the Crimson Tide has gone 1-8 in conference games. Still, Bama is only a game out of first in the Western Division. A game behind the Crimson Tide is Mississippi State, and Alabama will meet the Bulldogs in a Saturday doubleheader and Sunday single game.

Alabama (26-18 overall) and Mississippi State (24-16 overall, 7-11 SEC) will play at 2 p.m. CDT Saturday in a doubleheader. Saturday's first game will be televised by SportsSouth. The Sunday game begins at 1:30 p.m.

Nathan Kilcrease will pitch the first game for Alabama. Kilcrease, a senior right-hander, has a 5-3 record and 2.94 earned run average. State will counter with right-hander Chris Stratto (4-5 with a 5.02 ERA). In the second game it will be left-hander Adam Morgan (4-4, 4.28 ERA) for Bama against the Bulldogs' left-hander Nick Routt (0-2, 4.15 ERA). Sunday's pitchers have not been announced.

The three-game series ends an eight-game road chore for Bama.

One batter stands out for the Bulldogs. Mississippi State bats .282 as a team, ninth in the SEC, but Jarrod Parks is hitting .409 for the Dogs, and that's best in the conference. Way best. Vanderbilt's Aaron Westlake is second, 32 points behind Parks.

In recent games, Tide shortstop Jared Reaves has been a hot hitter. Over the past 10 games he has 18 hits in 35 at-bats for a .514 average. He has a .686 slugging percentage and .591 on-base percentage in those 10 games.

Following the Mississippi State series, the Tide will host LSU in single games Friday, May 6, through Sunday, May 8.

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