Bama/MSU baseball notebook

The Alabama Crimson Tide baseball, losers of five straight Southeastern Conference games, closes out the 2003 regular season with a three-game series against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Dudy Noble Field. The do-or-die three-game series opens Friday, May 16 at 6:30 p.m.

The Crimson Tide has lost all four SEC road series this season and six straight road series dating back to last year. Alabama's first road series win of the 2003 season will assure the Crimson Tide a berth in next week's SEC Tournament at the Hoover Met (May 21-25). Alabama won here two years ago, taking two of three from MSU during the 2001 season for its first series win in Starkville since beating the No. 1 ranked Bulldogs in 1989.

The Crimson Tide's main goal is to make the SEC Tournament and enters the weekend with chance to finish anywhere from fourth to 10th in the overall league standings.

Weekend Schedule

Fri, May 16 Alabama at Miss. State 6:30 p.m. (CT) CTSN (WRTR, 105.5 FM)
Sat, May 17 Alabama at Miss. State 2 p.m. (CT) CTSN (WRTR, 105.5 FM)
Sun, May 18 Alabama at Miss. State 1:30 p.m. (CT) CTSN (WRTR, 105.5 FM)

RADIO: The games will be aired locally on WRTR-FM (105.5) or WACT-AM (1420) in Tuscaloosa. David Crane and Chris Stewart will call the action.

INTERNET BROADCAST: Live stats (home games only) and audio broadcasts can be found at

TICKETS: Tickets are available at the Polk-Dement Stadium ticket office two hours prior to game time each day.

RANKINGS: Miss. State is ranked in all four major polls entering the final weekend of play. Alabama is unranked for the second consecutive week.

The Records

Alabama (32-20, 13-14 SEC) has lost six straight games for the first time under Coach Wells. In addition, Alabama brings a five-game SEC losing streak to Starkville this weekend. Miss. State (36-15-1, 15-11 SEC) won three midweek games this week and is fourth in the SEC Western Division entering the final weekend.

The Head Coaches

Alabama's Jim Wells is in his ninth season at the Capstone, compiling a 403-172 (.701) record at the helm of the Crimson Tide. Overall, Wells is 595-260 (.695) in his 14th season as a Division I head coach.

The dean of SEC coaches, Ron Polk has compiled an 1,192-573-2 (.675) record in his 30-year Hall of Fame career of coaching. Polk, now in his second stint with the Bulldogs, has compiled a 958-461-2 (.675) in 24 years at MSU. Polk has taken three different teams (Ga. Southern, Miss. State and Georgia) to the CWS.

Last Time Out

Alabama lost its sixth straight game with a 5-3 loss to Jax State Tuesday night in Tuscaloosa. The loss was also UA's fifth in a row at home, its longest losing streak at the Joe since 1994. Beau Hearod's league-leading 19th home run gave Alabama a short-lived 2-0 lead in the first inning. JSU took the lead for good with three runs in the second off losing pitcher Jacob Legg.

Projected Bama Batting Order

11 Travis Garner CF R-R .364, 2 HR, 21 RBI Riding a 16-game hitting streak
1 Brandon Avalos LF R-R .267, 0 HR, 9 RBI Hit safely in four of his last five games
4 Adam Pavkovich SS R-R .327, 8 HR, 45 RBI Batting .194 (7-for-36) in last 9 SEC Games
5 Beau Hearod RF R-R .346, 19 HR, 68 RBI Leads SEC with 19 HRs and 68 RBI
12 Zac Welch 1B L-L .333, 4 HR, 39 RBI Hit safely in 11 of last 12 games
24 Al Hecklinski DH R-R .298, 11 HR, 47 RBI Team leader with 22, 2-out RBI
6 Allen Rice 2B L-L .237, 6 HR, 31 RBI Batting .077 (2-for-26) in last eight games
18 Bobby Burns C R-R .239, 4 HR, 10 RBI Hitless in last six at-bats for Tide
14 Evan Bush 3B R-R .163, 0 HR, 8 RBI Started two straight games at 3B

Key Bama Reserves

16 Ryan Beagle OF L-L .278, 0 HR, 4 RBI Career high two hits at Tennessee (May 4)
37 Charlie Lyons C R-R .280, 1 HR, 10 RBI Batting .130 (3-for-23) in last 10 games
29 John Marshall C R-R .167, 0 HR, 2 RBI Played in only 14 games for UA
31 Nathan Meiners 3B L-R .280, 2 HR, 10 RBI Batting .077 (1-for-13) in last six SEC games
8 Trey Moody INF R-R .400, 0 HR, 1 RBI All seven at-bats as pinch-hitter
27 Grant Redding LF R-R .283, 1 HR, 16 RBI Tallied one hit in last 15 at-bats (.067)
21 Gabe Scott OF R-R .250, 1 HR, 3 RBI Scott has 12 strikeouts in 24 at-bats this year

Starting Pitching Rotation

40 Taylor Tankersley L-L 15 G, 13 GS, 6-4, 5.03 Posted 2-4 record in last six starts for Alabama
28 Paul Maholm L-L 12 GS, 7-2, 2.28 ERA 2 GS, 0-2, 10.18 ERA vs. Alabama

39 Brent Carter L-L 16 G, 13 GS, 8-5, 3.28 ERA, 4 CG Needs 5.1 IP to reach single-season Top 10
13 Alan Johnson R-R 12 GS, 5-2, 4.00 ERA, 2 CG Leads MSU with two CGs this year

20 Seth Johnson R-R 18, 7 GS, 6-4, 3.63 ERA Posted 1-4 record in his last five starts for UA
TBA (Game 3)

Bama Bullpen

16 Ryan Beagle L-L 5 G, 3 GS, 0-0, 5.40 ERA Career-high seven BB vs. S. Alabama (April 16)
41 Jacob Legg L-L 4 G, 1 GS, 0-1, 4.05 ERA First career start vs. Jax State (1 IP, 3 ER) on 5/13
42 Dewayne Marlowe R-R 1 G, 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 SV Three shutout innings vs. MVSU (Feb. 27)
34 Eric Mennen R-R 4 G, 1-0, 6.75 ERA Mennen has UA's highest ERA this season
9 Jeffrey Norris L-L 15 G, 9 GS, 5-2, 5.70 ERA Worked three straight games in relief
44 Allen Ponder R-R 13 G, 2 GS, 2-3, 5.74 ERA Has not pitched since April 11th
25 Brian Reed R-R 24 G, 2-1, 11 SV, 2.25 ERA UA all-time saves (20) leader
38 Jared Woodward R-R 17 G, 4 GS, 2-0, 4.35 ERA Allowed 6 ER (1.93 ERA) in last 28 IP (5 games)

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