Bama/South Carolina notes

The Alabama Crimson Tide will be looking to defend its 2001 SEC Tournament Championship as it opens play at the 2003 SEC Tournament on Wednesday, May 21 at 1 p.m. (CT) against the No. 2 seed South Carolina Gamecocks. The first-round game is a rematch of last year's championship game, won by the Crimson Tide (6-2) here at the Hoover Met.

The Alabama-USC match-up marks the second time in SEC Tournament history that the two teams that played in the previous year's championship have met in a first-round game the next year. LSU and Florida met in the 2000 SEC Tournament title game and then faced each other in a first round game in 2001. The Alabama-South Carolina match-up also features the two best teams from the SEC during the 2002 season. USC won the 2002 SEC Championship, while Alabama was the 2002 SEC Western Division champion.

Two-Day Tourney Schedule

Wed, May 21 Alabama vs. South Carolina 1 p.m. (CT) CTSN (WRTR, 105.5 FM), CSS-TV
Thu, May 22 Alabama vs. Auburn or Vandy 10 a.m. or 5 p.m. CTSN (WRTR, 105.5 FM), CSS-TV

RADIO: The games will be aired locally on WRTR-FM (105.5) or WACT-AM (1420) in Tuscaloosa. In Birmingham, all UA games will be aired on the "Sports Monster" WJOX-M (690). David Crane and Chris Stewart will call the action.

TV: Comcast Sports Southeast will carry all four games of the SEC Tournament on Wednesday and Thursday from the Hoover Met. The Alabama game will begin at 1:07 p.m. and will be shown in Tuscaloosa on Comcast (Channel 29). Matt Stewart (play-by-play) and Nick Belmonte (analyst) will broadcast the game. Anthony Early will serve as the game's producer.

INTERNET BROADCAST: Live stats (www.secsports.com) and audio broadcasts (www.rolltide.com) can be found each day via the world wide web.

TICKETS: General admission tickets are available each day at the Hoover Met Ticket Office.

RANKINGS: South Carolina is ranked in all four polls for the second consecutive week, after winning 10 to its last 11 games.

The Records

Alabama (33-22, 14-16 SEC) finished in a three-way tie for sixth place with Vanderbilt and Arkansas. UA enters the post-season having lost nine of its last 11 games, dating back to April 30th. South Carolina (38-18, 19-11 SEC) has won nine straight SEC games and 10 of its last 11 games overall since April 30th.

The Coaches

Alabama's Jim Wells is in his ninth season at the Capstone, compiling a 404-174 (.699) record at the helm of the Crimson Tide. Overall, Wells is 596-262 (.693) in his 14th season as a Division I head coach. The 2002 SEC "Coach of the Year" has led the Crimson Tide to five SEC Tournament Championships (1995, 1996, 1997, 1999 and 2002).

South Carolina head coach Ray Tanner has compiled a 312-131 (.000) record in seven years with the Gamecocks. He led USC to the 2002 SEC Championship and a runner-up finish at the College World Series. Overall, Tanner is 707-304-3 (.000) in 16 years as a head coach. Tanner will serves as head coach of the USA National Team this summer.

Tidebits

South Carolina swept Alabama during the 2003 season (May 9-11), marking its first-ever series win in Tuscaloosa...Senior RF Beau Hearod was named First-Team All-SEC on Tuesday...Junior Adam Pavkovich has tied the single-season school record for most doubles (22) by a shortstop at Alabama...Coach Jim Wells has won five SEC Tournament championships, second in league history to former LSU coach Skip Bertman's six titles...Bama set the school record with 74 HBPs

First Round Foe a Familiar One

The Alabama Crimson Tide is the defending SEC Tournament champion after last year's 6-2 win over South Carolina in the championship game. The Crimson Tide and Gamecocks will stage a rematch of last year's title game when they meet in the first round this Wednesday, May 21 at 1 p.m. (CT).
  • The Alabama-South Carolina game marks just the second time in SEC Tournament history that the previous year's championship game participants will meet in the first round.
  • The only other time this happened was 2000-2001 when LSU beat Florida 9-6 for the 2000 Tournament title and then the teams met the following year in first-round action.
  • The Crimson Tide and Gamecocks met two weeks ago (May 9-11) in Tuscaloosa, with USC sweeping the three-game series (W 2-1, W 9-6, W 5-1) for its first-ever series win over Alabama in Tuscaloosa.
  • This year's first-round SEC Tournament game will mark the fourth time the Crimson Tide and Gamecocks have met in the post-season. In addition to its two SEC Tourney meetings, Alabama and South Carolina met twice at the 1986 Atlantic Regional in Coral Gables, Fla., with both teams winning one game each. The Crimson Tide holds a 2-1 lead over the Gamecocks in the previous three post-season meetings.

Bama's Batting Order

11 Travis Garner CF R-R .371, 2 HR, 26 RBI Ranks 3rd in SEC in hitting this season
4 Adam Pavkovich SS R-R .321, 9 HR, 48 RBI Tied UA shorstop record with 22 doubles
5 Beau Hearod RF R-R .338, 20 HR, 72 RBI 1st team All-SEC; leads league in HR and RBI
12 Zac Welch 1B L-L .335, 4 HR, 41 RBI Hit safely in 14 of his last 15 games; 6-gm htsk
24 Al Hecklinski DH R-R .303, 11 HR, 47 RBI Hitting .188 (6-for-32) in last nine games
6 Allen Rice 2B L-L .247, 6 HR, 35 RBI Batted .500 (4-for-8) with three RBI at MSU
16 Ryan Beagle OF L-L .258, 0 HR, 5 RBI Batting .333 (8-for-24) in SEC play this year
37 Charlie Lyons C R-R .283, 1 HR, 11 RBI Hitting .182 (4-for-22) since April 16th
14 Evan Bush 3B R-R .158, 0 HR, 11 RBI Collected three RBI in last two games

Bama's Key Reserves

1 Brandon Avalos OF R-R .246, 0 HR, 9 RBI Tallied one hit in last 11 ABs (.091), 5 K
18 Bobby Burns C R-R .257, 4 HR, 11 RBI Played only 5 gms since May 1; 2 hits at MSU
29 John Marshall C R-R .176, 0 HR, 2 RBI Appeared in 27 games this season
31 Nathan Meiners 3B L-R .264, 2 HR, 21 RBI Hitting .100 (2-for-20) since May 1st
8 Trey Moody INF R-R .333, 0 HR, 1 RBI Collected RBI double in first career AB
27 Grant Redding LF R-R .283, 1 HR, 16 RBI Has not played in last six games
21 Gabe Scott OF R-R .250, 1 HR, 3 RBI Struck out 12 times in 24 ABs this year

Bama's Starting Pitching Rotation

40 Taylor Tankersley L-L 16 G, 14 GS, 6-5, 5.57 Posted 1-6 record and 9.87 ERA in last 7 GS
38 Jared Woodward R-R 18 G, 4 GS, 2-0, 4.26 ERA Compiled 1.65 ERA (3 ER, 16.1 IP) in last 4 SEC G
39 Brent Carter L-L 17 G, 14 GS, 9-5, 3.18 ERA, 5 CG Led the SEC with 77 IP in conference games
20 Seth Johnson R-R 19 G, 8 GS, 6-5, 3.95 ERA Compiled 1-5 record and 5.75 ERA in last 6 GS

Alabama 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 5 G, 1-0, 7.04 ERA Pitched at MSU (5/16) for 1st time since Apr 2
9 Jeffrey Norris L-L 17 G, 9 GS, 5-2, 5.72 ERA Pitched in five of last six 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 27 G, 2-1, 3.26 ERA, 11 SV Allowed 7 ER in last 5.1 IP (11.81 ERA) last 2 G
38 Jared Woodward R-R 18 G, 4 GS, 2-0, 4.26 ERA Allowed 6 ER (1.93 ERA) in last 29.1 IP (6 gms)

Bama vs. South Carolina

The 30-game series between Alabama and South Carolina is tied 15-15 (.500) after the Gamecocks three-game sweep of the Crimson Tide at Sewell-Thomas Stadium two weeks ago (May 9-11). The series win was the first-ever for the Gamecocks over the Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa.
  • The Alabama-South Carolina series dates back to 1973, as the two teams split a pair of games at the Joe Sewell Classic in Tuscaloosa. Alabama won the initial meeting 1-0, while USC bounced back with a 6-0 win later in the tournament.
  • The two teams met only six times prior to the Gamecocks arrival into the SEC in 1992. The Crimson Tide won four of the those six meetings.
  • In addition to the 1973 meetings, UA and USC split a pair of meetings at the 1986 NCAA Atlantic Regional played at Mark Light Stadium in Coral Gables, Fla. USC won the first game, 8-2, while Bama posted an 8-7 in an elimination game two days later.
  • Alabama and South Carolina first met in league play in 1994 at Sarge Frye Field in Columbia, with the Gamecocks taking two of three in the initial SEC series.
  • Alabama, did however, win the first-ever SEC meeting with South Carolina, 8-4.
  • Since joining the SEC, South Carolina holds a 15-11 (.577) series lead over Alabama, including back-to-back series wins (2002 and 2003).
  • South Carolina and Alabama split four meetings last year, with the Gamecocks taking the regular season series in Columbia. After dropping a 13-inning affair in the series opener, 10-6, USC bounced back to win the next two and take the series.
  • Alabama evened up the season series with a 6-2 win over South Carolina in the 2002 SEC Tournament championship game. The win gave UA its sixth post-season tourney crown and fifth under Jim Wells.
  • South Carolina is the defending SEC Champions, while Alabama won the Western Division title and placed second overall last year.
  • USC was also the national runner-up last year, losing in the national title game to Texas at the 2002 College World Series.

Alabama-South Carolina Series File
At Tuscaloosa: UA leads, 9-6
At Columbia: USC leads, 9-3
Neutral Sites: UA leads, 3-1
Wells vs. USC: 10-12 (.455)
Tanner vs. UA: 11-7 (.611)


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