Alabama Baseball Faces Tough Tulane

Alabama's baseball team will try to get back on the winning track this weekend, but it's a tough assignment since the Crimson Tide will be playing on the road against a Tulane team that is 8-0 in New Orleans.

Alabama had a horrible start to the season, losing three home games against Florida Atlantic before rebounding with three wins over Arkansas-Pine Bluff and a victory over South Alabama, all at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.

This road trip did not start well as Bama was at Southern Miss Wednesday and suffered a 14-2 loss to the Golden Eagles.

Bama's three-game series at Tulane will begin at 6:30 p.m. CST Friday at Greer Field in Turchin Stadium. Game two is at 2 p.m. Saturday and the series concludes on Sunday with first pitch at 1 p.m.

The Crimson Tide of Coach Mitch Gaspard with have its inexperienced pitching staff starting. In early work the trio has been solid.

Freshman lefthander Taylor Gilbeau will be Bama'S Friday starter. He is 1-1 with an earned run average of 0.82. On Saturday the Tide will go with junior righthander Charley Sullivan, 1-1 with a 3.60 ERA. Justin Kamplain, another lefthanded freshman, will be the Sunday starter. He's 1-1 with a 3.38 ERA.

Tulane Friday night starter Randy LeBlanc has a 1-1 record with a 3.27 ERA in two starts. Saturday starter Tyler Maples has thrown 8.0 innings, allowing seven runs (six earned) on 10 hits with seven strikeouts. Tulane's Sunday starter, Alex Massey has been effective in his time on the mound, holding opponents to a .256 average with a 1.69 ERA. D.J. Ponder leads the team with three appearances, a 0.90 ERA and a .067 opponent batting average. Ponder has one of the teams three saves.

Tulane enters the series with an 8-1 record, and is riding a four-game win streak following a 12-1 win over Southeastern Louisiana on Tuesday. Tulane posted a series sweep over Indiana last weekend. The Green Wave's only loss was on the road at Louisiana-Monroe, 9-3, on Feb. 21. Tulane has played eight of its nine games at home, and has a perfect 8-0 record at Greer Field this season.

Tulane enters the series with a .341 batting average and has outscored its opponents 59-32 this season. Nine players on the Tulane roster are hitting over .300 this season. Brennan Middleton leads the team with a .517 average, while starting all nine games at shortstop for the Green Wave.

The series between Alabama and Tulane will mark the first meetings between the two teams since 2005 The last time UA and Tulane met was in the NCAA Regional when the number one ranked Green Waves defeated the Tide twice. . Alabama leads the all-time series, which began in 1897, 60-26.

Following a five-game week, Alabama will play four games next week. The Tide opens the week against Auburn in the Capital City Classic on Tuesday. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. (CST) from Riverwalk Stadium in Montgomery. UA closes the week by hosting the Alabama Baseball Classic on March 9-11. The six-game event includes East Carolina, Louisville, and Oral Roberts.

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