Tide Baseball Also Taking On Vols

Most of the Alabama vs. Tennessee attention right now is focused on Nashville and the Southeastern Conference Men's Basketball Tournament. But Bama against the Vols is important no matter the sport, and it also happens to be the match-up that opens SEC baseball play this weekend.

The Alabama baseball team of Coach Mitch Gaspard stopped the bleeding a little bit this week when the Crimson Tide defeated Memphis in the second game of a two-game midweek series. After starting the season 6-0, then losing 8 of 10 games, Bama is now above the .500 mark at 9-8. The Tide will host Tennessee in a three-game series this weekend at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.

Tennessee has been going the opposite direction of Bama. The Vols have won five in a row and six of their last seven games and come into Tuscaloosa with a 9-7 record.

Alabama and Tennessee get started at 6:35 p.m. CDT Friday. The Saturday game is at 6:05 p.m. CDT and the series concludes Sunday with first pitch at 1:05 p.m. CDT.

Alabama starting pitchers will be:

Senior right-hander Charley Sullivan (0-1, 4.09) on Friday, sophomore left-hander Jon Keller (2-1, 3.00 ERA) on Saturday and sophomore right-hander Spencer Turnbull (0-1, 5.30) on Sunday. Tennessee's rotation for the weekend series will be senior right-hander Zack Godley (1-1, 3.29) on Friday night and freshman right-hander Aaron Quillen (1-1, 4.05) on Saturday. The Vols have not announced a starting pitcher for Sunday at this time.

When Alabama and Tennessee meet this weekend, it will mark games 103-105 all-time in the series between the two schools. After Tennessee swept the Tide in Knoxville last season, Alabama is 69-33 all-time against the Vols. Tennessee has won the last five games in the series, which is the longest winning streak for the Vols in the history of the series. UA head coach Mitch Gaspard has a 4-5 record all-time against Tennessee.

Gaspard has guided the Tide to two SEC opening series wins, taking two of three from Vanderbilt in 2010 and Mississippi in 2011. UA was swept at Arkansas to open SEC play last season.

Following the three-game series against Tennessee, Alabama will travel to Birmingham on Tuesday night to play the Samford Bulldogs, with first pitch slated for 6 p.m. CDT, from Joe Lee Griffin Field. In the first meeting of the season between Alabama and Samford, the Crimson Tide posted a 5-4 win over the Bulldogs in Tuscaloosa on Feb. 26.

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