Alabama Hosts A&M In SEC Baseball

The assimilation of Texas A&M into the Southeastern Conference continues this weekend as the Aggies make their first ever baseball trip to Tuscaloosa, three single games beginning Friday evening.

Both Alabama and Texas A&M have been struggling in the SEC after strong starts. Bama has lost five of its last six conference games, while the Aggies are 2-10 in their last 12 league games after starting 5-1 in the SEC. The result is that the Crimson Tide is 25-18 overall and 9-9 in the conference, Texas A&M 22-20 overall (the Aggies started the season 18-4), and 7-11 in the SEC.

First pitch today is at 6:35 p.m. CDT. Saturday's game will begin at 6:05, and the Sunday game will start at 1:05.

Alabama will start senior right-handed pitcher Charley Sullivan (3-3, 3.36 earned run average) on Friday, sophomore left-hander Justin Kamplain (0-0, 5.40 ERA) on Saturday, and sophomore righty Spencer Turnbull (4-1, 2.26) on Sunday. The Aggies' rotation will be sophomore right-hander Daniel Mengden (4-2, 2.04) on Friday, junior right-hander Parker Ray (0-0, 0.69) on Saturday, and junior right-hander Rafael Pineda (3-4, 3.67) on Sunday.

Alabama is coming off a 7-4 come-from-behind win at Southern Mississippi on Wednesday. In its most recent SEC action, the Tide earned a 4-3, 10-inning win over No. 2 LSU on Sunday, to avoid being swept by the Tigers. Alabama is currently receiving votes in the NCBWA poll and the USA Today Sports Coaches poll. Texas A&M suffered a 4-1 loss to Texas State on Tuesday night, after losing the last two games of its SEC series to No. 10 Arkansas last weekend.

With a single against Southern Miss on Wednesday, Georgie Salem extended his hitting streak to seven games. Salem leads the team with a .283 average this year and is second on the team with 13 multi-hit games. Ben Moore had a pair of doubles and an RBI against the Golden Eagles and leads the team with nine doubles and is tied with Kyle Overstreet for the team lead with 27 RBI. After posting three hits against Southern Miss, Austen Smith is now hitting .276 and is tied with Moore for second in batting average.

Texas A&M is hitting .275 as a team to rank fifth in the SEC. During conference play, the Aggies are hitting .268 which is sixth best in the league. The Aggies have a 3.79 ERA for the year, but during conference play, TAMU has a 5.03 ERA, which is 13th in the SEC.

The top hitter for the Aggies is Mikey Reynolds with a .399 mark overall. His .353 average during conference play is second on the team. Reynolds leads the team with 26 runs scored. Cole Lankford is the team's leading hitter during SEC play with a .367 mark. Lankford is second on the team with a .364 average for the season while leading the team with 10 doubles and 21 RBI. Troy Stein leads the team with three home runs while hitting .315 for the year.

Alabama and A&M have a limited history. The Aggies defeated Bama in the 2005 NCAA Regional at College Station and won two games in the Continental Aggie Classic in 1995.

Prior to baseball at The Joe today, there will be a concert by the Whiskey River Band starting at 5 p.m.

After playing three games against Texas A&M, Alabama will not play a midweek game for the first time this season. Alabama returns to the diamond when it travels to Starkville to take on nationally-ranked Mississippi State next weekend.

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