Turnbull Moves Up In Tide Rotation

One of the best things going for Alabama baseball this year has been the pitching of right-handed sophomore Spencer Turnbull, ordinarily the Crimson Tide's Sunday pitcher in three-game Southeastern Conference series. As had been anticipated, Turnbull will move to the front of the line this week when Bama goes to Mississippi State.

Spencer Turnbull, who is 4-1 for Alabama this year with a 2.26 earned run averagbe, will get the Friday start against Mississippi State.

Alabama is coming off a two-game, rain-shortened series sweep over the Texas A&M Aggies last weekend. The Tide posted a pair of 3-2 wins over the Aggies before Sunday's game was rained out. Turnbull was able to pitch only one inning before the game was washed out.

The Alabama Crimson Tide (27-18 overall and 11-9 in SEC games) will travel to Starkville to play three conference games against 15th-ranked Mississippi State (33-13, 10-11 SEC) this weekend. The series begins on Friday with first pitch scheduled for 6:04 p.m. CDT, from Dudy Noble Field. The series opener will be televised on ESPNU with Tom Hart and Ben McDonald calling the action. Game two will begin at 2 p.m. on Saturday and the final game of the series will be at 1:37 on Sunday and will be televised on the CBS Sports Network with John Sadak and Marlon Anderson calling the game.

Senior right-hander Charley Sullivan (4-4, 3.27 ERA), normally the Friday Bama starter, will be the starting pitcher on Saturday and sophomore left-hander Justin Kamplain, the Saturday starter the past two weeks, will get the call on Sunday. Kamplain is 1-0 with a 4.82 ERA. The Bulldogs' rotation will be senior LHP Luis Pollorena (6-2, 3.42) on Friday, senior RHP Kendall Graveman (5-4, 2.17) on Saturday and sophomore LHP Jacob Lindgren (4-2, 3.47) on Sunday.

Alabama is receiving votes in the NCBWA poll and the USA Today Sports Coaches poll and has an RPI of 31 (NCAA). In their most recent action, the Bulldogs were swept on the road by No. 3 Vanderbilt last weekend, and are currently in fifth place in the SEC Western Division, 1 1/2 games behind third place Alabama.

The three-game series between Alabama and Mississippi State will mark games 383-385 all-time between the two schools. In a series that dates back to 1896, Alabama holds a 210-169-3 record against the Bulldogs. In the most recent series between the two schools, the Bulldogs won the series 2-1 in Tuscaloosa in 2012, winning games one and two, 3-2 and 3-1, respectively. The Tide won the series finale 8-7 thanks to a two-out, two-run walk-off double by Austen Smith in the ninth inning. Alabama is 7-3 in the last 10 meetings against the Bulldogs, and have a 7-3 record in the last 10 games played at Dudy Noble Field. The Tide has won the last three series played in Starkville.

After playing three games at Mississippi State, Alabama returns home to open a five-game home-stand to complete its schedule at Sewell-Thomas Stadium this season. The Tide will host Mississippi Valley State on Tuesday with first pitch at 5:05 p.m. CDT, and Troy on Wednesday night, with first pitch at 6:05. The game against MVSU will replace the rained out game Alabama had scheduled against Texas A&M on Sunday, April 28. Alabama closes out its home schedule with a three-game SEC series against Missouri, beginning on Friday, May 10.

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