Tide Baseball Has Nominees For SEC

Each week, the Southeastern Conference accepts suggestions for player of the week selections. It's a lot easier to make those nominations after wins, and Alabama had big wins last week.

Coach Mitch Gaspard's Alabama baseball team is coming off a weekend sweep of previously ninth-ranked Ole Miss, improving the Crimson Tide's record to 19-8 overall and 6-3 in conference play. Bama is tied for the SEC Western Division lead with Mississippi State and for the overall lead with the Bulldogs, Florida, and South Carolina. Alabama was ranked 30th in the nation last week.

This week the Tide will host Louisiana-Monroe in a non-conference game at 6 p.m. CDT Tuesday at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. The weekend challenge is going to Texas A&M for league games Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Sophomore second baseman Kyle Overstreet of Boaz had a big weekend for the Tide. He paced the Crimson Tide with a .462 average for the week, while posting at least one hit in all four games to run his hitting streak to 11 straight games. The streak is the longest of the season for an Alabama player. Overstreet had three doubles, three RBI, and three runs scored in the four games. He had a .692 slugging percentage and a .563 on-base percentage. Although he was 2-for-3 with an RBI double in Saturday's win over the Rebels, his out in the 10th inning was one of the biggest plays of the weekend. Overstreet laid down a successful sacrifice bunt to move two runners into scoring position to set up the game winning RBI. He had a double and scored a run in Alabama's three-run fourth inning as the Tide defeated Ole Miss 3-1 on Sunday.

As a pitcher of the week nominee, Alabama can go with junior left-hander Jon Keller of Maylene, who pitched a complete game win on Sunday to complete the sweep of Mississippi. Keller set a career-high by throwing nine innings, surpassing his previous career-high of seven innings. Keller blanked the Rebels while striking out seven, walking one and allowing four singles over the final seven innings. Entering the series, Ole Miss was second in the SEC in batting average and third in the conference in home runs. Keller is tied for second in the SEC with five wins, while posting a 1.50 ERA in 42 innings pitched.

Freshman of the Week nominee from Alabama is right-handed pitcher Nick Eicholtz of Odessa, Fla. He picked up his second win of the season pitching seven innings in a mid-week win over Troy in Pensacola. After allowing a leadoff home run, Eicholtz gave up just two hits while striking out nine batters over the next seven innings. The freshman pitcher is second on the team with 33 strikeouts and has a team-best 1.14 ERA in 31 2/3 innings pitched.

TIDE NOTES: Alabama's sweep of Ole Miss was its first sweep of the Rebels since 2006.

Alabama is now 19-0 when scoring three or more runs in a game.

The Tide posted a .284 average for the week, with a .463 slugging percentage and a .342 on-base percentage.

UA outscored its opponents 26-17 for the week, while hitting 10 doubles, one triple and four home runs. Bama ranks fourth in the SEC with 19 home runs this season.

Thomas Burrows made two appearances during the week, totaling 3 1/3 innings while recording his second save of the year. Burrows threw the ninth inning to finish the Troy game. He threw 2 1/3 scoreless inning to earn the save against Ole Miss on Friday night, allowing just one hit while striking out four Rebels. Burrows leads the team with 10 appearances, posting a 3-1 record with one save. He has a 1.20 ERA with 16 strikeouts in 15 innings.

Ray Castillo made one appearance, recording 2 2/3 innings against Ole Miss on Saturday, allowing an unearned run on two hits with two walks and two strikeouts. In four relief appearances, Castillo has not allowed an earned run in his 10 1/3 innings. Castillo has a 3.05 ERA in 20 2/3 innings with 16 strikeouts this season.

Geoffrey Bramblett recorded his second win after throwing two thirds of an inning on Saturday against Ole Miss. Bramblett has made seven appearances, posting a 2-0 record with a 4.85 ERA in 13 innings this season.

Wade Wass extended his hitting streak to nine games after posting a .385 average (5-for-13) with two doubles, three RBI and three runs scored in the four games. Wass leads the team and is tied for second in the SEC with 11 doubles. He is hitting .281 with a home run and 17 RBI, second on the team.

Ben Moore led the team with seven hits in the four games, posting a .438 (7-for-16) average. Moore also had a double and a home run, to tie for the team lead with three this season. Moore hit .545 (6-got-11) with five runs scored in the Ole Miss series. He is tied for the team lead with 21 runs scored, while hitting .302 with 15 RBI. Moore is on a four-game hitting streak.

Austen Smith posted a .313 average in the four games and continues to lead the team with a .348 batting average. After collecting three RBI in the four games, Smith leads the team with 24 RBI.

Mikey White hit .353 for the week, which included his second four-hit game of his career against Troy on Tuesday night. White hit his second home run of the year to spark a three-run, fourth-inning rally as the Tide defeated Ole Miss 3-1 on Sunday. White has a .279 average and is tied for the team lead with 21 runs scored. He is also second on the team with 11 walks while leading the team with seven hit by pitch.

Casey Hughston clubbed the first Alabama grand slam of the season, which came on the third inning of the Troy game. Hughston is tied for the team-lead with three home runs, while hitting .246 with 14 RBI and 10 runs scored.

Hunter Webb came off the bench to deliver the game-winning, walk-off RBI single in the tenth inning against Ole Miss on Saturday. Webb was 2-for-4 with a walk in the series after making his ninth start of the season on Sunday.

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