No One Is Talking The Midweek Game

The Alabama baseball team plays its final regular season non-conference game today at 6 p.m. CDT vs. Jacksonville State in Jacksonville, but all eyes are on the final weekend of Southeastern Conference play.

Alabama is 14-12 in SEC games and will host Mississippi State in the final conference series of the weekend when there are a number of scenarios that will determine the Crimson Tide's spot in the SEC Tournament. Bama is assured of a spot in the tournament, but it could be anywhere from the second seed to the 10th seed.

This will be the Tide's second game against Jacksonville State in a week. Last week in Tuscaloosa Bama took a 6-1 win over the Gamecocks. From there the Tide went to Baton Rouge where Bama and LSU split two games. The third game was rained out.

Alabama has a 32-19 overall record.

The Mississippi State series begins Thursday with a 6:35 p.m. CDT game. Friday's game will begin at 6 and the series will conclude with a game at 3 p.m. Saturday.

Alabama is fourth in the SEC Western Division and seventh in the SEC overall standings. The Tide is 2 1/2 games behind SEC West Division leader Ole Miss. Baama can win the Western Division, but it takes several things to happen, most important a sweep of Mississippi State. Additionally, Ole Miss would have to lose three games at Texas A&M and LSU lose at least one game at Auburn.

Alabama will count on its pitching, which has been very good most of the year and was excellent last week. In the three games last week, No. 19 Bama had a 2-1 record and threw a total of only four pitchers. That included a pair of complete game performances by Spencer Turnbull in a tough 2-0 loss and Justin Kamplain in a 5-1 win. Tide pitchers allowed just four runs in the three games, posting a 1.38 ERA with a .196 opponent's batting average.

It is no surprise that Kamplain, a Jasper native, is a candidate for SEC Pitcher of the Week. In the second game of a split doubleheader, and after a three-hour rain delay, the junior left hander threw his first career complete game in beating sixth-ranked LSU. Kamplain gave up just five hits while striking out three and throwing a total of 98 pitches to defeat the Tigers. Dating back to the 2008 season, the win snapped an eight-game road losing streak for Alabama at LSU. Kamplain has a 5-3 record with a 3.29 ERA this season and leads the Tide with 62 strikeouts in 76.2 innings. He is holding opponents to a .206 batting average this season.

Alabama's SEC Player of the Week nominee is Georgie Salem, a sophomore center fielder from Birmingham. Salem paced the Tide with a .417 batting average for the week, going 5-for-12 with a double, a home run, and tied for the team lead with three RBI and three runs scored. Against Jax State, he was 3-for-3 with a double and a sacrifice bunt with a RBI and a run scored. In Alabama's 5-1 win at LSU, Salem hit a two-run home run in the fifth inning for his second home run of the season, giving the Tide a 5-0 lead. Salem is hitting .294 for the season and leads the team with 65 hits and 221 at-bats. He has a .371 slugging percentage that includes nine doubles, a triple, and two home runs.

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