First pitch of today’s Alabama vs. Louisiana-Lafayette game was moved up to a 3 p.m. CST start due to the threat of wintry weather in the evening. Saturday and Sunday’s first pitches remain the same, with the Saturday game of the weekend scheduled for a 2 p.m. CST start and the Sunday game set to begin at 1 p.m.
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS
FRIDAY: UA – Taylor Guilbeau (Sr., LHP) vs. ULL – Evan Guillory (Fr., RHP)
SATURDAY: UA – Will Carter (Jr., RHP) vs. ULL – Greg Milhorn (Sr., RHP)
SUNDAY: UA – Geoffrey Bramblett (So., RHP) vs. ULL – TBA
Alabama and Louisiana-Lafayette will meet for the seventh time in program history. The two teams met for a trio of games last season, with the Ragin’ Cajuns claiming two of three from the Tide. Overall, UA holds the upper hand in the series with a 4-2 all-time advantage.
Louisiana-Lafayette comes to Hoover after a midweek, 17-inning loss to McNeese State on Tuesday evening. Prior to the loss to the Cowboys, ULL took two of three from Stony Brook in a home, weekend set.
Crimson Tide Coach Mitch Gaspard’s coaching career can be traced back to Louisiana-Lafayette. The Alabama skipper was an assistant coach at ULL for four seasons from 1989-1992. During his time with the Ragin’ Cajuns, Gaspard helped the team to four conference titles and a 183-74 overall record.
The Crimson Tide wrapped up Tuesday doubleheader action with two victories against Savannah State. Prior to the two wins vs. the Tigers, Alabama spent last weekend in Houston, going 1-2 overall against the third-ranked Cougars. UA had the 1-0 lead in game one, but came up short with an eventual 3-1 final. In the second game, the two squads swapped leads, but Houston pulled away to win the game 14-9. Alabama claimed the 8-3 victory over the Cougars on getaway day.
Alabama claimed the victory in Tuesday’s first game thanks to a Casey Hughston grand slam. The Tide took an early 1-0 lead and then widened the gap when Hughston hit UA’s first grand slam of the season. Alabama’s bullpen combined to toss the last 6.0 innings, with freshman Jake Walters earning his first career win. Walters tossed 3.1 IP allowing two runs (both earned) on four hits while walking two and striking out five Tigers.
Game two was highlighted by a standout performance from junior Jake Hubbard. The righty tossed a career-high 6.0 innings, allowing just one run on three hits while walking one and striking out a career-high six batters. The offensive attack was led by Chance Vincent, as the junior went 2-for-3 with his first home run of the season while also registering a double, an RBI and two runs scored in the process. Alex Watkins and J.C. Wilhite closed out the final 3.0 innings, with Wilhite claiming his first career save across 1.1 IP with two strikeouts.
The Crimson Tide took one of three from third-ranked Houston last weekend, with Alabama earning the victory in the series finale against the Cougars. Geoffrey Bramblett claimed the Sunday victory, tossing 6.1 IP and allowing three runs in the Tide’s 8-3 win.
Alabama kicked off the season with a record-setting weekend against the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.
Twelve of UA’s 40 hits were for extra bases, including 10 doubles and two triples. The Tide finished the weekend batting .360 as a team and accumulating 37 total runs, the most since Alabama scored 38 against the University of Illinois-Chicago on Feb. 26-27, 2010.
Alabama claimed the 6-0 victory on opening night of the 2015 season. Senior LHP Taylor Guilbeau tossed 6.0 IP in the second opening day start of his career. UA’s offense provided 11 hits, including five for extra bases, while every positional starter reached base at least once.
The Alabama offense put together a 19-0 performance in Sunday’s finale thanks to 15 hits, including five-RBI performances from Kyle Overstreet and Hughston. Hughston and Overstreet were the first pair of UA players to each record five RBI in the same game since Clay Jones and Brett Booth accomplished the task against UIC on Feb. 27, 2010.
Alabama’s starters limited UMES to just six total hits while striking out 19 batters across 19.0 IP.
Alabama returns 23 letterwinners from last season’s team that reached the NCAA Tallahassee Regional. The 2015 Tide also features five positional returners, and three pitchers who made five or more starts last season.
UA’s returning pitchers owned a 3.89 ERA (111 ER/257.0 IP) in 2014 and had a 16-11 record.
This season’s returners batted .263 (344-1,310) a season ago.
Louisiana-Lafayette comes to Hoover after a 5-4, 17-inning midweek loss to McNeese State. Prior to the loss to the Cowboys, ULL took two of three from Stony Brook inside M.L. “Tigue” Moore Field.
The Ragin’ Cajuns claimed a 7-3 victory last Friday in the series-opener with Stony Brook. ULL fell 4-1 in Saturday’s contest, but claimed the rubber match of the series with a 2-1 win in the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader. Louisiana-Lafayette earned to go-ahead run in the bottom of the eighth to claim the series victory.
Offensively, the Ragin’ Cajuns are led by Greg Davis. The senior leads ULL in hits (12) and has recorded three doubles, three RBI and six runs scored across his eight starts. Junior Joe Robbins leads the Ragin’ Cajuns in RBI with eight and a pair of home runs across his eight starts. Stefan Trosclair has earned the start in seven games and leads ULL in runs (7) and stolen bases, recording three in three attempts.
The pitching staff owns a 3.12 ERA (27 ER/78.0 IP) with 54 strikeouts and a .231 average against. Reliever Lee Cotton leads the team in strikeouts with 11 across four appearances and 10.1 IP. Cotton has also collected two saves on the young season.
Louisiana-Lafayette returns 12 letterwinners, including seven starters and 10 pitchers, from the 2014 team that went 58-10 and finishing runner-up in the Lafayette Super Regional. The 2015 squad welcomes 12 true freshmen and eight junior-college transfers. ULL is made up of five seniors, 13 juniors, five sophomores and 13 freshmen.