Alabama, which has improved to 28-24 with a five-game winning streak, will host Mercer (29-19) at 6:30 p.m. CDT today (Tuesday) in Joe W. Davis Municipal Stadium in Huntsville, the former home of the Double-A Huntsville Stars. This is the final non-conference regular season game of the year for the Crimson Tide. Bama hosts Vanderbilt in its final Southeastern Conference action in a three-game series in Hoover beginning Thursday.
Bama is 11-16 in SEC games and striving to finish in the top 12 of the 14-team conference and make the SEC Tournament, which begins May 19 at the Hoover Met – which has been Alabama’s primary home field this year while Sewell-Thomas Stadium is being rebuilt. The Tide is 17-8 in non-conference games.
Freshman left-hander Alex Watkins will get his second career start against Mercer. Last week he went seven innings against Alabama A&M, allowing just five hits and one run and striking out nine while walking one in picking up the victory. Mercer is scheduled to throw senior right-hander Eric Nyquist (6-2).
Alabama’s bats were hot last weekend at Auburn with the Tide banging out 42 hits on the weekend, including 17 in a Saturday win and 16 in the Sunday romp to complete the sweep of the Tigers. Freshman Cody Henry had a big week for the Tide as he was 9-19 in five games last week, an average of .474. His hits included five doubles and a triple as he drove in six runs and scored seven. He was also walked twice.