If absence makes the heart grow fonder, the Alabama baseball team should be all aflutter coming into this weekend. The Crimson Tide was on the road for five games last week, but returns to Sewell-Thomas Stadium for four games in four days beginning Thursday against Oregon.
Alabama, which went 4-1 while on the road last week, is ranked in the top 25 in four polls in the nation this week with a 10-2 record. Oregon, which is 8-2, is ranked as high as eighth in the nation. Gametime is 6:30 p.m. CST with the game being televised on SEC Network-Plus.
It’s a bit of bad luck for Alabama fans that the baseball game will be going up against Alabama’s appearance in the Southeastern Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament from Nashville at about the same time Thursday.
Alabama and Oregon will meet for the first time in the history of the two programs.
Oregon comes to Tuscaloosa after a weekend that saw the Ducks claim a series victory over UC Santa Barbara, 2-1. The bookend games of the series went in Oregon’s favor, with the Ducks winning 13-1 on Friday and 3-1 on Sunday, but the middle contest went to the Gauchos, 1-0, in 14 innings.
The Crimson Tide hand the ball over to senior left-hander Jon Keller for the start on Thursday evening. Keller will be making his fourth appearance of 2016 and his second start of the season. He owns a 1-0 record across his 6.2 scoreless innings pitched.
The Ducks starter will be freshman left-hander Kyle Robeniol. The first-year pitcher owns a 1-1 record with a 3.12 ERA (3 ER/8.2 IP). The start will be the first of his career.
Oregon is averaging 5.5 runs and 6.9 hits per game, while Bama averages 4.8 runs and 8 hits per game. On the pitching side, the Ducks have allowed 2.4 runs per game (1.61 earned run average), the Tide giving up 1.9 runs per game (1.33 ERA).
Following the Oregon game, the Tide stays at Swell-Thomas for a three-game weekend series against Houston. Game one is scheduled for a 6:30 p.m. CT start on Friday with Saturday’s contest set to begin at 2:00 p.m. CT. Sunday’s finale is slated for a 1 p.m. CT with all three games airing on SEC Network-Plus.