Baseball legend Satchel Paige famously said, “Don’t look back. Something might be gaining on you.” It’s just as important to not look ahead, past the next task.
The Alabama baseball team of Coach Mitch Gaspard might be looking to the start of the Southeastern Conference season and its weekend trip to LSU, but before that the Crimson Tide will meet Southern Miss in Hattiesburg at 6 p.m. CDT Tuesday.
The Southern Miss contest is the first of six in a row on the road for Bama. Following this evening’s game, Alabama will continue its road streak with a trip to Baton Rouge to begin Southeastern Conference play against LSU. The Crimson Tide and Tigers will get conference play underway with games Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoon.
Against Southern Miss, the Tide is expected to start junior right-hander Mike Oczypok, who will be making his second start of the season and sixth appearance. He has a 2-0 record with a 1.69 ERA (2 ER/10.2 IP) and has struck out 12 and walked four. The Golden Eagles will counter with senior right-hander Nick Johnson.
Although Bama lost two of its last three games in a homestand against 21st ranked Houston, the Tide is coming off a win, having salvaged the last game of the series when Will Haynie slugged an eighth-inning home run for an 8-7 victory. The three games against the Cougars were decided by a total of four runs.
Alabama and Southern Miss will be meeting for the 103rd time in a series that dates from 1962. Bama has a 72-30 advantage, including a 26-16 record in Hattiesburg.