In recent years, Alabama and Auburn have played what amounts to an exhibition baseball game each year in Montgomery, the Capital City Classic, and the Tigers have dominated that series, including winning 10-1 in this year’s game on March 29. Oddly, in most years that Auburn won in Montgomery, Alabama has won the Southeastern Conference series, including sweeping the Tigers last year in Auburn.
Alabama hopes the trend continues when Bama hosts Auburn in a three-game series at Sewell-Thomas Stadium beginning Friday at 7 p.m. CDT. The teams will meet at 6 p.m. Saturday and 3 Sunday.
Alabama is coming off a 1-2 series loss to third-ranked Mississippi State last weekend, while Auburn took two of three from No. 22 Kentucky in Auburn last weekend.
Alabama Coach Mitch Gaspard is aware of Auburn being a very strong offensive team, while the Crimson Tide has relied on very good pitching. Gaspard said Bama is going to have to find a way to get more scoring against the Tigers, knowing that it is unlikely Alabama can hold Auburn to low scores.
Alabama is 25-20 overall and 10-11 in SEC games, fourth in the SEC West and tied for eighth overall. Auburn is 20-!4 overall, including a 7-14 SEC record that has the Tigers tied for sixth in the SEC West and tied for 10th overall.
Bama has an all-time record of 155-128 against Auburn, including a 79-43 mark in Tuscaloosa.
The Crimson Tide will call on its trio of right-handed starters for the weekend once again, first with junior Geoffrey Bramblett opening the series on Friday night. Sophomore Jake Walters will follow on Saturday evening, before junior Nick Eicholtz closes out the series with the start on Sunday afternoon.
The Tigers will counter with redshirt junior Cole Lipscomb on Friday night to begin the weekend. Auburn will send redshirt senior Justin Camp to the mound on Saturday for the second game of the series, while the Sunday starter is still to be announced for AU.
Despite a slight rise after his start last Saturday, Walters maintains a 1.30 ERA (6 ER/41.2 IP) in SEC action to lead the conference. Overall, the game two starter has struck out five or more in eight of his 11 starts and has allowed two earned runs or fewer in all but one start this season.
In all games, Eicholtz has a team-low 1.89 ERA (10 ER/47.2 IP). In conference play, the junior has allowed one or no earned runs in all but one start in his seven outings.