Stuart McNair

Alabama baseball opens SEC play against Missouri Friday in Tuscaloosa

Alabama concludes long home stand with SEC series against Missouri

All good things must come to an end. Alabama begins Southeastern Conference play this weekend when the Crimson Tide hosts the Missouri Tigers for a three-game series at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.

The trio of games from Friday through Sunday will close out Alabama’s 20-game home stand to start the season. Thus far that home stand has been only “pretty good” at 10-7. Winning the opening series of SEC play would elevate the goodness.

The Crimson Tide and Tigers are scheduled for a 6:30 p.m. CDT start on Friday as part of the conference’s whiparound coverage of opening night, highlighting all seven games simultaneously on the SEC Network. Saturday’s game is at 1 p.m. and Sunday’s game at noon, all on SEC Network.

Alabama is coming off less than its best effort, a 10-3 loss to Samford.

After losing the first game of the year to Eastern Michigan, Missouri has won 16 consecutive games leading up to SEC play.

Starting pitchers for Alabama will be right-handers Jake Walters on Friday, Nick Eicholtz on Saturday, and a pitcher to be named later on Sunday. Missouri will go with right-hander Tanner Houck on Friday, lefty Michael Plassmeyer on Saturday, and right-hander Andy Toelken Sunday.

Last Friday, though, Walters was very effective. In his last start, a 14-1 win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Walters went six innings to earn his third win of the year. He threw 95 pitches, allowed five hits and one run, and struck out five, walked only one.

The Tide has been led offensively of late by Cody Henry. In the last six games he is batting .526 (10-19) wikth a double, three home runs, five RBI, three walks, and seven runs scored. He has had at least one hit in each of those six games and four times has had multi-hit games.

Alabama and Missouri will meet for the eighth time in series history Friday. The Crimson Tide holds a slight 4-3 advantage in the series.

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