Trying To Snap Back

Go back, back, back...to the weekend of April 12-14, 2002. Over two years ago. Alabama's baseball team was in Lexington, Kentucky, and won the series. What makes that memorable is it is the last time Bama won a Southeastern Conference baseball series on the road. And Coach Jim Wells' Crimson Tide returns to Lexington this weekend in hopes of winning an SEC series.

Alabama makes its final SEC road trip of the season this weekend. Alabama has lost 10 consecutive SEC road series since winning in Lexington in 2002.

Games this weekend will be at 6:30 p.m. EDT (5:30 central time) Friday, 7 p.m. EDT Saturday (a game telecast in much of the Southeast on Comcast Sports Network), and at 1 p.m. EDT Sunday.

Before this weekend, the Crimson Tide plays its final non-conference game of the season at 6:30 p.m. CDT Wednesday, hosting the Centenary Gents. The game is a makeup from the February 25 rainout in Tuscaloosa. Alabama beat Centenary 12-0 in the second round of the 2004 Gent Classic on March 6 in Shreveport.

Notebooking Alabama Baseball:

Alabama enters the final two weeks of the 2004 season with a 27-22 (.551) overall record ... In SEC play, Alabama owns a 8-16 (.333) record and has lost all eight series to date ...

With six games remaining in the regular season, Alabama is four games behind Vanderbilt and Tennessee for the final spot in the 2004 SEC Tournament at the Hoover Met ... 

Alabama has lost 11 consecutive SEC series after dropping the final two games of the three-game set to Florida this weekend ... The Crimson Tide blew a 4-0 lead in the seventh inning on Saturday and lost 8-5 ... In the rubber game, Alabama took a 5-2 lead into the final inning but a two-out throwing error by third baseman Evan Bush led to four unearned runs and a 6-5 Gator win ... The 8-5 Florida win on May 8 snapped Alabama's eight-game home winning streak against the Gators ... Florida won its first series in Tuscaloosa since 1988 and has now won back-to-back series over Alabama for the first time since 1988-89 ... Wade LeBlanc's 2-0 shutout in the series opener marked the Tide's first shutout against the Gators since posting back-to-back shutouts (5-0 and 3-0) in the 1968 SEC Playoffs in Tuscaloosa ...

Junior Allen Rice (.545, 6-for-11) was the leading hitter in the series with Florida, including a three-hit game on Saturday and a two-hit game in the series finale ... Sophomore third baseman Evan Bush (.444, 4-for-9) hit safely in all three games against the Gators to extend his career-best hitting streak to 10 games ... During the 10-game hitting streak,  Evan Bush is batting .394 (13-for-33), with four runs scored, three doubles and three RBI ... Dating back to March 27, Bush has hit safely in 19 of his last 23 games, where he is hitting ..329 (27-for-82), with nine runs scored, four doubles, one home run and 11 RBI .... He leads Alabama with six home runs, six sac flies and five game-winning RBI this season ...

Freshman left-hander Wade LeBlanc (14 G, 13 GS, 7-4, 1.57 ERA) has taken over the SEC lead with his 1.57 ERA this season ... The Lake Charles, La., native has worked 97 2/3 innings and allowed 70 hits, 28 runs, 17 earned runs, 22 walks and 85 strikeouts ... He has already set the single-season UA freshman record for innings pitched and strikeouts ... He needs one win to tie the UA rookie record and two to break the mark of eight wins by a freshman ... LeBlanc has logged a team-leading 10 quality start (6 IP, 3 ER or less) in the win over Florida ... He has taken a shutout into the seventh inning in seven of his 13 starts this year ...

Junior LHP Taylor Tankersley (16 G, 7 GS, 2-3, 1.61 ERA) dropped to second in the league in ERA after allowing two earned runs in 3 2/3 innings against Florida on May 9th ... The left-hander was added to the 2004 Roger Clemens Award Watch List, presented by the Rotary Club of Houston to college baseball's top pitcher ... 

Alabama still leads the SEC with a 2.94 ERA through 49 games ... Alabama also has six shutouts this season, the most since 1991 (6) ... Only two other UA teams have had more shutouts -- 1974 (11) and 1967 (7) ...  For the season, Alabama has allowed three earned runs or less in 32 of 49 games ... LeBlanc's seven complete games are the most by an Alabama pitcher since Chris Eilers had seven CGs in 1995 ... The seven CGs are tied for the third-most in school history ... Only Gene Lary (8 CG, 1955) and Frank Roland (10 CGs, 1956) have more CGs than the LeBlanc ...

Head coach Jim Wells has compiled a 171-116 (.595) record in SEC play, tying Dr. Barry Shollenberger (1980-94) for second-place on the school's all-time SEC win list .... Tilden "Happy" Campbell (1935-42, 47-63) holds the UA record for most SEC wins with 265 victories in 25 seasons in the UA dugout ... 

As of May 9, a total of 12 players have combined to miss 206 games due to injuries and illnesses this year .... Junior middle infielder and UA's second-leading hitter Rocky Scelfo (.322, HR, 27 RBI) has missed the last five games with a knee injury ...

After playing the first 22 SEC games without a triple, the Crimson Tide has recorded a triple in back-to-back games against Florida (May 8-9) ... Junior first baseman Zac Welch posted the first triple of the SEC season with a two-run triple into the left field corner off Justin Hoyman on Saturday ... Rice added the second triple of the year in SEC play on Sunday ... Prior to May 8, Alabama was the only SEC team without a triple ... As a team, UA has 11 three-base hits this season, led by Rice, freshman Brandon Belcher and junior Matt Grooms with two triples each ....

With Sunday's loss to Florida, Alabama is now 1-8 (.111) in SEC Sunday games this season and has lost its last four Sunday games ... During those nine games, Alabama has been outscored by only one run, 43-42 ...  Alabama is 4-10 (.286) in one-run games this season in its first 49 games ... Alabama is 1-6 (.143) in one-run SEC games.


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