Bama baseball in for busy week

The Alabama Crimson Tide baseball team will have a full plate this week, hosting five games at Sewell-Thomas Stadium this week, including the Southeastern Conference opener with Tennessee this weekend. Prior to its SEC opener, Alabama (14-2) will host Mississippi Valley State (4-17) and Birmingham Southern (13-6) in a pair of midweek non-conference games.

Alabama opens busy week with Mississippi Valley State

The Alabama-MVSU game will be played Tuesday, March 12 at 6:30 p.m. Alabama and BSC will meet Wednesday, March 13 at 6:30 p.m. This week marks the first time this season the Crimson Tide has played five games. The only other time UA will play five games in one week will be April 2-7 when they host Southern Miss (April 2), Austin Peay (April 3) and Florida (April 5-7) at the Joe.

Alabama swept SE Louisiana this past weekend in Tuscaloosa, winning 7-2, 11-9 and 7-6. The Crimson Tide is undefeated at home this year (12-0) and has won 16 straight home games dating back to last season. The 16-game home winning streak is the second longest home winning streak in school history. The 1996-97 UA teams combined to win a school-record 24 straight home games.

Week's schedule

Mar. 12 Miss. Valley State at Alabama 6:30 pm CTSN (WRTR, 105.5 FM)
Mar. 13 Bham Southern at Alabama 6:30 pm CTSN (WRTR, 105.5 FM)
Mar. 15 Tennessee at Alabama 6:30 pm CTSN (WRTR, 105.5 FM)
Mar. 16 Tennessee at Alabama 3 p.m. TBA
Mar. 17 Tennessee at Alabama 2 p.m. CTSN (WRTR, 105.5 FM)

INTERNET BROADCAST:

All Alabama baseball games are available on the internet at www.rolltide.com for the 2002 season.

TICKETS:

Tickets for all Alabama home games are available through the UA ticket office.

RANKINGS:

UA is ranked 16th (Baseball Weekly), 17th (Collegiate Baseball) and 19th (Baseball America) in the latest polls released March 11th.

PROMOTIONS:

Future All-American Night on Tuesday and Wednesday as all youngsters are allowed to stand on the field during the National Anthem. Also, Blockbuster Baseball Bingo is played every Wednesday night.

ALABAMA'S PROBABLE STARTING LINEUP:

  1. # 11 Travis Garner, LF .296, 1 HR, 4 RBI
  2. # 1 Peter Stonard, RF .419, 1 HR, 8 RBI
  3. # 6 Brent Boyd, 2B .270, 1 HR, 16 RBI
  4. # 14 Jeremy Brown, C .308, 6 HR, 18 RBI
  5. # 5 Beau Hearod, DH .317, 3 HR, 13 RBI
  6. # 10 Carlos Sosa, 3B .347, 1 HR, 7 RBI
  7. # 24 Scott McClanahan, CF .310, 1 HR, 14 RBI
  8. # 12 Zac Welch, 1B .278, 1 HR, 5 RBI
  9. # 4 Adam Pavkovich, SS .192, 1 HR, 4 RBI

Bama's probable starting pitchers:

No, Pitcher 2002 Stats Notes 9 Jeffrey Norris, LH (MVSU) 1st Game First career start for Alabama 38 Jared Woodward, RH (BSC) 7 G, 0-1, 5.54 Allowed four runs at USA in last start --or -- 39 Brent Carter, LH (BSC) 4 G, 1-0, 1.88 Tossed seven innings vs. UNA (Feb. 26)

THE OPPOSITION: MVSU

Miss. Valley State brings a 4-17 record into Tuesday night's game with Alabama. The Delta Devils are led by junior outfielder Robert Reynolds, freshman infielder Keith Ford and junior catcher Tim Klick. Reynolds is the leading hitter with a .377 (26-for-69) average, two home runs and 12 RBI. Ford is second on the team in batting (.342, 13-for-38) and has five RBI. Klick (.315, 23-for-73) is the top home run (4) and RBI (14) producer. As a team MVSU is hitting .245 (152-for-621) and averages 4.1 runs and 7.2 hits per game.

Tuesday's anticipated starter is junior right-hander Joseph Liberto, a transfer from OIe Miss. In 10 games this season (3 starts), Liberto is 3-2 with 6.08 ERA. He has worked 23.3 innings and allowed 25 hits, 16 earned runs, walked nine and struck out 19 batters. The pitching staff has compiled a 7.86 ERA in 21 games this year. Defensively, MVSU has committed 54 errors (.924) in 21 games, an avergae of 2.6 errors per game.

THE OPPOSITION: BSU

Birmingham Southern is the defending NAIA National Champions, after posting a 51-11 record last year. BSC made the jump to Division I after last season and is a provisional member in the Big South this season. The Panthers are not eligible for the conference championship or tournament this year in accordance with NCAA bylaws.

Tuscaloosa native Connor Robertson brings a whopping .486 (36-for-74) batting average into Wednesday's game. In 19 games, Robertson leads the team with 27 runs scored, 36 hits, nine doubles, eight home runs and 32 RBI. Of his 36 hits this year, 19 have gone for extra bases as he has compiled a .986 slugging percentage. His on-base mark is at .500 entering the Alabama game. A graduate of Tuscaloosa Central HS, Robertson was the Most Valuable Player at the NAIA World Series last year as a freshman. Junior outfielder Adam Pease is hitting .391 (27-for-69) in 19 games with 24 runs scored, four doubles, four triples, two home runs and 22 RBI.

BSC is expected to send Jon Renfro, the ace of their staff to the mound against Alabama. The right-hander was a high school teammate of UA student assistant coach B.J. Green at Gardendale HS. Prior to playing at BSC, Renfro pitched the 1999 season at Auburn. He missed most of the 2000 season with an injury. Junior left-hander Tyler Sullivan is the ace out of the pen, posting a three saves in seven appearances. In 8.2 innings, he has alllowed only three hits and no runs. Also added eight strikeouts.

ALABAMA VS. MVSU

Alabama and Mississippi Valley State have never met in baseball prior to Tuesday's game.

BAMA VS. SWAC

Alabama owns a 34-4 (.895) record against the members of the Southwestern Athletic Conference. The Crimson Tide's last meeting with a SWAC team came in 1993 against Alcorn State. Alabama has played only four of the 10 SWAC schools.

ALABAMA VS. BSC

Alabama holds a 24-14 (.632) lead over Birmingham Southern in a series that dates back to the 1925 season. Alabama won the first four meetings in the series and BSC's first win did not come until the 1927 season. In fact, Alabama won 14 of the first 15 games played, includiing a series-long 10-game winning streak from 1928-69. The teams have met only three times since 1981, with Bama winning all three games.

BAMA VS. BIG SOUTH

Alabama owns a 9-2 (.818) record against the Big South Conference with all 11 meetings taking place with Radford and Winthrop. Alabama sports a 4-0 mark against Radford and a 5-2 mark against Winthrop. The Crimson Tide took two of three from the Winthrop Eagles in Tuscaloosa during the 2001 season. Alabama and Radford last played in 1996.

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