The Bulldogs are the defending SEC Champions and finished tied for 7th place at the 2001 College World Series. First-year head coach David Perno, who replaced Ron Polk after two years as head coach at UGA, has the Bulldogs playing well and in third place in the SEC Eastern Division behind South Carolina and Florida.
The Crimson Tide is three games ahead of Ole Miss in the SEC Western Division with nine games to play. UA also holds a 1.5 game lead over South Carolina for the overall title. USC hosts Ole Miss this weekend in Columbia, SC. Alabama has won five of the last six series with Georgia, but suffered the first sweep in the Jim Wells era during the 2000 season here at Foley Field. UA won last year's series in Tuscaloosa.
Alabama's probable starting lineup:
- # 24 Scott McClanahan, CF .337, 7 HR, 46 RBI Leads SEC with seven OF assists
- # 4 Adam Pavkovich, SS .289, 5 HR, 24 RBI Riding 12-game hitting streak
- # 1 Peter Stonard, RF .394, 4 HR, 30 RBI Batting .429 (21-49) in last 11 gms
- # 14 Jeremy Brown, C .351, 10 HR, 50 RBI Reached base in five str. plate app
- # 6 Brent Boyd, 1B .294, 7 HR, 37 RBI National Hitter of the Week
- # 11 Travis Garner, RF .345, 4 HR, 21 RBI Only UA starter w/out Sac Fly
- # 5 Beau Hearod, DH .317, 8 HR, 41 RBI Hitless in his last eight at-bats
- # 10 Carlos Sosa, 3B .276, 1 HR, 15 RBI Three straight starts at 3B
- # 27 Grant Redding, LF .466, 1 HR, 11 RBI 8-game HTSK snapped on May 1
Probable pitching matchups:Alabama: 18 Lance Cormier, RH 12 GS, 8-1, 2.59 Needs seven Ks for all-time UA record
9 Jeffrey Norris, LH 8 G, 4-0, 2.40 Allowed three ER or less in all 6 GS this year
16 Shane Sanders, RH 14 G, 6-2, 3.26 Allowed 5 ER in last 23.2 IP (1.90 ERA)
Georgia: 22 Bill Sharpton, RH 13 G, 5-4, 6.21 Allowed 16 doubles and 7 HRs this year
46 Matt Woods, RH 13 G, 2-0, 4.37 Opponents batting .265 vs. Woods this year
49 Mickey Westphal, LH 12 G, 4-2, 6.14 Beat Furman (6 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 4 K) on Tuesday
Crimson Tide Team Notes
Dating back to May 1, 2001, Alabama has posted a 45-8 (.849) record in its last 53 games, including a 39-7 (.867) mark this year.
Alabama enters the Georgia series riding a five-game winning streak.
During the streak, Alabama is batting .315 (53-for-168) with five home runs and 34 RBI. The Tide also has 18 doubles.
Alabama is averaging eight runs and 10.6 hits per game in its last five wins. UA has also outscored the opposition 15-0 in the seventh inning during the winning streak.
The Crimson Tide has outscored the opposition 24-2 in the sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth innings over the last five games.
Alabama is 28-0 (1.000) this season when scoring seven or more runs. UA is 7-0 when scoring seven runs, 3-0 when scoring eight runs, 3-0 when scoring nine runs and 14-0 when scoring 10 or more runs.
Alabama has posted 17 come-from-behind wins this season, with six of those victories coming in its last at-bat.
The Crimson Tide has 151 come-from-behind wins under Jim Wells, including 64 in the final at-bat.
Brent Boyd has accounted for five of UA's last seven home runs.
Boyd (5) and Scott McClanahan (2) have the last seven UA home runs.
UA hitters have struck out only five times in the last three games and eight times in the last four games. UA had back-to-back one strikeout games against Auburn on April 27-28.
The Crimson Tide has recorded at least one extra base hit in 44 of 46 games this year. UA has 174 extra base hits this season.
Alabama has recorded at least one double in 15 straight games, including two on April 28. In those 15 games, Alabama has 53 doubles, an average of 3.53 per game.
Since March 24, Alabama has doubled in 23 of 25 games. Overall, UA has doubled in 42 of 46 games this year.
Alabama is hitless in its last three at-bats with the bases loaded.
Alabama posted a 13-game home run streak, hitting 21 home runs from Mar. 24-April 13. The streak ended in the series finale at Kentucky (April 14).
UA has homered in only four of its last 10 games since the 13-game streak.
The Crimson Tide scored in nine consecutive innings over two games against Kentucky (April 14) and Samford (April 17). After being held scoreless in the first three innings at UK, Alabama scored in the next five innings to post a 15-4 win. The game was called after eight innings due to the SEC Sunday Travel policy concerning flights. On April 17, Alabama scored in the first four innings in a 14-7 win over Samford.
The Crimson Tide scored 27 runs in the nine innings and averaged three runs per inning.
Coach Wells posted his 350th win at Alabama with a 10-1 win at Kentucky on April 13, 2002.
Coach Wells coached his 500th game at Alabama on April 27, 2002.
Alabama pitching notes
Allowed three earned runs or less in 28 of 46 games this season.
Alabama is 24-0 this season when holding the opposition to three runs or less.
Alabama's weekend starters are 18-2 (.900) this season. Cormier is 8-1, Norris is 4-0 and Sanders is 6-1 for the Crimson Tide.
Alabama pitchers have allowed just one runs and nine hits (eight singles, one home run) in its last two games.
In the last 22 2/3 innings, UA pitchers have allowed only one run and 10 hits (nine singles), compiling an impressive 0.40 ERA in the last 2 1/2 games.
Alabama opponents are batting just .178 (13-for-73) with two outs over the last seven games.
The Crimson Tide came within four outs of back-to-back shutouts this past week. Alabama blanked Auburn (7-0) on April 28 and then took a shutout into the eighth inning against UAB. Mitch Jones hit a two-out, solo home run to avoid the shutout as UA won 8-1.
Jones' home run snapped a streak of 21 1/3 scoreless innings by the UA staff, dating back to the fifth inning of the April 27 game with Auburn.
Alabama has not had back-to-back shutouts since beating Ole Miss (2-0, 7-0) in Oxford in 1990. The second game was seven innings. The last time Alabama had back-to-back shutouts in nine inning games was 1988, beating Alcorn State (7-0) and Morehead State (8-0) in Tuscaloosa.
Alabama recorded 29 strikeouts in its last three games, averaging nearly 10 per game. UA pitchers struck out 12 Auburn batters on April 28, marking the team's 11th double-figure strikeout game of the season.
The 12 strikeouts against Auburn (April 28) fell one short of the single-season high.
Alabama did not allow a walk in its 7-0 win over Auburn (April 28), marking the seventh time this year the pitching staff has not issued a walk.
The last time UA did not walk a batter was Mar. 8 vs. SE Louisiana.
The Alabama bullpen has stranded 44 of 76 inherited runners this season.
The Alabama bullpen has converted 17 of 21 save opportunities this year and leads the SEC with 17 saves.
Alabama had only seven saves in 55 games last year.
The 17 saves are just two shy of tying the single-season UA record.
Nine different pitchers have recorded wins for Alabama this season, including six pitchers with three or more victories.
A total of five pitchers have accounted for UA's SEC-leading 17 saves.
Only four different UA pitchers recorded a save in 2001, with Cormier and Woodward leading the team with two each.
Bama seeks 40th overall winThe Alabama baseball team will seek its 40th win of the 2002 season Friday night as they meet the Georgia Bulldogs in Athens. The 2002 squad would become the 11th team in school history to win 40 games.
The 1981 team was the first in school history to win 40 games. They are also the only team in school history to win 40 games and not make the NCAA Tournament.
With its next win, Alabama will give coach Wells his 10th 40-win season in his 13-year coaching career. Wells will have seven 40-win seasons in eight years at Alabama.
With one more win, the 2002 Crimson Tide will become the sixth team in school history to post 40 regular season wins, including five under Wells.
The 1997 team holds the school record for most regular-season wins, posting a 44-11 record in 55 games.
Alabama seeks 20th SEC winWith a 16-5 record through 21 games, the Crimson Tide is almost certain to become the fourth team in school history to post 20 conference wins in a season. All three of the previous 20-game winners have come under Coach Wells. The single-season school record is 21 SEC set by the 1999 (21-9) squad. The 1996 (20-10) and 1997 (20-9) teams also won 20, but the 1996 squad is only one of the three to win the SEC Championship, sharing the regular-season title with LSU and Florida. UA's current 16 SEC wins ranks seventh on the single-season list for conference victories.
Boyd homers in three straight gamesSince moving to first base (April 20), Brent Boyd has been the power supply for the Crimson Tide. In his last seven games, he has five home runs and 14 RBI to lead the Crimson Tide. Against arch-rival Auburn (April 26-28), Boyd homered in all three games, including a walk-off, two-run home run in the ninth inning to beat AU 6-5. It was his first career walk-off home run. In the three-game sweep of the Tigers, Boyd was responsible for the game-winning RBI in all three games.
With a home run in three straight games, Boyd is the 11th UA player since 1989 to hit a home run in three consecutive games.
The last UA player to homer in three straight games was G.W. Keller (Mar. 21-24, 1999).
Earlier this season, senior catcher Jeremy Brown homered in four straight games (Mar. 6-10), totaling five home runs. He missed the school record of at least one home run in five straight games by one. Aaron Clark (2001) and Roberto Vaz (1997) hold the UA home run record in consecutive games.
THE OPPOSITIONGeorgia -- The Bulldogs enter the week with a 25-17 record overall and a 12-9 mark in SEC play. Georgia is third in Eastern Division behind South Carolina and Florida. As a team, Georgia is batting .314 (463-for-1,473) with 52 home runs and 282 RBI. As a team, the Bulldogs average 7.47 runs and 11.02 hits per game.
Junior outfielder Chaz Lytle leads the Bulldogs with a .399 (77-for-193) batting average in 42 games. He also leads the team with 42 runs scored. He leads the SEC with 77 hits and paces Georgia with 24 multiple hit games. Freshman infielder Marshall Szabo has appeared in 29 games and is batting .373 (28-for-75) with three home runs and 14 RBI. Senior outfielder Adam Swann is the Bulldogs third-leading hitter with a .347 (42-for-121) average in 37 games. Swann has added seven home runs and 31 RBI. Sophomore outfielder David Coffey (.286, 38-for-133) is the lone Georgia hitter with double figure home runs, smacking 10 home runs and adding a team-high 35 RBI.
On the mound, Georgia has compiled a 6.02 ERA (42 G, 366 IP, 441 H, 245 ER, 169 BB, 274 K) this season. Sophomore RHP Jeffrey Carswell leads the team with 15 appearances and has compiled a 4-3 record with three saves and a 2.12 ERA (34 IP, 36 H, 8 ER, 11 BB, 28 K). He is second on the team in wins and saves. The weekend rotation has consisted of a number of starters, including RHP Matt Woods (13 G, 3 GS, 2-0, 4.37 ERA), RHP Brandon Moorhead (12 G, 5 GS, 2-1, 5.66 ERA), RHP Bill Sharpton (13 G, 8 GS, 5-4, 6.21 ERA) and LHP Mickey Westphal (11 G, 9 GS, 3-2, 6.89 ERA). Moorhead has appeared in seven games out of the bullpen and leads the team with five saves.
The Bulldogs are among the top fielding teams in the league with a .965 (57 errors) fielding mark. Freshman catcher Clint Sammons has been a threat behind the plate, throwing out 10 of 34 base stealers and adding a league-high nine pickoffs.
In SEC play, Georgia is batting .310 (230-for-741) with 25 home runs and 137 RBI. The Bulldogs average 7.33 runs and 10.95 hits per game. Szabo (.396, 3 HR, 12 RBI) and Lytle (.396, HR, 14 RBI) lead Georgia at the plate. Coffey (6 HR, 19 RBI) and Swann (5 HR, 19 RBI) have been the Georgia power supply in SEC play. On the mound, UGA has posted a 6.94 ERA (181 IP, 234 H, 139 ER, 96 BB, 133 K). Carswell has appeared in 10 games and compiled a 3-1 record with three saves and 2.77 ERA (26 IP, 28 H, 8 ER, 10 BB, 21 K).
Alabama/Georgia SeriesIn a series that dates back to the 1904 season, Georgia holds a 55-47-2 (.538) all-time lead. The two teams met on a regular basis until 1955 before discontinuing the series for some 30 years. The two teams resumed their rivalry when the SEC returned to divisional play in 1986.
Before the SEC was discontinued in 1995, Georgia held a 34-26-2 lead. Since the resumption with the return of divisional play in 1986, the teams have battled on nearly even terms, with Alabama holding a slight 22-21 series edge. Overall, Alabama has won five of the last six series with Georgia, dating back to 1996. UA has also won seven of the last 11 games in the series.
The Bulldogs hold 25-14-1 series lead in Athens, winning four of the last five meetings. UGa swept the Crimson Tide here in 2000, marking the first time an Jim Wells-coached Alabama team had been swept in an SEC series. Prior to the 2000 season, Alabama had won four of the previous five series in Athens, dating back to a three-game sweep in 1991.
Alabama-Georgia Series Fileat Tuscaloosa: Alabama leads, 32-29-1
at Athens: Georgia leads, 25-14-1
Neutral Sites: Series Tied, 1-1
Jim Wells vs. Georgia: 12-7 (.632)
David Perno vs. Alabama: First Meeting