Bama baseball status report

Alabama clinched the 2002 SEC Western Division championship this weekend with a three-game sweep over Miss. State. It is the sixth Western Division title for Alabama (1968, 1973, 1974, 1981, 1996 and 2002) and first since 1996. <br><br>The Tide's magic number for clinching the SEC overall championship outright is down to two--any combination of Bama wins or South Carolina losses adding to two and the race is over.

ALABAMA BASEBALL NOTEBOOK

Monday, May 13

OVERALL RECORD: 43-9 (.827)

SEC RECORD: 20-7 (.741) (SEC Western Division Champions)
(1st Place by 1.5 games overall)

Last Week's Results:

May 10 -- Alabama 9, Mississippi State 5
May 11 -- Alabama 9, Mississippi State 7
May 11 -- Alabama 11, Mississippi State 4

This Week's Schedule:

May 14 -- Mississippi Valley State at Alabama (6:30 PM)
May 17 -- Alabama at LSU (6:30 PM)
May 18 -- Alabama at LSU (2 PM)
May 19 -- Alabama at LSU (1 PM)

Player of the Week Nomination

# 5 Beau Hearod (DH, Junior, Jennings, Louisiana)

In three games against Miss. State, Hearod batted .500 (5-for-10) with two home runs and four RBI, compiling a team-best 1.100 slugging percentage. Hearod also added five runs scored, one walk and one sacrifice fly in the series sweep.

In the series opener, Hearod matched his career high with two home runs and finished the game 3-for-4 with three runs scored and two RBI

He tallied two hits and two RBI in game two of series, driving in the tying run with a fifth inning single and a key insurance run with a sacrifice fly in the seventh inning.

Pitcher of the Week Nomination

# 16 Shane Sanders (RHP, Senior, Cullman, Alabama)

Pitched into the ninth inning for the third time this season and for the second week in a row, leading Alabama to a three-game sweep of SEC Western Division rival Miss. State. It was UA's first sweep of the Bulldogs since 1976.

The win also clinched the Crimson Tide's sixth SEC Western Division championship and first since 1996.

The Cullman native has allowed just three earned runs in his last three starts for the Crimson Tide, clinching two sweeps (Auburn and Miss. State) and avoiding a sweep at Georgia.

In his last four starts, Sanders has allowed only three earned runs in his last 26 innings on the mound, for a 1.04 ERA,

Sanders allowed one earned run (4 total) and nine hits in eight-plus innings, striking out four and walking one batter.

He took a no-hitter into the fifth inning and had faced just one batter over the minimum entering the sixth inning, before MSU scored three unearned runs.

Sanders left the game after allowing a leadoff single in the ninth inning with UA holding an 11-3 lead.

TEAM NOTES

Alabama's magic number to clinch its 14th SEC Championship is two heading into the final weekend of the 2002 regular season. Any combination of Alabama and South Carolina losses totaling two will give the Crimson Tide its first SEC Championship since 1996. The Crimson Tide presently has 13 league titles, more than any other team in history.

UA has been in first place (or tied for first place) for 26 of its first 27 conference games this season, with the lone exception coming after an 8-7 loss at Georgia (11 innings) on May 4 as UA fell one-half game behind South Carolina.

With a 43-9 record, Alabama is just one win away from tying the school record for most regular season wins. The 1997 team posted a 44-11 regular season record en route to an Alabama single-season record 56 wins (56-14) and a runner up finish at the College World Series.

The Crimson Tide's 43 wins ties the 1986 team for the sixth most wins in school history. The 1986 team, which placed third at the NCAA Atlantic Regional, posted a 43-20 overall record.

With a 20-7 SEC record, the 2002 squad is the fourth team in school history to win 20 or more SEC games in a season. All of the previous three have come in Jim Wells tenure as head coach (1996, 1997 and 1999). The 1999 team holds the school record with 21 SEC wins. Alabama can match that record with a win at LSU this weekend. With two wins at LSU, the Crimson Tide can surpass that mark.

Alabama swept Miss. State this past weekend for the first time since 1976, which happened to be Ron Polk's first season as head coach of the Bulldogs. Alabama has won three straight series from MSU for the first time since 1973-74. In addition, Alabama is 17-5 (.773) in the last 22 meetings with State, dating back to the 1997 season.

As a team, Alabama batted .340 (33-for-97) in its weekend series with the Bulldogs and averaged 9.7 runs and 11 hits per game. The Crimson Tide had 13 extra base hits in the series and out-homered the Bulldogs, 6-0.

Four Crimson Tide starters hit .400 or better in the three-game series with MSU, including Peter Stonard (.545, 6-11, RBI), Beau Hearod (.500, 5-10, 2 HR, 4 RBI), Jeremy Brown (.417, 5-12, 4 RBI) and Adam Pavkovich (.400, 4-10, 3 RBI).

Scott McClanahan homered in all three games this weekend against Miss. State and has homered in four straight games against the Bulldogs dating back to last year. Mac also added his league-leading eighth outfield assist in the series opener, giving him 22 in his career.

Grant Redding's first career grand slam highlighted Alabama's eight-run first inning on Sunday as UA swept the three-game series from MSU.

Alabama had two sacrifice flies in its 9-7 win over MSU on Saturday, establishing the school record for most sac flies in a season. UA has 36 sac flies in 52 games this year, breaking the old mark of 35 set by the 1997 team. The game marked the eighth time this year the Crimson Tide has had two or more sac flies in a game, including a school record five earlier this year against Arkansas State.

Alabama hitters did not have a single strikeout in Saturday's 9-7 win over Miss. State, marking the first time since April 7, 2001 against Georgia -- a span of 73 games -- the Crimson Tide did not strikeout at the plate. It is interesting to note that Ron Polk was the head coach of the last two teams that failed to record a strikeout against the Crimson Tide.

Alabama has won 34 consecutive games when scoring 10 or more runs...UA is 29-1 (.967) this year when scoring seven or more runs following Sunday's 11-4 win over Miss. State.

Alabama's weekend starters are 21-3 (.875) this season. For the season, UA starters have compiled a 31-6 (.838) record on the mound.


BamaMag Top Stories