Baseball Report

At the midpoint of preseason workouts, Alabama Baseball Coach Jim Wells is starting to get a better feel for his 2006 squad. With opening day just two weeks away, Wells said the Crimson Tide has worked hard the last two weeks and he is pleased with the progress of the team, but noted there was still plenty of work to be done before the February 10 season-opener against number 28 Winthrop.

"The practice sessions have been very good," Alabama Coach Jim Wells said. "We have had two scrimmages and I am pleased with the way we have swung the bats. Our defense, especially in the infield, has been good. We need to work on our base running. We are not real sharp behind the plate, so that needs to improve. Our pitching needs to improve. We need to fill up the zone more as we get closer to the season."

Wells added, "I like the attitude of this team and they work really hard. They give good effort each and every day and we work towards getting better. It's exciting to go to practice each day."

Senior infielder Matt Downs (Centreville) and redshirt freshman first baseman Wes Henderson (Oxford) had good scrimmages last week. Downs went 4-for-9 (.444) with three extra base hits and one RBI last weekend. Henderson was 3-for-7 (.429) and had three doubles.

On the mound, freshman right-hander Austin Graham (Hoover) "pitched very well," Wells said. Graham threw three scoreless innings and allowed only one hit and added one strikeout.

• Season tickets are available by calling the Alabama Athletic Ticket Office (205.348.2262) or on-line at .The Crimson Tide will open the 2006 season on February 10 against Winthrop. Alabama will also host SEC rivals Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt, Auburn and Florida at Sewell-Thomas Stadium this season.

• The Crimson Tide baseball team will scrimmage three times this weekend at the Joe. Alabama will scrimmage on Friday at 3:30 p.m.; Saturday at a time to be determined, but more than likely late morning; and tentatively Sunday afternoon. Scrimmages are free and open to the public.

• The Alabama baseball team will be in the lobby of Coleman Coliseum on Saturday, to distribute schedule cards and season ticket brochures to fans prior to the Alabama-Mississippi State basketball game. The basketball game will tipoff at 6 p.m. and be televised by FSN South.

• The Crimson Tide baseball team will attend the 11 a.m. service at Calvary Baptist Church Sunday.

• The Alabama GrandSlammers, the support group of Crimson Tide baseball, will have its 28th annual preseason barbecue on Sunday, February 5, from 1-2:30 p.m. in the Scholarship Room at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The cost is $10 per person. Coach Wells and the UA baseball team will be on hand for photograph and autograph opportunities. There will be door prizes, schedule cards, and posters available at the event. A limited number of GrandSlammer merchandise will be available for purchase, including tee shirts, golf shirts, pullovers, and caps. There will also be a silent auction.

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