Alabama has completed a string of seven straight games against Top 25 teams, and seven of the most recent eight games have been on the road. The Tide is again facing a ranked team this week as the Ole Miss Rebels, ranked 28th in the nation, visit for the SEC weekend series. But at least the games will be in Bama's Sewell-Thomas Stadium.
Alabama is in second place in the SEC Western Division with a 2-1 record. Mississippi State, the nation's number one team, is in first place at 2-0. Alabama is 16-7 overall.
Prior to the Ole Miss series, Alabama will host Troy at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. The Trojans are coached by former Crimson Tide star Bobby Pierce, who also served as an assistant coach at Bama under Barry Shollenberger.
This will be the first meeting between Alabama and Troy since the Tide swept a doubleheader in Tuscaloosa in 1999. Bama holds a 12-3 advantage in the series.
Alabama will be seeking its 1,000th victory at Sewell-Thomas Stadium Wednesday. Alabama is 999-427-2 (.700) all-time, since 1948.
This weekend, Alabama will host Mississippi st 6:30 p.m. Friday, 4 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday.
Wade LeBlanc is scheduled to pitch the Friday opener. In last week's series opener against Georgia he limited the SEC's number two hitting team to four hits, three of them singles, before losing his bid for a shutout by surrendering a two-out, ninth-inning home run.
The win stopped Georgia's six-game winning streak. Bama also won the Saturday game before the Bulldogs salvaged the Sunday finale. The Bulldogs entered the series having scored 10 or more runs in six of their previous seven games and had 10 total runs in the three-game series against the Tide.
LeBlanc, a junior left-hander from Lake Charles, Louisiana, held Georgia to a season-low four hits. He has worked 45 innings and allowed 24 hits and just eight earned runs with six walks and 48 strikeouts, which leads the SEC.
In addition to taking two of three games from Georgia, Bama defeated No. 20 Southern Miss in last week's mid-week game. The Tide exploded for a 13-3 win over the Golden Eagles. It was Bama's 10th straight home win over Southern Miss and the most lopsided victory over a ranked team since beating No. 12 Auburn 19-0 on April 19, 2004.
Alabama's nominee for SEC Player of the Week was centerfielder Emeel Salem, a 6-0, 180-pound junior from Mountain Brook.
In four games last week Salem batted .471 (8 for 17) with a double, two runs, five runs batted in, a base on balls, hit by a pitch, and two stolen bases in two attempts. He drove in the winning run in one of the wins over Georgia. He reached base 11 times in 20 plate appearances. Salem has a team-best six-game hitting streak.
For the season, Salem is batting a team-leading .337 (31-92) with 10 RBI. He leads Alabama with 21 runs scored and eight doubles. He has posted a .446 slugging percentage and .435 on-base mark.