Tickets on Sale for Big Baseball Series

The Crimson Tide baseball is hoping for as much help as it can get from Alabama fans this weekend, facing nation's number one ranked, one-loss Mississippi Sate Bulldogs in a three game set scheduled to begin Friday in Tuscaloosa.

The MSU series is a part of the Crimson Tide's annual A-Day weekend festivities. The annual "Fan Day" will take place at Coleman Coliseum from 9-11 a.m., with the Walk-of-Fame ceremony at Denny Chimes later that morning. The A-Day game will kickoff at 1:30 p.m.

Dating back to 1985, Alabama has won its last four series with the No. 1 team, including series wins over Miami (Fla.) (1985), at Miss. State (1989), at Auburn (1995) and LSU (1997).

The Crimson Tide will be hosting the No. 1 ranked team at the Joe for the first time since May of 1997 when they took two of three from top-ranked LSU. Overall, Alabama is 9-10 (.474) all-time against the No. 1 ranked team in the land. Alabama lost two games at No. 1 Tulane last season in the NCAA New Orleans Regional at Turchin Stadium.

Alabama is 19-8 overall and 5-1 in the Southeastern Conference, and is coming off a series sweep of Ole Miss. Alabama led most of the game Saturday until a ninth-inning grand slam put the Rebels up by a run. Bama battled back and Evan Bush hit an RBI single in the ninth to send the game to extra innings where Greg Paiml's gapper drove in the winning run in the 10th.

The Crimson Tide hit .354 (35-for-99) in the weekend series against the Rebels, with three home runs and 26 RBI. Bama averaged 10 runs and 11.7 hits per game against Mississippi. The 30 runs scored were the most by Alabama in an SEC series since a three-game sweep of Arkansas in 2002 when UA also scored 30 runs in a three-game SEC series.

Mississippi State has one loss on the year to LSU and is 19-1, 4-1 in Southeastern Conference play.

"They have a team of older guys who, last year, you were scratching them off when they were juniors because you assumed they would get drafted and go pro, but they're all back," Alabama Coach Jim Wells said. "It reminds me of the team we had in 2002 when (Lance) Cormier and (Jeremy) Brown came back for their senior year."

The Tide is scheduled to host Lipscomb Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m., but is expecting big atmosphere with the crowd in for A-Day to help fill Sewell-Thomas Stadium for the three-game series with the nation's top-ranked team.

"They're all big. I remember last year we had the lead in the SEC for half of the year," Bush said Sunday. "I hope they are number one when they come in. When we play like we did this weekend we think we're one of the best teams in the country."

Friday night's game is scheduled for a 6:30 p.m. start. Saturday's game is scheduled for 3 p.m. (Fox Sports Net South television) and Sunday's game at 2 p.m.

Alabama leads the SEC Western Division by one-half game over Miss. State (4-1 SEC). The Crimson Tide and Vanderbilt Commodores sit atop the overall league standings with 5-1 SEC records.

To avoid waiting in line at the two ticket booths at Sewell-Thomas Stadium, tickets are on sale through the Alabama ticket office in Coleman Coliseum all week or by calling (205) 348-BAMA (2262).


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