Bama Back Home for MVSU

Alabama, ranked as high as 12th in this week's polls, makes its return to Sewell-Thomas Stadium hosting Mississippi Valley State Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m. after a seven-game road swing that produced a 4-3 record.

"It's been a long road trip," Alabama Coach Jim Wells said. "It's very good to be home instead of playing in Hammond, (Louisiana, home of Southeastern Louisiana where Alabama played last Wednesday night.)

Valley was 20-19 overall before a Tuesday night game at Belhaven (Mississippi) College. Alabama is 27-12 overall and 10-5 in the Southeastern Conference.

MVSU won't necessarily be a mid-week pushover for the Tide, however. They have won nine of their last 10 games, and are expected to try to run at every opportunity against Alabama.

Valley players has stolen 148 bases this season and have been just 23 times. By comparison, Alabama has 38 stolen bases in 55 attempts.

The Delta Devils will play five games on the road this week, beginning with Tuesday night's game at Belhaven College. MVSU comes to Tuscaloosa on Wednesday night before moving on to Montgomery for a three-game SWAC series with Alabama State this weekend.

Jake McCarter is the scheduled Wednesday night starter for Alabama as he has done for the past three mid-week games. Wells said Tuesday, however, that he wasn't sure if he would try to split up the game among several pitchers or let McCarter go as long as he can.

"We're trying to get McCarter better where we can put him into the game on weekends," Wells said, "but he's been having to throw 70 pitches just so we can win the mid-week game… All of these mid-week games seem to be difficult, one-run games."

The MVSU game will also mark Alabama's final non-conference home game. The Crimson Tide will play its final non-SEC game next Wednesday, April 26 against the UAB Blazers at the Hoover Met.

Bama begins the second half of SEC play on Friday with a home series against Vanderbilt. Alabama is 10-5 with a two-game lead on Arkansas in the SEC West. Vanderbilt is also 10-5 in league play a game behind South Carolina in the East.

Vanderbilt played at Middle Tennessee Tuesday and lost, 13-8.

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