Decision on Tournament Starter to Wait

Alabama baseball Coach Jim Wells put off naming a starter for the Crimson Tide's Southeastern Conference opening game one more day Monday, saying he would take the afternoon to weigh his options on a starter and make an announcement on Tuesday.

SEC Tournament Bracket

"The question will be do you run out Jake (McCarter) and let him get a start," Wells said during the SEC tournament teleconference Monday. "In the past we've always brought in that 4th or 5th guy in for the first game. If we don't start him on the front or back end he'll be out of the pen or if you get in the loser's bracket in a regional."

Top-seeded Alabama plays No. 8 seed LSU at 5 p.m. Wednesday at the Hoover Met. Alabama made up two games on the final weekend of SEC play to share the regular season title with Kentucky.

"We had a nice weekend and it's nice to see our guys have an opportunity on Sunday and to see that we took advantage of it," Wells said. "After a lull we're starting to play a little better and that's encouraging not only for this tournament but for regionals."

McCarter was the mid-week starter for the Tide earlier in the season, and moved into the bullpen after the Tide's mid-week games ended. He has pitched well in limited work in the latter half of the season.

Wells considered starting McCarter in place of regular weekend starter Bernard Robert in last week's series opener against Tennessee, but he stuck with Robert, who pitched well. McCarter did not pitch in the series against Tennessee last week.

"Do you start him in game one or leave him in the pen?" Wells asked rhetorically, "or do you start him only if you get deep enough into the SEC tournament."

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