Big Week for Bama Baseball

The Alabama baseball team faces its toughest week thusfar in the season, starting with its first game away from Sewell-Thomas Stadium on Tuesday night against Southern Miss in Pearl, Mississippi.

Alabama (12-2), ranked as high as 13th in polls, will play Southern Miss (10-2) at Trustmark Park, home of the AA Mississippi Braves, at 7 p.m.

The Crimson Tide will return home to host Tennessee Tech on Wednesday night and then will face top ten ranked Nebraska in a three game series beginning Friday at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.

Senior Bernard Robert will pitch Tuesday night for Alabama. Robert is 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA in three appearances this season. He has worked 10 innings and allowed six hits and two earned runs, with three walks and seven strikeouts, and posted wins last week against UAB and McNeese State.

For Southern Miss, freshman right-hander Todd McInnis will start on the mound. McInnis is 2-0 with 2.08 ERA in two starts this season.

Alabama has won its last six games, including its first of the year in extra innings when freshman Jake Smith drove in senior Emeel Salem in the 10th inning to give Alabama a 4-3 win over McNeese State.

Alabama is hitting .344 (173 for 503) through 14 games with 13 home runs and 106 RBI, and is averaging 8.4 runs and 12.4 hits through the first 14 games. Six men in Alabama's lineup have a batting average above .380. Sophomore Kent Matthes is pacing the Alabama offense, leading the team in average, home runs and runs batted in. He is batting .426 (23 for 54) with four home runs and 20 RBIs.

The Bama pitching staff has a 2.56 ERA through 14 games. The staff has worked 103 innings and allowed 102 hits, 44 runs and 37 earned runs, with 33 walks and 134 strikeouts. Opponents are batting only .213.

Alabama's pitching staff is still without Brandon Belcher, who pitched five innings in the season-opening weekend before leaving with pain in his arm. Belcher was expected to be a regular weekend starter for Alabama, and is still hopeful of returing to the mound soon.

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