Tide Riding Inside Tournament Bubble

In taking two out of three from South Caronlina with an incredible Sunday comeback, the Alabama baseball team remained a step ahead of five other teams all vying for spots in the Southeastern Conference Tournament May 23-27.

The top eight teams in the SEC make the tournament, regardless of division. Alabama is a half game ahead of both LSU and Kentucky, who tied one another in their series thanks to a travel curfew that ended the game. If the tournament began today, Kentucky would be in ahead of LSU because it won the head-to-head series 2-0.

Alabama will play Mississippi Valley State Tuesday night at Sewell-Thomas Stadium, and will travel to Gainesville, Florida to take on the Gators this weekend.


SEC West SEC Record GB Remaining Schedule
*Arkansas 15-6 - LSU, @ALA, OM
*Ole Miss 12-9 3 @UT, UKY, @ARK
*Mississippi State 10-9 4 AU, @UGA, ALA
*Alabama 10-11 5 @FLA, ARK, @MSU
LSU 9-11-1 5.5 @ARK, FLA, @VU,
Auburn 7-14 8 @MSU, VU, @UKY

SEC East SEC Record GB Remaining Schedule
*Vanderbilt 15-6 - @UGA, @AU, LSU
*South Carolina 11-10 4 UK, @UT, UGA
*Florida 10-11 5 ALA, @LSU, UT
*Kentucky 9-11-1 5.5 @USC, @OM, AU
Tennessee 9-14 6 OM, USC, @FLA
Georgia 7-14 8 VU, MSU, @USC

*Would qualify for SEC Tournament if it started today.


Alex Avila capped a strong week with a monster game against No. 4 South Carolina on Sunday, April 29 as the Crimson Tide took two of three from the visiting Gamecocks. Avila went 3-for-5 with two home runs and six RBI in the series-clinching win, including the game-winning three-run home run with two outs in the seventh inning off Jeff Jeffords. Avila is batting .310 (54-for-174) with 10 home runs and 42 RBI.

Junior left-handed pitcher Will Stroup picked up a win and a save in the Crimson Tide's SEC series win against No. 4 South Carolina this weekend in Tuscaloosa, picking up the series clinching win on his 21st birthday. Stroup appeared in two games against South Carolina and went 1-0 with one save and a 2.50 ERA. He allowed three runs and eight hits in 10 2/3 innings with five walks and five strikeouts.

In relief, Stroup pitched a career-high 7 2/3 innings in the win. He allowed three runs and seven hits, with five walks and four strikeouts. Stroup entered the game with a 6-0 deficit with two outs in the first inning and after allowing one inherited runner to score, Stroup allowed only three more runs as UA fell behind 10-2 in the third inning. He blanked the Gamecocks over the final 6 1/3 innings and did not allowed a hit in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings.

The Alabama bullpen has stranded 30 of its last 36 inherited runners, including 22 of its last 24 since April 7. Senior right-handed pitcher Patrick Kelly returned to the mound against Samford last week after a seven-week absence. Kelly stranded two inherited runners in 1 2/3 inning stint against the Bulldogs.

Junior RHP Josh Copeland recorded his fourth save of the year in the series finale against South Carolina when he struck out Trent Jones and got Trent Kline to ground out to end the game with the tying run on third base. Copeland has stranded 11 of his last 12 inherited runners dating back to April 7.
- UA Media Relations

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