Tide Vs. Tigers In Baseball Action

Alabama vs. Auburn is important, but a look at the starting pitchers shows that Southeastern Conference action is just around the corner. Bama and the Tigers will meet in a game that doesn't count in SEC standings Tuesday night in Montgomery, and both sides are starting mid-week pitchers.

For the first time since the 1996 season, Alabama and Auburn will play a non-conference baseball game when the teams meet in the Capital City Classic at Riverwalk Stadium in Montgomery at 7 p.m. CDT Tuesday. A limited number of lawn seats, priced at $15 each, are available.

Alabama will start junior left-hander David Head, who has appeared in four games and has a 0-2 record and 6.75 earned run average. Auburn will counter with senior right-hander Paul Burnside (two games, 0-0 record, 4.35 ERA).

SEC play opens this weekend. Alabama will be hosting Georgia Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The Tide has a second mid-week game Wednesday when Bama hosts Samford in Tuscaloosa at 6:30 p.m. CDT.

Alabama Coach Jim Wells will coach his 900th game as the Tide skipper against the Tigers. In addition, Wells is four wins shy of becoming the sixth coach in SEC history to win 600 games. He is in his 15th season as Alabama head coach and has compiled a 596-303 record.

There's reason to expect a high-scoring game. Alabama senior right fielder Kent Matthes leads the nation with nine home runs as Alabama has built a 9-2 record. Matthes is batting .442 with 22 runs batted in.

Auburn leads the SEC and is second in the nation with 29 home runs. Alabama is third in the SEC and eighth nationally with 21 home runs.

Right behind Matthes in the national home run race are two Auburn players. The Tigers, 9-4 on the season, have gotten seven home runs from Joseph Sanders and six from Trent Mummey.

Alabama has gotten at least one home run from 10 different players this week, but other than Matthes no Tider has more than two homers. Bama has homered in all 11 games this season, the most to begin the season in the Wells era.

Brandon May is coming off his best play of the year. The junior designated hitter went 6-8 as Alabama won the Whataburger College Classic in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Alabama leads the all-time series with Auburn, 138-112. Bama won two of three games against the Tigers last year.

Wells said, " We are getting better. We certainly played better the last two or three games. We pitched a lot of guys and just got better as a team."

He called Auburn "a very good team. They hit a lot of home runs and are hitting the ball a lot better. They are a much better offensive team."

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