Streaking Bama Hosts Troy Tuesday
This will be the second meeting of the season between the two in-state rivals. Troy posted a 6-2 win over Alabama at Pace-Riddle Field in Troy on March 3. Alabama and Troy split a home-and-home series last season, with the Crimson Tide posting an 8-2 win over the Trojans on March 5, 2008 in Tuscaloosa.
Alabama (20-10, 6-6 SEC) is coming off a three-game sweep of Tennessee this past weekend in Tuscaloosa. Bama gets back to SEC play this weekend hosting LSU.
The Crimson Tide leads the Southeastern Conference in a number of offensive categories, including batting average (.340), slugging percentage (.595), on-base percentage (.422), hits (364), doubles (74), RBI (256), total bases (638) and plate appearances (1,268). The Tide ranks second in the league in runs scored (274), home runs (62) and at-bats (1,072).
Freshman left-fielder Taylor Dugas (.437, 2 HR, 19 RBI) continues to be one of the SEC's hottest hitters this season. He is riding a 20-game hitting streak and he leads the SEC with 52 hits this season. In addition, he ranks second in the league in hitting (.437), second in doubles (14), third in runs scored (39) and eighth in on-base percentage (.481), total bases (76) and at-bats (118).
Senior right fielder Kent Matthes (.394, 17 HR, 47 RBI) continues to lead the nation in home runs. He has homered in 14 of his 28 games this season and hit one home run against 11 of the Tide's 15 opponents. He will be making his 150th career start on Tuesday night against Troy.
Junior third baseman Jake Smith (.366, 9 HR, 25 RBI) has hit safely in 19 of his last 21 games, which included a career-best 10-game hitting streak from March 15-April 1. Smith's nine home runs are also a career high.
Sophomore second baseman Ross Wilson (.351, 7 HR, 30 RBI) has hit safely in nine of his last 11 games. He has also homered in five of his last seven SEC games.
Alabama's pitching staff held Tennessee to a .170 batting average over the weekend. The staff worked 27 innings in the three-game series and recorded 26 strikeouts and two walks.
The Tide did not make an error in the Tennessee series and has played four straight errorless SEC games. For the season, the Tide is third in the league in fielding (.971) and has played 16 errorless games.
Troy (18-12, 7-5 Sun Belt) swept a road series at Arkansas State over the weekend. The Trojans are led offensively by junior first baseman Ryan Ditthardt, who is hitting .365 with seven home runs and 39 RBI. The Trojans are also paced by Demopolis native Bart Pettus' .310 batting average.
Alabama is expected to start junior left-hander David Head (9 G, 0-3, 11.00 ERA), but expects to use three or four pitchers on Tuesday. Troy will counter with junior right-hander Tim Wheeler (6 G, 2-2, 6.75 ERA).
Tuesday night is "Dollar Day" and "Family Night" at the Joe. All general admission tickets are one dollar and families can purchase four tickets, four hot dogs, four bags of chips and four drinks for $20.
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