Baseball busy this weekend

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The University of Alabama baseball team does not open its regular season for two weeks, but the members of Coach Jim Wells' ninth UA baseball team will be quite busy this weekend.

The Crimson Tide will host three intra-squad games at Sewell-Thomas Stadium this weekend. The team will scrimmage today at 3 p.m., and again on Saturday (9 a.m.) and Sunday (2 p.m.).

In addition to the intra-squad games, the baseball team will be in the lobby of Coleman Coliseum prior to the Alabama-LSU men's basketball game (4 p.m. tipoff) meeting fans and distributing season ticket brochures, posters and schedule cards.

In addition, the 2002 SEC Western Division Champions and 2002 SEC Tournament Champions will be honored in a pre-game ceremony. The Crimson Tide posted a 51-15 record last year, the third-highest win total in school history. In SEC play, Alabama posted a 20-10 record en route to its 10th Western Division championship.

The Crimson Tide will open the 2003 season at the Astros College Classic, presented by the Houston Chronicle, at Minute Maid Park in Houston. The Crimson Tide will play Louisiana-Lafayette (Feb. 14), Houston (Feb. 15) and Rice (Feb. 16). All three games begin at 11 a.m. (CT).

Season tickets for the 2003 season are available through the Alabama Athletic Ticket Office by calling (205) 348-2262. The home opener is Wednesday, Feb. 19 against Centenary.

Alabama Notes:

  • Alabama will begin its 110th baseball season in two weeks as they play in the 2003 Astros College Classic, presented by the Houston Chronicle, at Minute Maid Park (Feb. 14-16)...
  • The Crimson Tide has compiled a 2,073-1,206-23 (.631) all-time record and ranks 17th on the NCAA Division I all-time win list...
  • Alabama is the defending SEC Western Division Champion and SEC Tournament Champion...
  • Sophomore left-hander Taylor Tankersley (8-5, 7 Saves, 2.62 ERA) was a third-team preseason All-American selection by the National Collegiate Baseball Writer's Association. Tankersley was also a preseason All-SEC pick by Baseball America...
  • Senior designated hitter Beau Hearod (.335, 12 HR, 54 RBI) was also a third-team preseason All-America pick by the NCBWA...
  • Freshman right-hander Allen Ponder (Lee-Scott Academy, Opelika) was listed among Baseball America's Fabulous 50 Freshman for 2003. Ponder posted a 12-0 record and 0.09 ERA last year as a prep senior, leading Lee-Scott Academy to the AISA State Championship. He was a 50th round draft pick by the Philadelphia Phillies...
  • Tankersley was listed among Baseball America's Fabulous 50 Sophomores for the 2003 season...
  • Three Alabama football players are members of the baseball team this spring, including freshman quarterback Brandon Avalos, sophomore quarterback Spencer Pennington and junior A-back Shaud Williams...
  • Pennington played last year for the Crimson Tide in a limited role...
  • Avalos was a standout baseball and football player at Tuscaloosa's Hillcrest High School...
  • Williams was a standout high school player and played one year at Texas Tech. Williams was drafted in the 13th round by the Atlanta Braves following his senior season in high school.

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