Alabama Baseball Moves Up In Polls

Alabama isn't threatening number one, but the Crimson Tide has moved solidly into all the major college baseball rankings this week after taking two of three games from Vanderbilt. The Commodores had been ranked in the nation's top 20 going into last week's series, while the Crimson Tide had been in the top 25 of a couple of polls.

The Alabama team of Coach Mitch Gaspard is off to the second-best 18-game start in school history and the pollsters are taking notice of the Crimson Tide, now at 16-2. Alabama is ranked in all five major polls this week, entering the Baseball America rankings for the first time this season at number 20.

The Crimson Tide had previously been ranked in the other four polls, but not in the top 20. This week Bama is 16th in both the Collegiate Baseball and USA Today/ESPN Coaches polls, 17th in Ping Baseball rankings, and 20th in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association ratings.

The Alabama baseball coaching staff has named junior catcher Brock Bennett and senior pitcher David Head as players of the week, following the Crimson Tide's series win over Vanderbilt.

A walk-on, Bennett had a superb week at the plate, leading Alabama with a .643 (9-for-14) average with five runs scored, one home run and four RBI. He played a vital role in the Tide's series win against No. 16 Vanderbilt by hitting a team-best .727 (8-for-11) against the Commodores with four runs scored and three RBI. At one point in the series, he had eight straight hits for the Tide. He also played a key role on defense behind the plate as he threw out all three Vanderbilt stolen base attempts.

Earlier in the week, Bennett went 1-for-3 with his first career home run and one RBI in the win over Minnesota. For the season, Bennett is hitting .433 (13-for-30) with one home run and six RBI. He has also scored 12 runs.

Head made two relief appearances last week in wins over Minnesota and Vanderbilt. For the week, he compiled a 1-0 record and a 0.00 ERA. He worked five innings and allowed three hits, with six strikeouts and two walks. He retired 15 of the 20 batters he faced and stranded all three inherited runners.

He was the winning pitcher in the Crimson Tide's 5-4 come-from-behind win over the Golden Gophers on March 16. Head worked 2 2/3 innings and allowed one hit with four strikeouts and one walk. He retired eight of the 10 batters faced.

Head worked 2 1/3 scoreless innings in the Tide's series-clinching win over No. 16 Vanderbilt on March 20. He allowed one hit, struck out two and walked one.

For the season, Head is 1-0 with one save and a 0.00 ERA in six relief appearances. He had not allowed a run in 11 innings of work and has stranded all three inherited runners.

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