Baseball notebook

The Alabama Crimson Tide baseball team plays five games this week, beginning with Tuesday's 6:30 p.m. meeting with the Belmont Bruins at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. It will be the first-ever meeting between Alabama and Belmont.

In addition to Tuesday's game with Belmont, Alabama will host Birmingham Southern on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. before entertaining the UMass Minutemen this weekend at the Joe. The Crimson Tide has had only one day off since last Thursday, playing four games in consecutive games against Miss. Valley State and Rhode Island. At the conclusion of the UMass series, Alabama will have played nine games in 11 calendar days (Feb. 27-March 9). Since the beginning of the SE Missouri State series, Alabama will have played 12 games in 16 days, dating back to Feb. 23rd.

The Records

Alabama (8-3) had its five-game winning streak snapped with a 7-6 loss to Rhode Island on Sunday afternoon. Belmont (5-0) is undefeated on the young season, which includes a 1-0 victory over Vanderbilt. The Alabama game will mark just the fifth game in the last 18 days for the Bruins.

The Coaches

Alabama's Jim Wells is in his ninth season at the Capstone, compiling a 379-155 (.710) record at the helm of the Crimson Tide. Overall, Wells is 571-244 (.701) in his 14th season as a Division I head coach today. Belmont head coach Dave Jarvis is 135-123-1 (.523) in his sixth season in Nashville. Overall, Jarvis has compiled a 459-275-1 (.625) record in 15 years as a head coach.

Last Time Out

Alabama spotted a Rhode Island a 7-1 lead and nearly pulled off the improbable comeback before falling 7-6 to the Rams in the final game of the series this past Sunday. Trailing 7-1 entering the ninth inning, Alabama scored five runs to pull to within a run before Travis Garner flied out to right field to end the game. Freshman catcher Charlie Lyons' three-run home run closed the margin to one run in the inning. The two-out home run was Lyons' first career home run and RBI for the Crimson Tide. URI led 5-0 entering the bottom of the sixth and added two key insurance runs in the ninth for its first win over season. Garner had two doubles and was the only UA player with more than one hit.

Next Game

Alabama will host Birmingham Southern on Wednesday, March 5 at 6:30 p.m. here at the Joe.

Overall Record: 8-3 (.727)

Last Week's Results: 4-1 (.800)

Feb, 24 Alabama 9, SE Missouri State 4
Feb. 27 Alabama 21, Mississippi Valley State 0
Feb. 28 Alabama 9, Rhode Island 2
Mar. 1 Alabama 9, Rhode Island 1
Mar. 2 Rhode Island 7, Alabama 6

This Week's Schedule

Mar. 4 Belmont at Alabama (6:30 PM)
Mar. 5 Birmingham Southern at Alabama (6:30 PM)
Mar. 7 UMass at Alabama (6:30 PM)
Mar. 8 UMass at Alabama (4 PM)

Player of the Week Nomination

1B Zac Welch (Sophomore, 6-3, 225, Wellington, Ala.)
  • Appeared in four games last week for Alabama and bated .600 (9-for-15) with one home run and five RBI to lead the Alabama offense. Also added two doubles and scored five runs.
  • Hit safely in all four games to extend his team-best and career-high hitting streak to nine straight games, including every game he has played this season.
  • In the weekend series with Rhode Island, Welch batted .636 (7-for-11) with three runs scored, two doubles, one home run and five RBI.
  • He enjoyed the best game of his Alabama career in the series opener, when he tallied a career-high four hits and matched his career best with three RBI.
  • His eighth inning home run was his first of the season and second of his career, giving UA a 9-2 lead.
  • Also has at least one RBI in a season-high three straight games for Alabama.
  • In nine games, Welch is Alabama's leading hitter with a .455 (15-for-33) clip with one home run and eight RBI. In addition, he has nine runs, four doubles and a .667 slugging percentage. He also leads the team with 15 hits.

Pitcher of the Week Nomination

LHP Brent Carter (Sophomore, 6-3, 195, Americus, Georgia)
  • Carter tossed seven strong innings in the Crimson Tide's 9-1 win over Rhode Island on Mar. 1, totally dominating the Rams lineup.
  • The left-hander allowed one unearned run and two singles in seven innings for his second consecutive win. He added six strikeouts and walked one batter.
  • Carter allowed only three base runners in the game, including a two-out single in the first and a one-out single in the seventh inning.
  • With the win over Rhode Island, Carter has won his last three starts at home, dating back to last year.
  • For the season, Carter is 2-1 with a 1.69 ERA in four appearances, including three starts. He has worked a team-high 21 1/3 innings and allowed four earned runs and 14 hits. In addition, he has 20 strikeouts and only three walks.
  • Opponents are batting just .187 against the left-hander this season.

Baseball Notebook

  • Alabama played five games last week and plays five more games this week to complete the busiest portion of its schedule this season. By the end of this week, Alabama will have played nine games in 11 days since Feb. 27 and 12 games in 16 days, dating back to Feb. 23rd.
  • Sophomore first baseman Zac Welch enters the week with a team-best and career-high nine-game hitting streak. He has hit safely in all nine games he has played this year.
  • Junior shortstop Adam Pavkovich has hit safely in eight straight games for Alabama.
  • Senior right field Beau Hearod leads the Alabama team with six home runs, 22 RBI and 1.000 slugging percentage through 11 games. Hearod saw his season-high seven-game hitting streak end Sunday against Rhode Island as well as his career-high seven-game RBI streak.
  • Alabama committed six errors in its 9-4 win over SE Missouri State (Feb. 24), the most in a game since a loss to LSU in 1998.
  • Alabama defeated Miss. Valley State 21-0 last Thursday night, the sixth largest margin of victory in school history via a shutout. The Crimson Tide also beat the Delta Devils 19-0 last year in Tuscaloosa.
  • Junior right-hander Seth Johnson threw six shutout innings in his first career start against the Valley, allowing two singles and striking out six for his first career win.
  • Redshirt freshman Dewayne Marlowe also made his debut in the win over MVSU, tossing three scoreless innings, allowing one hit and striking out one batter for his first career save with three effective innings of relief.
  • The duo combined on the first three-hitter at UA since B.J. Green and Landon Brazell limited Jacksonville State to three hits in a 17-0 win in 2001.
  • The combined shutout was also the first at Alabama since Jeffrey Norris and Brazell blanked the Valley 19-0 last year.
  • Alabama batted .303 (30-for-99) in the Rhode Island series, but managed only six hits in Sunday's loss. For the weekend, Alabama hit four home runs and drove in 19 runs. The pitching staff posted a 1.67 ERA in the three-game series, despite allowing seven runs on Sunday. For the weekend, the pitchers worked 27 innings and allowed five earned runs and 22 hits, with 37 strikeouts and five walks.
  • In the last 54 innings on the mound, Alabama pitchers have walked only six batters. In addition, they have three games this season with no walks and five games with one walk or less.
  • Alabama won both series with SE Missouri State and Rhode Island this past week and has won all 24 non-conference weekend series at home under Jim Wells. The last time Alabama failed to win a non-conference home series was to Notre Dame in 1994.
  • Alabama pitchers recorded 37 strikeouts in the Rhode Island series, including three straight double-figure strikeout games for the first time since the 2000 season.
  • Alabama had 15 strikeouts in the series opener with the Rams, including a career-high 11 by starter Taylor Tankersley.
  • (The 15 strikeouts were the most by Alabama since recording 15 strikeouts against Niagara on Mar. 5, 1999. Tankersley's 11 strikeouts were the most by an Alabama pitcher since Lance Cormier struck out 11 Tennessee batters in a 9-0 win at the Hormel Foods Classic on Mar. 1 in Minneapolis.
  • In Alabama's 9-1 win over Rhode Island on Mar. 1, the Crimson Tide was hit seven times by pitches, establishing the school record. The previous record was four HBPs set against Morehead State (1992), Houston (1998) and UAB (2001). Five different players were hit by pitches, including Allen Rice (2), Al Hecklinski (2), Adam Pavkovich (1), Zac Welch (1) and Gabe Scott (1). All three URI pitchers hit at least one batter, led by starter Mike Harris, who hit a URI record five batters.
  • The loss to Rhode Island on Sunday snapped Alabama's season-high five-game winning streak.
  • Alabama has lost two non-conference home games this season, equaling the number of regular-season losses at the Joe last season. Alabama fashioned a 32-2 regular-season home record in 2002 and went 35-4 including all post-season games last year in Tuscaloosa.

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