Junior Pitchers UA Players Of Week

Following back-to-back complete-game wins over No. 14 Mississippi, Alabama junior right-handers Jimmy Nelson and Nathan Kilcrease have been named players of the week by the Crimson Tide coaching staff, head coach Mitch Gaspard announced Monday afternoon.

Nelson and Kilcrease combined for the first back-to-back complete games for the Crimson Tide since the 2006 season. Bernard Robert and Tommy Hunter threw back-to-back complete games at No. 1 South Carolina on April 9, 2006, as Alabama swept a double header against the Gamecocks.

"Jimmy and Peanut gave us two solid outings on the mound," Alabama Coach Mitch Gaspard said. "They are both very good competitors and our team believes in them. Jimmy was outstanding as he matched zeroes with (Mississippi starter Aaron) Barrett, who had a no-hitter in the seventh inning. Peanut brings a lot of energy and enthusiasm to the mound and our team feeds off that energy."

Nelson held the Rebels to one run and four hits with a career-high 11 strikeouts and two walks in Saturday's 4-1 win. He blanked Mississippi through the first seven innings, matching zeroes with UM right-hander Aaron Barrett, who took a no-hitter into the seventh inning. Nelson threw 127 pitches to record Alabama's first complete game of the 2010 season and the first by a Crimson Tide pitcher since Del Howell beat No. 28 Vanderbilt 7-3 on April 18, 2009 in Nashville. The 11 strikeouts matched his career high set previously against College of Charleston on March 6, 2010.

The Niceville, Fla., native has compiled a 6-2 record and 4.17 ERA in 13 starts. He recorded 73 strikeouts in 77 innings and been involved in both shutouts. Nelson is eighth in the SEC in strikeouts (73), ninth in innings pitched (77.2) and 12th in opponent's batting average (.257).

Kilcrease recorded his first career complete game the following day, as the Tide posted a series-clinching 6-3 win on Sunday. He held the Rebels to three runs (two earned) on five hits with seven strikeouts and two walks. He retired 11 of the last 12 batters he faced, including the last nine in a row. He opened the game and did not allow a hit for the first 3 2/3 innings.

The Phenix City native is 5-2 with a 2.44 ERA in 29 appearances this season. He leads the SEC in appearances (29), fewest hits (44), fewest runs allowed (19) and fewest earned runs allowed (17). He also ranks second in opponent's batting average (.199) and third in ERA (2.44).

Alabama closes out the 2010 regular season with a three-game series at Tennessee, beginning Thursday in Knoxville.

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