The Crimson Tide and Rebels will meet for the 362nd time in series history on Friday night

3/14/2019

TUSCALOOSA, AL
Alabama baseball will take to the road this weekend to begin Southeastern Conference play in Oxford, Miss., against the eighth-ranked Ole Miss Rebels. The two teams are set for a 6:30 p.m. CT first pitch in Friday's opener at Oxford-University Stadium before a 1:30 p.m. start on both Saturday and Sunday. All three games will air live on SEC Network+.

FOLLOW THE TIDE

Fans can follow this weekend's game via the below outlets:


Watch: SEC Network+
Listen: 102.9 FM / CTSN / TuneIn App
Twitter: @AlabamaBSB
Live Stats: OleMissSports.com

PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS

FRIDAY: UA Sam Finnerty (Sr., RHP) vs. UM Will Ethridge (Jr., RHP)
SATURDAY: UA Brock Love (R-Jr., RHP) vs. UM Zack Phillips (Jr., LHP)
SUNDAY: UA Wil Freeman (Jr., RHP) vs. UM Gunnar Hoglund (Fr., RHP)

LEADING OFF

Alabama and Ole Miss will meet for the 362nd time in series history when the two teams square off for the series opener on Friday night at Oxford-University Stadium. The Crimson Tide holds the all-time series advantage, 129-77-1, as well as the series lead in Oxford, 75-68-1, in the Tide's second-longest running SEC series behind only Vanderbilt.
The two conference foes last met for a series from May 17-19, 2018, in Tuscaloosa, with Ole Miss hanging on to a series win despite a game-two shutout by Jake Walters. The Crimson Tide came up short in the series opener against the fourth-ranked Rebels, 3-2. The two teams traded runs early, with the Rebels and Tide each scoring one run apiece in the second and fourth innings. The Rebels added a single tally in the sixth to move in front, 3-2, which would prove to be the difference in the contest. Game three featured another exchange of runs, but a three-run eighth secured a 10-8 win for Ole Miss.
Alabama resumes its three-man rotation from a weekend ago, using three right-handers against the Rebels. On Friday, senior Sam Finnerty will toe the rubber before redshirt junior Brock Love takes the hill on Saturday. The series will wrap up with Wil Freeman, a junior, getting the call for UA on getaway day.
Ole Miss will throw junior right-hander Will Ethridge to start the series on Friday before looking to fellow junior Zack Phillips, a lefty, on Saturday. The Rebels will close out the weekend with freshman righty Gunnar Hoglund in Sunday's matchup.

ABOUT ALABAMA

Alabama travels to Oxford this weekend riding a 12-game winning streak which is tied for the eighth-longest streak in program history and is the longest such streak for the Tide since 1999. The Crimson Tide swept Northern Kentucky last weekend, outscoring the Norse by a 34-6 margin, before a 2-0 shutout of Middle Tennessee on Tuesday at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.
Alabama recorded a season-high 18 hits on the way to a 15-1 victory over Northern Kentucky on Friday. The Crimson Tide totaled a season-high 18 hits on the way to a season-best 15 runs in the series opener with the Norse. Eleven different players recorded at least one hit with four posting multi-hit efforts.
The offense was led by junior Brett Auerbach, who finished a perfect 5-for-5 with two doubles, two runs scored and a team-high tying three RBI. The five-hit effort matched the Alabama program record for hits in a game and marked the 32nd five-hit game in Tide history.
Not to be outdone were the Crimson Tide pitchers. Sam Finnerty was sharp once again, tossing 7.0 innings of one-run baseball. The senior gave up five hits while striking out six to match his career-high total for punchouts as a starter. Finnerty was followed by Dylan Smith and Dylan Oliver who both recorded 1.0 frame with one strikeout apiece while holding NKU hitless. The trio of arms did not issue a walk on the day, the first time Alabama has done so in a game this season.
UA used a complete offensive effort 1-through-9 to down Northern Kentucky, 9-4, on Saturday. All nine Alabama hitters reached base safely on Saturday with seven of the nine recording at least one hit. The Tide also matched its season-high mark for walks with 10 and was hit by a season-leading four pitches. Eight of the nine starters also contributed at least one RBI while seven of the nine totaled at least one run scored. On the bases, the Tide was able to swipe three bases to match its season-high in that category, as well.
Starter Brock Love picked up his second win in as many outings with 5.0 frames of one-run baseball. The redshirt junior allowed four hits and a walk while striking out six before handing it over to the bullpen.
Alabama completed the series sweep of Northern Kentucky with a 10-1 win on Sunday afternoon. The Crimson Tide received a strong start from junior Wil Freeman. The right-hander allowed only one run on six hits and a walk with four strikeouts across a season-high 5.2 innings for the win.
The Tide's offense recorded only six hits in the series finale but was able to draw a season-high 12 walks. Juniors Morgan McCullough and Johnny Hawk joined sophomore Tyler Gentry in drawing a team-high two walks apiece. Hawk and Gentry each added two runs scored while Gentry and McCullough contributed one RBI apiece. Freshman T.J. Reeves led Alabama in hits with a 2-for-3 showing that included one RBI and a run while senior Keith Holcombe paced the team in RBI thanks to his bases-clearing, three-RBI double.
Alabama used five pitchers to combine for a 2-0 shutout of Middle Tennessee on Tuesday at The Joe. The Crimson Tide pitchers did not allow a walk or throw a wild pitch while the defense played an errorless game for a clean performance in the field. UA's arms combined for five strikeouts and threw 89 strikes across 121 total pitches in the shutout victory.
Freshman Tyler Ras got the start and turned it over to Smith out of the pen. The duo tossed 5.0 frames before redshirt junior Davis Vainer took over. Vainer followed with 2.0 dominant innings that included three punchouts for the win. One inning later, graduate Jeremy Randolph entered for the ninth, striking out the final batter for his third save in as many chances.
The Crimson Tide matched MTSU with six hits of its own, but Drew Williamson's two-out, two-RBI single in the sixth proved the difference in the game. Holcombe began the rally with a one-out single before junior John Trousdale put the pair in scoring position with a double to right. One out later, Williamson sent a single back up the middle on a 1-2 pitch to bring both runners in for the 2-0 advantage, the eventual final.

ABOUT OLE MISS

Mike Bianco is in his 19th season with the Rebels in 2019 and entered the new campaign with a career record of 710-412-1 in Oxford and an 810-483-1 overall mark across his 20 years as a collegiate head coach. Bianco is joined by assistant coaches Carl Lafferty and Mike Clement along with volunteer assistant coach Marc MacMillan.
Ole Miss returns 23 letterwinners, including seven positional starters and 11 pitchers, from the 2018 team that finished 48-17 overall and 18-12 in SEC action to finish tied for first in the West on the way to hosting an NCAA Regional in Oxford. The 2019 roster is without eight lettermen from a season ago, a number that includes two positional starters and five pitchers. The 2019 Rebel roster features 14 newcomers.
The Rebels were selected to finish second in the West and fifth overall in the SEC in the league's preseason poll, as voted on by the conference's head coaches.

ON DECK

Alabama returns home to Sewell-Thomas Stadium to begin a four-game homestand, first on Tuesday, March 19 against Maine. The Crimson Tide and Black Bears are scheduled for a 6 p.m. CT first pitch at The Joe with the game airing live on SEC Network+.


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RTR,

Diamond Tide