Diamond Notes : Las Vegas Trip on Deck for Alabama as the Crimson Tide Travels to UNLV

Diamond Tide

Baseball Moderator
The Crimson Tide and Rebels will square off for the seventh time in series history on Friday night

2/20/2020

TUSCALOOSA, AL –
Alabama baseball will take to the road for the first time this season, traveling to Las Vegas, Nev., to take on UNLV for a three-game series from Friday through Sunday. The series opener between the Crimson Tide and Rebels is set for an 8:05 p.m. CT start followed by a 4:05 p.m. first pitch on Saturday. The weekend wraps up on Sunday at 12:05 p.m. All three games can be viewed through UNLV's YouTube channel.

Follow the Tide

Fans can follow the weekend series via the below outlets:

Watch: N/A
Listen: 100.9 FM / CTSN / TuneIn App
Twitter: @AlabamaBSB
Live Stats: UNLVRebels.com

Probable Starting Pitching Matchups

FRIDAY: UAConnor Prielipp (Fr., LHP) vs. UNLV – Ryan Hare (R-Sr., RHP)
SATURDAY: UAConnor Shamblin (So., RHP) vs. UNLV – Chase Maddux (R-Sr., RHP)
SUNDAY: UAAntoine Jean (Fr., LHP) vs. UNLV – Josh Sharman (Fr., LHP)

Leading Off

• Alabama and UNLV will meet for the seventh time in series history when the two teams square off for their series-opening matchup on Friday night in Las Vegas. UNLV holds the all-time series advantage, 2-4, with the two teams splitting their respective series. The Crimson Tide came away with a 2-1 series win from March 11-13, 1986, before being swept from March 15-17, 1988.
• The Crimson Tide has faced three of the eight member-schools of the Mountain West Conference in program history, going 7-4 in the combined meetings. Alabama has paired with Nevada on three occasions (3-0), New Mexico on two occasions (2-0) and UNLV six times (2-4). UA has never met Air Force, Boise State, Fresno State, San Diego State or San José
• Alabama will continue with its starting rotation from last weekend. The series will open on Friday with freshman left-hander Connor Prileipp on the hill. Sophomore Connor Shamblin, a righty, will follow on Saturday before things wrap up for the Tide with southpaw Antoine Jean, a freshman, getting the nod against the Rebels on Sunday.
• UNLV will look to a pair of redshirt senior righties to start the weekend, first with Ryan Hare on Friday followed by Chase Maddux on Saturday. The Rebels will close out the series with a freshman on the hill in Josh Sharman, a left-hander.

About Alabama

• Alabama heads to Las Vegas following a midweek win over Alabama State on Wednesday night. Prior to the in-state pairing, UA finished a perfect 3-0 on Opening Weekend, sweeping the Northeastern Huskies. The Tide outscored NU, 24-3, and totaled 36 hits across the three-game stretch, Alabama's most in a series since Feb. 23-24, 2018.
• A pair of four-run innings helped Alabama secure the 10-3 win over Alabama State on Wednesday.
• The Crimson Tide jumped out to a four-run lead after one inning, added two in the third and then piled on four more in the bottom of the eighth to lock down the midweek victory. The offense combined to score a season-high tying 10 runs on eight hits and six walks, led by the Tide's 5-6-7 hitters in junior Tyler Gentry and freshmen Owen Diodati and Zane Denton. The group combined for five of UA's eight hits in addition to contributing five RBI and three runs scored.
• Reliever Dylan Smith got the win out of the bullpen with 2.0 scoreless frames that included two strikeouts vs. ASU.
• The arms matched the bats for UA, allowing just 13 hits. That total was the fewest in a three-game series since 2015 when Alabama pitchers allowed just 11 hits over the weekend against Maryland Eastern Shore from Feb. 13-15.
• Alabama blanked NU, 10-0, on Friday night at Sewell-Thomas Stadium thanks to major contributions from the Crimson Tide's freshmen. UA's offense rallied for 10 runs on 12 hits and nine walks. Diodati shined, as the freshman notched two home runs to go with a team-high three RBI and four runs scored. He also added a pair of walks to his line.
• On the mound, freshman Connor Prielipp, redshirt freshman Landon Green and sophomores Tyler Ras and Dylan Smith combined to blank the Huskies. Prielipp got the win, tossing 4.0 innings of one-hit baseball with seven strikeouts. Ras followed with 3.0 innings while Green and Smith each worked one frame to secure the victory. The group totaled 11 strikeouts while allowing just four hits on the afternoon.
• Another day of impressive pitching, combined with big offensive innings, led UA to an 8-0 shutout of the Huskies on Saturday. Connor Shamblin was solid in his first start of 2020, tossing 5.0 innings and striking out five. The sophomore was followed by Casey Cobb, with the senior contributing 2.0 scoreless frames and three punchouts before turning the ball over to redshirt junior Garret Rukes for one and junior Brock Guffey for a final clean frame.
• The offense struck early for five runs across the first two frames. Alabama added insurance late with two in the seventh and one in the eight to help secure the victory. The Tide bats totaled 12 hits, led by three-hit efforts from Gentry and Sam Praytor. Gentry, a junior, finished 3-for-4 with a team-high tying two RBI and paced UA in runs scored with a pair. Praytor contributed a 3-for-5 effort that included an RBI and one run scored by the redshirt sophomore.
• The Huskies got to Antoine Jean early on Sunday, but the freshman then settled in, retiring nine of the final 11 batters he faced before exiting the game in line for the win in a game that finished in a 6-3 score. Jean recorded 4.0 innings of work, allowing four hits and three runs (two earned) with a walk and two strikeouts for the win.
• Sophomores Jacob McNairy and Chase Lee followed to combine for 5.0 shutout frames, allowing one hit between the two with each pitcher striking out four batters apiece. Lee worked the final 2.0 to pick up his first career save.
• Alabama's bats tallied 12 hits for a third straight game. The Crimson Tide offense was led once again by Diodati. He finished a perfect 3-for-3 and a double short of the cycle. Diodati added a team-high three RBI and two runs. Fellow freshman Jim Jarvis, along with senior Brett Auerbach, also contributed multi-hit efforts with two knocks apiece. Auerbach's line included a double and a home run to go with an RBI, two runs scored, a pair of walks and a stolen base.
• Alabama returns 20 letterwinners while losing 13 from the 2019 squad. The 2020 Crimson Tide welcomes back six positional starters and 11 total pitchers while hosting 16 newcomers.

About UNLV

• The Rebels are coming off a 2019 campaign that finished at 29-29 overall and 14-16 in Mountain West play. The Rebels advanced to the Mountain West's postseason tournament, going 2-2 to end the 2019 season.
• Stan Stolte is in his fourth season as head coach for the UNLV Rebels. A 1984 graduate of St. Ambrose University, Stolte is joined by associate head coach Kevin Higgins and assistant coach Cory Vanderhook. He is also assisted by volunteer assistant coach and MLB Hall of Famer Greg Maddux.
• UNLV was selected to finish fourth overall in the Mountain West Conference's preseason poll, as voted on by the league's head coaches.

On Deck

Alabama will return home to start an extended 10-game homestand, first with a pair of midweeks on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Crimson Tide will host UT-Martin on Tuesday, Feb. 25 before Middle Tennessee heads to town the next day on Wednesday. Both contests are slated for a 3 p.m. CT start at Sewell-Thomas Stadium with the games airing live on SEC Network+.


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