Diamond Notes : Weekend at Home for Bama as the Tide Welcomes Fifth-Ranked Vanderbilt

Diamond Tide

Baseball Moderator
The Crimson Tide and Commodores will meet for the 161st time in series history on Friday night

4/18/2019

TUSCALOOSA, AL –
Alabama baseball returns home this weekend to Sewell-Thomas Stadium for a three-game series with fifth-ranked Vanderbilt. The Crimson Tide and Commodores begin the weekend with a 6 p.m. CT first pitch on Friday followed by an 8 p.m. start on Saturday. Things will wrap up on Sunday with the two teams slated for 1 p.m. on getaway day. The bookend matchups of the series will air live on SEC Network+ with game No. 2 being broadcast nationally by SEC Network.

This weekend at The Joe will feature numerous promotions when the Vanderbilt Commodores come to town. Games two and three of the series will be Alabama's "Academic Achievement Day". Local students at participating schools can use their issued promo code to redeem two free ticket vouchers that can be exchanged at the stadium for a pair of free tickets to the Saturday or Sunday matchup.

Sunday's series finale will also resume the Tide's "Kids' Day at The Joe" promotion. All kids 18-and-under can purchase a $5 general admission ticket. Children 12-and-under will also have the chance to take part in an Egg Race postgame. The holiday event will feature eggs scattered throughout the infield for kids 5-and-under while the outfield grass will be open to fans 6-12 years of age to take part in the race.

FOLLOW THE TIDE

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


Watch: SEC Network+ (Friday | Sunday) / SEC Network (Saturday)
Listen: 102.9 FM / CTSN / TuneIn App
Twitter: @AlabamaBSB
Live Stats: RollTide.com

PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS

FRIDAY: UA – Sam Finnerty (Sr., RHP) vs. VU – Drake Fellows (Jr., RHP)
SATURDAY: UA – Brock Love (R-Jr., RHP) vs. VU – Kumar Rocker (Fr., RHP)
SUNDAY: UA – TBA vs. VU – TBA

LEADING OFF

• Alabama and Vanderbilt will meet for the 161st time in history when the two teams square off for the opener on Friday night at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. The Crimson Tide holds the all-time series advantage, 95-62-3, including a 63-31-2 mark at home. The series with Vanderbilt is the Tide's longest-standing series against an SEC opponent, dating back to 1893 - Alabama baseball's second year in existence.
• The two league foes last met from May 18-20, 2017, in Nashville, with Vandy securing the series win in the first two games before the finale ended in a tie. In game three, the Tide held a 2-0 lead after two frames before the 'Dores scored a run in the sixth. Both teams tallied one run apiece in the seventh with VU tying things up on an Alabama balk in the eighth. Following the final out of that eighth, the umpires cleared the field with the threat of severe thunderstorms in the distance. The game was delayed for nearly two hours before it was eventually decided in a tie to close out the regular season.
• Alabama continues with its regular weekend starters for games one and two with a pair of right-handers in senior Sam Finnerty for the opener followed by Brock Love, a redshirt junior, on Saturday. Sunday's starter is still to be announced.
• Vanderbilt will also send a pair of right-handers to the hill to start the series. Junior Drake Fellows will toe the rubber on Friday followed by freshman Kumar Rocker in Saturday's pairing. The Commodore starter for Sunday is still to be announced.

ABOUT ALABAMA

• Alabama enters this weekend at 1-3 across the last four games. The Crimson Tide fell in three games over the weekend at fifth-ranked Mississippi State before rallying back for a 3-2 win at UAB on Tuesday evening in Birmingham.
• The Tide came up short in a 6-0 loss to Mississippi State on Friday evening at Dudy Noble Field. The Bulldogs built a lead early with four runs in the second. State added two more in the seventh to put things out of reach. Alabama loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the third but was unable to get on the board. The Crimson Tide had other opportunities throughout the night but could not battle back.
• Sam Finnerty suffered the loss despite another solid outing. The senior allowed four runs on nine hits while striking out four across his 6.0 innings and 86 pitches of work. He gave up a home run in the fourth, but steadied himself after that, retiring the next 12 in order until a pair of singles broke the streak in the sixth.
• Alabama suffered a 9-1 loss to State on Saturday afternoon. Two runs in the fourth with one in the fifth gave Mississippi State a 3-0 lead. The Crimson Tide was able to rally back for one in the seventh to cut the deficit to two, but a five-spot in the home half of the seventh and one more in the eighth gave the Bulldogs the series-clinching win on Saturday.
• For the second day in a row, the Tide received a solid outing from its starter, and, once again, Alabama's starter suffered the loss. Brock Love was on the losing end of Saturday's matchup, allowing three runs on three hits and three walks in 4.0-plus frames. The redshirt junior struck out four across his 79 pitches of work.
• Sunday saw the Tide fall to the Bulldogs, 13-3. Alabama was able to collect 11 hits compared to State's 17 but could not match the Bulldogs in runs. Seven of the nine starters recorded at least one knock with freshman T.J. Reeves, sophomore Tyler Gentry and junior Johnny Hawk each contributing two hits apiece. Hawk added a solo home run, his third of the season, to go with an RBI and a run scored.
• Alabama completed the 2019 series sweep of UAB with a 3-2 win at Regions Field in Birmingham on Tuesday night. The Crimson Tide pitchers combined for an impressive performance on the mound. Alabama used five arms to scatter seven UAB hits and allow two earned runs.
• Garret Rukes collected the win against the Blazers with 2.0 scoreless frames, allowing only one hit while striking out one. The redshirt sophomore entered with one on and proceeded to face the minimum, using a 6-4-3 double play in the seventh to cap off his night. Graduate Jeremy Randolph secured his sixth save of the season, working the final inning.
• The Tide's freshman duo of Reeves and Drew Williamson each contributed a team-high two hits to go with a run scored and one RBI apiece. Williamson added a double and two walks, finishing 2-for-3 at the dish to highlight the Alabama offense.

ABOUT VANDERBILT

• Tim Corbin is in his 17th season at Vanderbilt in 2019 and entered the new campaign with a record of 681-342-1 in Nashville and a 787-480-1 overall mark across his 21 years as a collegiate head coach. Corbin is joined by assistant coaches Mike Baxter and Scott Brown along with volunteer assistant coach David Macias.
• Vanderbilt returns 24 letterwinners, including eight positional starters and 11 pitchers, from the 2018 team that went 37-25 overall and 16-14 in SEC action to finish fourth in the East and seventh overall. The Commodores advanced as far as NCAA Super Regional play, falling to Mississippi State in Nashville. The 2019 roster is without 10 lettermen from a season ago, a number that includes one positional starter and six pitchers. The 2019 Vandy squad features 14 newcomers.
• The Commodores were selected to win the East and finish second overall in the SEC in the league's preseason poll, as voted on by the conference's head coaches. Vanderbilt received a league-leading six votes to be crowned SEC Champion.

ON DECK

Alabama takes to the road in a third consecutive midweek, this time traveling to Jacksonville State to square off with the Gamecocks on Wednesday, April 24. The two in-state foes are set for a 6 p.m. first pitch at Rudy Abbott Field.


-UA-



RTR,

Diamond Tide
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