Homestand for No. 17 Alabama Continues with Valparaiso

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The Crimson Tide and Beacons will meet for the fourth time in series history on Friday

2/22/2024

TUSCALOOSA, AL –
Alabama baseball will wrap up its current homestand this weekend when the Tide hosts Valparaiso at Sewell-Thomas Stadium from Friday through Sunday. The series opener between the 17th-ranked Crimson Tide and Beacons is set for a 4 p.m. CT first pitch followed by a 2 p.m. open on Saturday and a 1 p.m. start in the series finale. All three games will air on SEC Network+.

This weekend's series will feature numerous promotions at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. The theme for this weekend will be 'Mardi Gras at The Joe' with a different giveaway and/or ticket promo each day. On Friday, fans can get their first 'Gameday at The Joe' button. The buttons are part of a season-long promotion on the weekends and will be handed out at each series opener. Friday's opener will also feature free admission to anyone attending the UA gymnastics meet. Additionally, all Friday baseball ticketholders will receive free admission to Coleman Coliseum for gymnastics.

At Saturday's matchup, fans can pick up free Mardi Gras beads as they come through the gates. Sunday's series finale will feature free admission for anyone attending the Crimson Tide women's basketball game. Fans can also use their ticket from Sunday's baseball game to attend the women's basketball game for free.

Follow the Tide
Fans can follow the series via the below outlets:
Watch: SEC Network+
Listen: 100.9 FM / CTSN / The Varsity App
Twitter: @AlabamaBSB
Live Stats: RollTide.com

Probable Starting Pitching Matchups
FRIDAY: UABen Hess (Jr., RHP) vs. VU – Griffin McCluskey (Sr., RHP)
SATURDAY: UAAidan Moza (Jr., RHP) vs. VU – Josh Cottrill (R-Jr., RHP)
SUNDAY: UAGreg Farone (Sr., LHP) vs. VU – Lucas Foley (Fr., LHP)

Leading Off
  • Alabama and Valparaiso will meet for the fourth time in series history when two programs square off on Friday afternoon at Sewell-Thomas Stadium to open the weekend series. The Crimson Tide holds the all-time advantage, 3-0, with all three prior matchups coming in Tuscaloosa.
  • The two teams last met from Feb. 16-18, 2018, in Tuscaloosa with Alabama completing the 3-0 series sweep to open up that season. The Tide claimed a 16-2 victory on Opening Day, followed by a 6-5 win on Saturday to clinch the series. UA was able to sweep thanks to a 12-6 win on getaway day.
About Alabama
  • Alabama comes into this weekend's series riding a five-game winning streak to start the 2024 season.
  • The Crimson Tide swept Manhattan on Opening Weekend before downing Middle Tennessee on Tuesday and Alabama State on Wednesday - all in Tuscaloosa.
  • A pair of big innings powered UA to a 12-0 win over Alabama State on Wednesday afternoon.
  • Both teams were held scoreless through the first three innings before Alabama was able to break the stalemate. The Crimson Tide rallied for a seven-run fourth and a five-run fifth, all the offense needed in the run-rule victory.
  • The offense was led once again by TJ McCants and Bryce Eblin. McCants registered a six-RBI showing, finishing 2-for-3 with a grand slam, one run and a walk to go with his RBI. Eblin contributed three RBI of his own, part of a 2-for-3 effort that included a walk and two runs scored.
  • Alabama's pitching was stellar once again on Wednesday, posting its third shutout effort. Zane Adams got the start, giving up one hit and walking a pair while striking out two for the win. He was followed by a collection of three arms in Matthew Heiberger, Pierce George and Jansen Kenty who combined for four strikeouts to ensure the shutout.
  • UA used some late offense to pull away from Middle Tennessee for a 6-1 win on Tuesday afternoon
  • Alabama gained an early advantage with a two-run third inning, but the lead was soon cut in half when Middle Tennessee got on the board with one run in the fourth. The Tide bounced right back with a run in the fifth before adding a single tally in the seventh followed by a two-run eighth to pull away for the 6-1 final.
  • The two-run eighth was highlighted by back-to-back home runs from Eblin and Gage Miller. Eblin led the offense, spotting the stat sheet with a 2-for-3 showing that included a triple, homer, one RBI, a walk, one stolen base and a team-high three runs. Also homering was McCants, with the senior adding a walk, one run and a team-leading three RBI.
  • Alabama's pitching staff was outstanding once again on Tuesday. Greg Farone got the start, tossing 2.2 scoreless frames with a walk and five strikeouts before turning it over to the bullpen.
  • Zane Probst was first out followed by Austin Morris, who earned the win with 3.0 scoreless innings and four punchouts compared to only one hit. Braylon Myers then closed things out for his first save of the season, tossing 2.0 scoreless with one hit and three strikeouts.
  • Alabama opened the 2024 campaign with a series sweep of Manhattan. The 17th-ranked Crimson Tide recorded a shutout in the first two games of the series while posting double-digit runs in the final two contests of the weekend.
  • The Tide began the new year with a 4-0 win over Manhattan on Opening Day.
  • Alabama's offense wasted no time scoring, plating a pair of runs in the first thanks to a throwing error by Manhattan. The Crimson Tide followed with another two-spot in the home half of the third, highlighted by doubles from McCants and Ian Petrutz to move the lead to 4-0, the eventual final.
  • Ben Hess picked up the win with a strong start, tossing 4.0 scoreless frames. He allowed just one hit and issued two walks while punching out nine, including the first six batters he faced. Hess turned the ball over to the duo of Hagan Banks and Myers who combined for six strikeouts over the final 5.0 innings to secure the shutout victory.
  • McCants led the offense with a 2-for-4 day that included the double, two runs and a pair of stolen bases. Evan Sleight also finished with two hits, going 2-for-4 with an RBI.
  • Alabama clinched the series over the Jaspers with a 15-0 victory on Saturday.
  • The Tide offense came out hot early, tallying a run in the first before a pair of four-run frames in the second and third inning. UA crossed another run in the fourth and posted a five-spot in the home half of the fifth to push the score to 15-0.
  • UA's offense finished with 12 hits and eight walks on the way to 15 runs. McCants and Mac Guscette led UA at the plate, both recording three-hit efforts. McCants went 3-for-5 with two doubles, two RBI, a pair of runs scored, one walk and a stolen base, while Guscette finished a perfect 3-for-3 with two runs, a hit-by-pitch and a team-high four RBI.
  • Riley Quick earned the win in his first career start, working 3.0 innings and striking out five while walking one. Quick handed the ball off to the bullpen, with a collection of four arms combining for five punchouts while allowing just one hit and no walks across the final 4.0 frames.
About Valparaiso
  • Brian Schmack began his 11th season at Valparaiso in 2024 and has been part of the Beacons' program for 18 years. Schmack entered the 2024 campaign with a career 188-294 head coaching record, all at Valpo. A 2009 graduate of Valparaiso, Schmack is joined on staff by assistant coaches Adam Brian, Jeff Mayes and Kory Winter.
  • Valparaiso finished the 2023 season with a 20-27 overall record, including a 10-17 mark in Missouri Valley action.
  • The Beacons were selected to finish ninth overall in the MVC in the league's preseason poll, as voted on by the conference's head coaches.
On Deck
Alabama will take to the road for the first time this season when the Tide travels up the road to Birmingham for a midweek with UAB. The Crimson Tide and Blazers are scheduled for a 6 p.m. first pitch on Tuesday, Feb. 27 at Regions Field, home to the Double-A Birmingham Barons.


-UA-


RTR,


Diamond Tide
 

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