The University of Alabama baseball team went into the week looking to recover after being swept last week. The Crimson Tide got the week started on the right foot with a 6-4 win over UAB on Tuesday night, and can keep that up when Texas A&M arrives in Tuscaloosa on Thursday.
“Each week we start fresh and have a positive mentality going into the week,” head coach Greg Goff said on Monday. “Like I told them, Ole Miss got swept last week and felt pretty bad this time last week and then made an adjustment (and swept Alabama). I think we need to make an adjustment as we get ready for this week, too. I think that’s kind of the mentality.”
This weekend’s series marks the midweek point of the 30-game SEC schedule. Second baseman Cobie Vance leads the team with a .323 batting average. Catcher Tanner DeVinny’s .455 on-base percentage is best on the team. Junior Hunter Alexander has a team-high 23 RBIs. Sophomore outfielder Chandler Taylor leads the team and is fifth in the conference with eight home runs.
Friday night starter Jake Walters leads the team with a 4-3 record. Reliever Garrett Suchey has thrown a team-high 46 innings across 15 games and has a 2.54 ERA. Suchey also leads the team with 42 strikeouts. Junior Zac Rogers has a 1.26 ERA in 12 games across 14 1/3 innings.
Walters missed his start last week against the Rebels with soreness in his arm but is expected to pitch the series opener on Thursday night.
“He’s doing great,” Goff said. “I think we’ll talk about that (Wednesday) and see where he is, but we feel like he’ll probably get back in that rotation this weekend.”
Alabama will be without center fielder Gene Wood, who suffered a knee injury in Sunday’s game at Ole Miss. He’ll meet with doctors before the series begins, but is expected to be out at least a couple of weeks.
Texas A&M started SEC play 0-5 but has recovered in the last two weeks against LSU and Auburn, two ranked opponents. The Aggies will come to Tuscaloosa with some momentum from its recent weekends, while Alabama is trying to maintain the direction it set on Tuesday night against the Blazers.
“Anytime you can get a win against a really good club at home, I think it’s huge for momentum going into the weekend,” Goff said. “We know Texas A&M is playing well. They’ve won two of the last three series. We know that they beat LSU and Auburn. We know that our hands our full and our guys are excited about getting back out there and playing an SEC weekend series, especially at home.”
Texas A&M at Alabama
Schedule: Thursday at 6:00 p.m., Friday at 6:00 p.m., Saturday at 3:00 p.m.
Where: Sewell-Thomas Stadium
Records: Alabama 14-19 (2-10 SEC), Texas A&M 23-11 (5-7 SEC)
Radio: 102.9 FM