Alabama baseball’s offense and its pitching have both shown some improvement in 2019, but the most significant step forward has come from the Crimson Tide’s defense.

Alabama ranks fifth in the SEC with a .979 fielding percentage and is also fifth with 35 errors through 45 games. The team is almost assured to finish better statistically than it did in 2018 when it posted a .969 fielding percentage and 65 errors. Alabama would have to commit 31 more errors in its final 11 games to exceed that number. The team is also fourth in the conference with 28 double plays this season.

Alabama’s .969 fielding percentage in 2018 was 13th in the SEC and even that marked an improvement from 2017, when the team fielded .966.

Defense has been somewhat predictive of Alabama’s results this season: The Crimson Tide is 12-7 in games in which it has not committed an error, 10-7 when committing one error and 4-5 when committing two errors.

Catcher has also been a defensive strength for Alabama despite losing starter Sam Praytor to an elbow injury in February. The Crimson Tide hasn’t allowed a passed ball in conference play. The team has allowed 28 wild pitches and four passed balls this season after allowing 39 and six, respectively, a year ago.