What to know about Alabama baseball as the Crimson Tide starts SEC play
Alabama baseball starts Southeastern Conference play Thursday as the Crimson Tide travels to Gainesville to take on Florida. Alabama enters the series off a shocking loss to Columbia in the final weekend non-conference series. Despite dropping two of three to the Lions, Alabama enters at 16-2. Florida comes into SEC play following a sweep of Siena in the last non-conference weekend, including two run-rule victories. The Gators enter at 16-3.
Here's what to know as SEC play starts:
Even though he's the Saturday starter now, Ben Hess has broken out as a potential ace of the staff. Hess comes into SEC play with a 1.83 ERA and three wins in his first four starts, both topping the rotation. Friday starter Grayson Hitt has had his ups and downs, but comes into SEC play holding opposing hitters to just a .188 average. The bullpen is led by Seton Hall transfer Zane Probst, who did not allow a hit in his first five appearances and did not allow a run in his first six, and freshman Riley Quick, who has posted a 2.57 ERA to begin his collegiate career.
More:For Alabama baseball's Riley Quick and Alton Davis, Crimson Tide sports are a family affair
Drew Williamson, who appeared in each of Alabama's first 17 games, has been the most consistent performer for the Crimson Tide. His .460 batting average ranks fifth in the SEC, while his 23 hits lead the team. Freshman Colby Shelton has become a star during his first collegiate season, hitting 10 home runs in 16 games while adding a .339 batting average en route to winning an SEC Freshman of the Week award. Andrew Pinckney was named D1 Baseball's SEC Player of the Week to begin the season and has kept up his hot start, hitting .379 and scoring 18 runs, second only to Shelton on Alabama.
How to watch
This weekend's series will be a Thursday-Saturday series instead of the traditional Friday-Sunday. Thursday's game will be a 6 p.m. first pitch and will be shown on SEC Network. Friday's first pitch will be at 5:30 p.m. while Saturday's will be at 3 p.m., with both of those games shown on SEC Network+.