TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Following a 5-4 win at home over Samford on Tuesday night, the Alabama Crimson Tide (7-1) will host the Tulane Green Wave (4-5) in a three-game series this weekend. First pitch for game one of the series on Friday night is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. CT, from Sewell-Thomas Stadium. Game two on Saturday will start at 2:05 p.m., and game three is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. on Sunday.
All games for the 2013 season will be broadcast on the Crimson Tide Sports Network. The Friday and Sunday games will be broadcast on The Bear, 95.3 FM, while Saturday's game will air on WTSK-AM 790 in Tuscaloosa. Lee Tracey will provide the commentary for the Friday and Saturday games and Chris Stewart will join Tracey on Sunday. Livestats will also be available on RollTide.com. For all home games during the 2013 season, a live video webcast, with audio, will be available through RollTide.com/TIDETV.
Alabama is slated to start senior-handed pitcher Charley Sullivan (0-0, 2.89) on Friday, sophomore lefty Jon Keller (2-0, 2.70) on Saturday and sophomore righty Spencer Turnbull (0-1, 3.75) on Sunday. Tulane is expected to start sophomore right-hander Tony Rizzotti (1-1, 1.20) on Friday night, senior righty Alex Byo (0-1, 1.35) on Saturday and has not announced a starter for Sunday.
Alabama is off to a 7-1 start after a series win at Florida Atlantic and a midweek victory over Samford. The Crimson Tide is receiving 10 votes in this week's USA Today Sports Coaches Poll and is also receiving votes in the NCBWA top-30 poll. Alabama has outscored its opponents 49-31 through its first eight games. The Crimson Tide is 5-0 when leading after six, 6-0 when leading after seven and 7-0 when leading after eight innings. The Alabama pitching staff has a 2.92 ERA with 64 strikeouts and 31 walks in 70 innings pitched. The Tide held FAU to seven runs (four earned) in 26 innings over the weekend. Alabama is tied for the lead in the SEC with five saves. Alabama has allowed one home run this season, that coming in game eight against Samford. The Tide threw 78.1 innings before giving up its first home run.
Alabama is hitting .262 as a team, while averaging 6.2 runs and 8.3 hits per game. The Tide is 16-for-18 in stolen base attempts this season, and ranks third in the SEC in stolen bases. Alabama was 13-for-13 in stolen base attempts to open the season, before having two of its last five runners thrown out. In the middle third of the game Alabama is outscoring its opponents 26-7 in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. UA's biggest advantage is in the fifth inning, when it is outscoring the opposition 11-3. Bama is outscoring its opponents 12-4 in the eighth inning.
Tulane comes into the weekend losing four-of-its last five games and is coming off a 5-3 win over New Orleans on Wednesday. The Green Wave was swept at home by Norte Dame last weekend, before falling to Nicholls State, 6-5, in 10 innings on Tuesday. The win over New Orleans snapped a four-game losing skid for the Green Wave. Tulane is hitting .227, while averaging 3.2 runs and 7.0 hits per game. The Green Wave pitching staff has a 2.81 ERA in 77 innings, while allowing 27 walks with 69 strikeouts.
Offensively, Tulane is led by shortstop Brennan Middleton, who is hitting .389 for the season. Middleton is the only everyday player hitting over .300 this season. Andrew Garner, who has one of the team's two home runs, leads the club with eight RBI. Tulane's Friday night starter Tony Rizzotti has a 1-1 record with a 1.20 ERA in two starts this season. Saturday starter Alex Byo, who has also started two games, is 0-1 with a 1.35 ERA. Tulane has two saves this season, one earned by Andrew Garner and the other by Brady Wilson. Garner has a 0.00 ERA in two appearances and 1.2 innings, while Wilson has made six appearances, with a 1.08 ERA in 8.1 innings.
The three games between Alabama and Tulane this weekend will mark games 90-92 of the series between the two schools. Alabama leads the all-time series 61-28 after Tulane won two of the three games last season when the team met in New Orleans. The teams first played in 1897, when Alabama won all three games that year. Tulane competed in the SEC in baseball from 1933-66. During that stretch, Alabama posted a 32-13 record against the Green Wave.
Following series against Tulane, Alabama will travel to Montgomery, Ala. to play Auburn in the Max Capital City Classic on Tuesday, March 5. The non-conference game between the Crimson Tide and Tigers will begin at 7 p.m. CT from Riverwalk Stadium, home for the Montgomery Biscuits, the Tampa Bay Rays double-A affiliate. This will mark the fifth meeting for the two schools in the Max Capital City Classic. Auburn has won the four previous meetings.