When, where and how to watch/listen:
No. 2 Seed Alabama (34-22) vs. No. 3 Seed Kennesaw St. (37-21)
Mike Martin Field at Dick Howser Stadium - Tallahassee, Fla.
Schedule - Friday, May 30 at 11 a.m. CT
Television - None
Steaming - ESPN3.com/WatchESPN
Radio - Tide 99.1 FM and CTSN
Kennesaw has a team batting average of .301 and an ERA of 3.54. Offensively Max Pentecost in the leading hitter with a sparkling .423 average, with nine home runs, 55 RBIs and 16 stolen bases. Bo Way has a .364 average with two home runs and 29 RBIs. Alex Liquori is hitting .363 with one home run and 41 RBIs. James Connell leads the pitching staff with a 7-3 record and a 2.11 ERA. Travis Bergen is 7-4 with a 2.74 ERA. The closer, Justin McCalum has 14 saves with a 4-3 won-lost record and a 2.24 ERA.
Alabama is hitting .278 as a team and has an ERA of 3.29. Austen Smith is the leading hitter at .316 and also leads in RBI with 36, walks with 27 and on base percentage at .426. The senior first baseman also has six home runs, which is second on the team. Smith's high school teammate, Wade Wass, is hitting .305 with four home runs and 31 RBIs, and leads the team with 19 doubles. Ben Moore is also hitting .305 and leads the team with nine home runs, and is second with 35 runs driven in. Mikey White is next with a .303 average and has six home runs and 32 RBIs. Georgie Salem is hitting .288, Casey Hughston .282 and Kyle Overstreet is at .278.
Spencer Turnbull has a 5-6 record with a 2.28 ERA, and in 87 innings has allowed the opposition to hit only .193. Justin Kamplian has a 6-3 record with a 3.07 ERA in 82 innings, and has 66 strikeouts. Jonathan Keller has a 5-2 record and a 2.57 ERA. Closer Thomas Burrows has saved 10 games, with a 4-1 won-lost mark and a 1.62 ERA. Tucker Hawley is 4-1 with a 1.93 ERA while Geoffrey Bramblett has won four, lost two and has a 4.19 ERA. Fellow freshman Nick EIcholtz is 3-2 with a 3.35 ERA.
Scouting the No. 3 Seeded Kennesaw State
Owls Kennesaw State is making its first ever NCAA tournament appearance, after winning the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament last week with a 7-1 win over Lipscomb. The Owls are 37-21 overall and have won 23 of their last 24 games, dating back to April 6. The only loss for KSU during that stretch was an 8-6 defeat to Western Carolina on May 13. Since the loss, KSU has won seven straight games.
As a team, the Owls are hitting .301 while averaging 6.1 runs and 10.8 hits per game. Leading the offense is junior catcher Max Pentecost, who has a .423 average with nine home runs, 55 RBI, 21 doubles and 57 runs scored. Bo Way is second on the team with a .364 average and Alex Liquori is hitting .363 with 42 RBI.
On the mound, KSU has a 3.50 team ERA, while allowing 4.5 runs and 9.3 hits per game. Jordan Hillyer has a 7-3 record with a 3.36 ERA and a team-high 71 strikeouts in 93.2 innings and 15 starts. Travis Bergen is 7-4 with a 2.74 ERA in 14 appearances as a starter this season. Justin McClavin has been solid out of the bullpen, appearing in a team-high 35 games, posting a 4-3 record with 14 saves and a 2.24 ERA.
Alabama's hoping it's the recipe to fix what went wrong during the last month and put it on the path to success at a place where it's seen its season end two of the past three years. "As much as anything, it was just back to having a lot of focus, attention to details and things we needed to clean up," Alabama coach Mitch Gaspard said. "I think we tried to structure practice in a way that was a little more blue-collar and get-after-it type mentality. "I know this, all teams I've ever had when you work extremely hard leading up to games, leading up to tournaments, there's a sense of accomplishment when you have those kinds of practices. We've done a good job of that."
"We feel like this team has an opportunity to make a deep run and we’re excited to get started," Moore said. "I think most of us expected to go back to Florida State. I think it’s a good thing. We’re familiar with the field and the atmosphere they have. Going down there last time was rough,we didn’t finish like we wanted to. There’s a lot of motivation there to go down there and set a tone for how Alabama baseball is played."
If you are going to the game but have never been to Tallahassee, Tomahawk Nation was kind enough to give everyone some helpful hints on Dick Howser Stadium.
First Time To Dick Howser Stadium?
- Arrive a bit early and walk around. There are a lot of fun little things to check out, especially on the 1B side of the stadium.
- My choice for parking is the parking garage by the softball / soccer complex. The car stays nice and cool for the early games then.
- Grab a Nole Dog at the concession stand.
- You don't need cash except for "mobile" vendors like Dippin Dots. Also, get the Stadium Runner app for your phone. Dick Howser joined the 21st century for ordering this year. It's way better than waiting on one of the vendor kids to walk by your section.
Though the game won't be televised, Roger and I will be at the game and will keep everyone updated the best we can.
If you want live inning by inning updates, you can follow Roger on twitter @RogerPatMyers and/or Alabama Baseball @AlabamaBSB
NCAA Tallahassee Regional Schedule
Friday, May 30
11 a.m. CT Game 1: No. 2 Alabama vs. No. 3 Kennesaw State
5 p.m. CT Game 2: No. 1 Florida State vs. No. 4 Georgia Southern
Saturday May 31
Noon CT Game 3: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2
4 p.m. CT Game 4: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2
Sunday, June 1
11 a.m. CT Game 5: Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4
4 p.m. CT Game 6: Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5
Monday, June 2
6 p.m. CT Game 7: Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6 (if necessary)