It has been an up an down week for Patrick Murphy and the Crimson Tide.
After starting the season with dominant performances in the Kickin’ Chicken Classic in Conway, SC, and a win over in-state rival South Alabama, the Tide dropped two games in a 3-game series with the No. 18 UL-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns to move to 7-2 on the season.
Alabama rebounded with a 2-0 win over North Florida at home Wednesday evening, and are now set to host the UCF Knights, Texas Tech Red Raiders, and Gardner-Webb Runnin’ Bulldogs at Rhoads Stadium in the annual Easton Bama Bash.
The Tide’s opponents in this year’s Bama Bash are not quite as accomplished as previous adversaries.
Texas Tech Red Raiders
Texas Tech looks to be Alabama’s toughest contenders with a 6-4 record. The Red Raiders are led by ace pitcher Kassidy Scott who’s 3-2 record might be deceiving. Scott possess a stellar 1.37 ERA, 0.84 WHIP — walks + hits per innings pitched — and is holding opponents to a measly .167 average.
The Red Raiders lack the depth in the pitching staff to compete with elite teams, and Alabama should be able to take full advantage. After Scott, TTU turns to Mattison Maisel, who has been mediocre so far with a 4.12 ERA. Hannah Broseman is the third pitcher, and her outings have been a bit more of a struggle than Maisel’s. Broseman sports a rounded 5.00 ERA, allowing 10 earned runs in just 14 innings.
Alabama will look to end its 1-game losing streak to UCF over the weekend. UCF sits at 3-4 on the season, but beat the Tide 8-1 last season at the UCF Knights Invitational in Orlando, Fla.
UCF sports a meager .179 team batting average. No Golden Knight batters with at least 10 at-bats have an average over .265, and the team has only hit one home run on the season.
UCF makes up for their lack of offensive prowess with a stellar pitching staff. Alea White is the primary starter, with a 1-3 record and a 3.38 ERA. White has 21 strikeouts in 29 innings. Manami Calixto is the no. 2 with a 1.17 ERA and 5 Ks in 12 innings pitched. Kamryn Toney has only made two appearances on the season, but has been effective, posting a 0.78 ERA, allowing only 1 run in 9 innings pitched.
Gardner-Webb Runnin’ Bulldogs
Gardner-Webb has struggled mightily to this point in the season. The Runnin’ Bulldogs sit at 5-10 and could be overwhelmed against an elite team like Alabama.
As a team, GWU has put up a paltry .225./.299/.305 triple slash line. That is a stagnant offense. The pitching staff has fared better, with a solid team ERA of 3.50 and a .267 opponent’s batting average, although neither of those numbers are exceptional.
Mackenzie Thompson is the pitching staff’s ace with a 3.18 ERA and 18 Ks in 33 IP. The Runnin’ Bulldogs have a deep staff, with four pitchers who have thrown at least 18.0 innings. All of GWU’s pitchers sport a sub-4.00 ERA.
The Tide will kick off play with a split double-header Friday afternoon against UCF at 4 p.m. CT, and against TTU at 6 p.m. CT. Alabama will be back in action Saturday afternoon against Gardner-Webb at 1:30 p.m. CT. The Tide will face TTU for a second time at 4 p.m. CT Saturday. The Crimson Tide wrap up their weekend with a 1:30 p.m. CT showdown against UCF on Sunday.
You can catch the games on SEC Network+ (online streaming), 93.3 FM in Tuscaloosa, or in person at Rhoads Stadium. Single game tickets are available here and at the gate.
Feb 24 (Fri) vs UCF W, 4-0
Feb 24 (Fri) vs Texas Tech W, 7-2
Feb 25 (Sat) vs Gardner-Webb W, 9-0
Feb 25 (Sat) 4 p.m. CT vs Texas Tech W, 8-0
Feb 26 (Sun) 1:30 p.m. CT vs UCF