While most of you have been enamored with the chances of the Alabama basketball team making the NCAA Tournament, the defection of Scott Cochran, the date of A-Day, and the early implosion of the softball team, the Crimson Tide baseball team has quietly raced out to the second best start in school history at 13-0, trailing only the great 1997 team’s 15 straight to open the season. Let’s look at some of the reasons for the great start by coach Brad Bohannon’s squad.
The pitching staff is deep and talented. Led by freshman Connor Prielipp the staff has a team ERA of 2.38. Prielipp is tied for the national lead with three wins, and ERA with a perfect mark of 0.00. The team has three combined shutouts, all of which occurred in Prielipp’s three outings. In 117 innings the staff has allowed 96 hits, walked only 33, and struck out 132, while hitting five batters. Overall the group has allowed 16 doubles, one triple, and five home runs.
A team fielding percentage of .989 will win you a lot of games. That’s the mark the Tide has, only having committed five errors in 471 chances. The Tide has used three catchers, and have yet to have a passed ball. Opponents have stolen 14-22 bases against the Tide.
The team is hitting .333 with 148 hits through 13 games, including 31 doubles, three triples, and 20 home runs. Collectively the batters have 245 total bases, a .552 slugging percentage, and have knocked in 101 runs. The line up has draws 70 walks, been hit by pitches 22 times, have grounded into 10 double player, and struck out 85 times. the on base percentage is .440 and the team in 20-26 on stolen base attempts.
Bohannon has focused his recruiting efforts on bringing in players that are athletic and able to play multiple positions. Senior Brett Auerbach is the poster child for this, as he has started at four different positions this season already, third base, catcher, centerfield, and second base. In addition he has played as many as three of those spots in one game on multiple occasions. Freshman Peyton Wilson is the Auerbach in training and as started games in centerfield and at catcher, and on two occasions played both in the same game. Other players can, and have, moved to different spots, giving Bohannon plenty of options for his lineup on a day to day basis. There is a faction of fans that hope Bohannon will give Auerbach a chance to play all nine positions in one game at some points this season.
Individual Statistics For Tide Players
|Gentry .467||Gentry 21||Auerbach 6||Williamson 1||Praytor 5|
|Wilson .421||Praytor 19||Gentry 4||Diodati 1||Gentry 4|
|Praytor .419||Auerbach 17||Robinson 4||Tate 1||Diodati 4|
|Williamson .349||Robinson 15||Auerbach 3|
|Diodati .350||Williamson 14|
|Robinson .349||Diodati 14|
|Gentry 19||Auerbach 14||Praytor 5||Gentry .554||Auerbach 7-8|
|Diodati 17||Williamson 11||Reeves 4||Praytor .519||Jarvis 4-5|
|Praytor 12||Diodati 10||Gentry 4||Williamson .500||Williamson 3-3|
|Prielipp 3||Lee 2||Prielipp 15||Prielipp 24||Prielipp .065|
|Cobb 2||Shamblin 15||Shamblin 14||Guffey .130|
|Guffey 2||Jean 12||Jean 14||Rukes .160|
|Jean 2||Cobb 11.1||Cobb 11||McNairy .200|
The Tide entered the national rankings in a couple of polls this week, checking in at 23rd in Collegiate Baseball, and 25th in the USA Today ranking. That’s great, but both were good enough for 11th in the SEC, as 10 conference members were all in the top 18. Bama does remain one for the three teams still undefeated in the league at 13-0, and are joined by Tennessee also at 13-0, and Florida at 12-0.
Opponents Records/ Strength of Schedule
Northeastern 7-4, Alabama State 10-3, UNLV 3-10, UT-Martin 4-7, Middle Tennessee 4-8, Harvard 0-3, South Alabama 7-7. Not exactly murderers’ row, but some teams that will make noise in their conferences. Northeastern, Harvard, Alabama State, and South Alabama, will be in contention for their league titles at the end of the year.
Bama has had two rainouts so far, a February 18th contest with Troy, and a March 4th date with North Alabama. Both have already been set for play later in the year.
The team’s chance to break the record of the 1997 team comes this weekend when Lipscomb comes to town for a three game series. The games will be player Friday at 6 p.m, Saturday at 2 p.m., and Sunday at 11 a.m. The games will be available on radio and the SEC Network Plus.
Bama Baseball Fever, Catch it
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