The Alabama Crimson Tide baseball team starts its season next weeked with a home series against Xavier at Sewell-Thomas Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Last season, the Tide finished 32-26 overall, 12-17 in conference play, and 19-13 record at home, in its first season back from COVID cancellations. Alabama went to the SEC Tournament for the first time since 2016, winning two of its four games. The Tide also received an NCAA Tournament bid for the first time since 2014, and headed to the Ruston Regional, winning one of its three games in La.

However, with great success comes great responsibility, and that case holds true this season. The SEC dominates the pre-season baseball rankings, with eight of the top 25 teams being from the conference: No. 2 Arkansas, No. 3 Vanderbilt, No. 4 Mississippi State, No. 5 Ole Miss, No. 8 LSU, No. 9 Florida, No. 16 Georgia, and No. 19 Tennessee. Not only does the Tide play at least one series against each of these teams, but they also have a huge series at the end of the month against the No. 1 team in the nation, future SEC opponent, the Texas Longhorns. Last season, the Tide went 5-17 against ranked teams, including tournament play. 

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The Tide has to figure out how to fill a huge hole on the mound. Alabama pitcher Connor Prielipp is set to miss the entire 2022 season, after having Tommy John surgery in May of last year. Prielipp had a lot of potential after his major freshman-year start winning: National Freshman Player of the Year, Freshman All-American, and First-Team All-American in 2020 by Collegiate Baseball News. He posted a 0.00 ERA, 5 hits, 35 strikeouts, prior to the season being called by coronavirus. In 2021, Prielipp saw three outings, recording eight hits, 12 strikeouts, and a 3.86 ERA. 

The Tide will be without two outfielders as well, who transferred this offseason: TJ Reeves and Will Patota. Reeves averaged a .229 batting average last season, with 19 hits, 8 RBIs, and 2 HRs. Defensively, he had a .917% fielding, 32 putouts, and three errors. Patota saw 28 at bats in 2021 with a .179 batting average, 5 hits, 7 RBIs, and 1 HR. He did not play outfield all season. 

To find all the games this season for Alabama baseball, visit rolltide.com.

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