Alabama Baseball Deserves a Regionals Bid
The Alabama Crimson Tide baseball team's conference title chances came to an end on Saturday morning after an 11-6 loss to Florida in the fourth round. Now, the continuation of its season is in the hands of the committee that will decide if Alabama is deserving of a bid to one of 16 regionals next weekend, which means the Tide would have to be one of the best 33 teams who did not win its conference.
Although there has been speculation about if the team deserves for its season to continue, there's actually only one answer: yes, it does.
This Crimson Tide baseball team is a better team all-around. In the last year, the team has seen improvements on both sides of the ball.
In 2021, the team's offense had a .260 batting average, .769 on-base + slugging, 507 total hits, 334 runs, 67 home runs, .419 slugging percentage, 224 walks, 482 strikeouts, and a .350 on-base percentage.
This year, the team had a .279 batting average, .792 on-base + slugging percentage, 555 total hits, 335 runs, 62 home runs, a .430 slugging percentage, 220 walks, 472 strikeouts, and a .362 on-base percentage.
The home runs might have gone down but the offensive has had a more positive jump with more hits, fewer strikeouts, and a higher on-base percentage.
Pitching has also been on the upswing.
In 2021, the pitching rotation had a 4.78 earned run average, 1.36 walks + hits per innings pitched, 520 hits, 295 runs, and 497 strikeouts.
This season. the rotation had a 4.63 ERA, 1.35 walks + hits per innings pitched, 495 hits, 293 runs, and 540 strikeouts.
The rotation improved the three biggest keys to a successful season, a smaller ERA, fewer hits allowed, and more strikeouts, by a decent amount.
According to D1 Baseball, Alabama sits at No. 3 in strength of schedule and No. 49 in rating percentage index. This season, the Tide saw 12 losses by a single run, and have ten wins against ranked teams.
Finally, the No. 1 reasoning: the team last year got in with almost identical numbers.
In 2021, the team finished 32-26 overall, and 14-19 in conference play, including 2-2 in the SEC tournament. This year, the team so far is 31-27 overall, 14-19 in conference play, including 2-2 in the SEC tournament. The difference is minuscule.
If last year's group could punch a ticket to regionals with a worse pitching rotation, less offense, and almost identical numbers, then this team should already be a lock.
The NCAA Baseball Selection Show is Monday, May 30, 2022, at 11 a.m. CST on ESPN2.