Alabama Baseball Looks to Shake Up the SEC in College Station
Alabama and Texas A&M are currently tied for fourth place in the SEC West with matching 5-7 records in conference play. At 5-7, Alabama needs to win just one game of the weekend series in order to surpass 2017's abysmal 5-24-1 record in SEC play. A series win for the Crimson Tide would mark their third straight in SEC play.
The Crimson Tide will hope to keep the bats on fire coming off a 12-3 beatdown of the UAB Blazers on Tuesday that saw Alabama collect TEN extra-base hits. If they can combine this type of offensive output with their solid starting pitching as of late, the Crimson Tide will be a tough team to beat. All three of Alabama's expected weekend starters are coming off stellar outings in the Missouri series. Sam Finnerty allowed just one earned run over seven innings of work in Friday's matchup, followed by Jake Walters striking out 12 batters and giving up zero runs across 6 1/3 innings in Saturday's heartbreaking loss. Garrett Rukes again excelled in a limited outing, allowing no runs and just two hits in 2 1/3 innings of work. Reliever Kyle Cameron has played a huge role in Rukes last two starts, throwing four-plus innings of relief and giving up only one earned run in each appearance.
No. 22 Texas A&M is coming off a series win against No. 19 LSU with an opportunity to potentially pass the third-place Tigers in the SEC West. On the offensive side, second baseman Michael Helman has been the standout player by leading the Aggies with 53 hits, a .393 batting average, and .475 on-base percentage (among other categories). On the mound, Texas A&M has one of the nation's best players in starting pitcher Mitchell Kilkenny, who was recently named to the 2018 Golden Spikes Award midseason watch list. The Golden Spikes Award annually recognizes the top college baseball player in Division I. Kilkenny currently boasts an impressive 7-0 record to go along with a 1.49 ERA and 44 strikeouts for the Aggies.
The Alabama Crimson Tide and Texas A&M Aggies will kick off their weekend series on Thursday night at Blue Bell Park in College Station. Thursday's opener is scheduled for an 8 p.m. first pitch. Friday's matchup is scheduled for a 6:30 p.m. start, followed by Saturday's series finale at 1 p.m.
Thursday night's game will be available to watch on ESPNU, while the other two matchups will be available via SEC Network+. And as always, you can stream the Crimson Tide Sports Network broadcast of the game on Tide 102.9/100.9 or the Tide 102.9 app.