MSU-Alabama Baseball Series Preview

MSU-Alabama Baseball Series Preview

No. 19 Alabama and No. 16 Mississippi State play each other in a three-game Southeastern Conference series this weekend at Alabama that will likely determine which team has a bye in the opening round of next week's SEC Tournament.


Weather - Thursday - The temperatures will be in the low 60s to high 50s during the game. There is a 0% chance of rain. | Friday - The temperatures should be in the mid to low 60s during the game with a 0% chance of rain. | Saturday - The temperatures should be in the high 70s during the game with a 10% chance of rain.

Gametimes (CDT) - Thursday Night - 6:35 pm (Internet: ESPN3). | Friday Night - 6:05 pm (TV: CBS Sports Network. | Saturday - 3:05 pm (Internet: ESPN3, TV: CSS).

Coaches - Entering his 5th season as>Alabama's head coach, Gaspard, in his first four seasons, has an overall record of 133-115 and an SEC record of 52-67. He has guided three of his teams to post-season (2010, 2011 and 2013). One of his teams (2010) advanced to Super Regional play. In NCAA post-season play, his teams have a record of 8-7.

John Cohen, who is entering his sixth season as the head coach at Mississippi State, has an overall record of 177-131 and a 61-88 record in SEC play. His 2011, 2012 and 2013 teams appeared in regionals with his 2011 team advancing to a Super Regional and his 2013 team advancing to the College World Series where they were national runner-up. His teams overall NCAA postseason record is 13-7.

Alabama Home/Mississippi State Road Records - Alabama is 20-9 at home while Mississippi State is 11-7 on the road.

Expected Pitching Rotations - Alabama will start freshman RHP Geoffrey Bramblett (4-1, 3.71 ERA) Thursday, junior RHP Spencer Turnbull (5-5, 2.36 ERA) Friday and junior LHP Justin Kamplain (5-3, 3.29 ERA) Saturday.

Bramlett has not started an SEC game. In his 6 SEC relief appearances he has a 1-0 record with a 12.46 ERA. He has allowed 6 hits, walked 4 and struck out 5 in 4.1 innings of work.

Turnbull has started 9 SEC games. In those games he has 44 hits, walked 29 and struck out 33 in 58.1 innings. His record is 4-4 and his ERA is 3.09.

Kamplain is 3-2 with a 3.62 ERA in 9 SEC starts. In 54.2 innings he has given up 48 hits, walked 16 and struck out 38.

Mississippi State will start junior Trevor Fitts (4-3, 2.62 ERA) Thursday, TBA (possibly junior Ross Mitchell (7-4, 1.98 ERA)) Friday and TBA (possibly sophomore RHP Preston Brown (4-1, 2.64 ERA)) Saturday.

Fitts is 2-3 with a 1.91 ERA in his 9 SEC starts. He has thrown 37.2 innings, allowing 38 hits and 5 walks while striking out 28.

Mitchell is 5-3 with a 2.10 ERA in the SEC. He has given up 52 hits and walked 18 while striking out 30 in 68.2 innings. Of his 9 SEC starts, he has completed 4.

Brown is 2-1 with a 4.87 SEC ERA in 5 SEC starts. He have given up 23 hits, walked 4 and struck out 10 in 20.1 innings.

Relief Pitching - It's likely Alabama will use four pitchers in relief - freshman Thomas Burrows (4-1, 9 Saves, 1.74 ERA), sophomore Ray Castillo (1-0, 0 S, 4.05 ERA), junior Jay Shaw (2-3, 0 S, 3.77 ERA) and freshman Nick Eicholtz (3-1, 0 S, 3.06 ERA).

In 12 SEC outings, Burrows is 2-1 with 7 saves. He has thrown 18.0 innings, allowing 10 hits and 2 walks while striking out 17.

Castillo has appeared in 8 SEC games and has a 1-0 record, no saves and a 1.96 ERA. He has thrown 18.1 innings, allowing 17 hits, walked 11 and struck out 9.

Shaw has thrown in 7 SEC games. His SEC record is 2-1, 0 saves and his ERA is 5.84. He has given up 16 hits, walked 6 and struck out 4 12.1 innings

Eicholtz has also appeared in 7 SEC games. His record is 0-1, 0 save, with an 8.31 ERA. He has given up 10 hits, walked 7 and struck out 2 in 8.2 innings.

Mississippi State will likely throw junior LHP Jacob Lindgren (4-1, 3 Saves, 1.02 ERA), junior RHP Jonathan Holder (5-1, 6 S, 2.43 ERA), junior LHP Lucas Laster (0-0, 0 S, 1.52 ERA), and senior RHP Ben Bracewell (3-4, 0 S, 2.54 ERA) in relief.

Lindgren has appeared in 13 SEC games, throwing 30.0 innings. He has given up 12 hits and 14 walks while striking out 53. His SEC ERA is 0.60.

Holder has thrown in 10 SEC games, allowing 19 hits while walking 4 and striking out 31 in 22.0 innings. His SEC ERA is 2.45.

Laster has an ERA of 1.74 in 3 SEC outings. He has allowed 11 hits and walked 2 while striking out 11 in 10.1 innings.

Bracewell has an ERA of 2.88 in 9 SEC outings. He has allowed 27 hits and walked 12 while striking out 25 in 25.0 innings.

Who's Hot at the Plate and Who's Not in SEC Games - Leading Alabama in SEC action is junior Wade Wass who comes in hitting at a .319 clip, followed by junior Ben Moore at .314 and sophomore Kyle Overstreet at .300. Freshman Casey Hughston is hitting .288, senior Austen Smith is hitting .277, sophomore Chance Vincent is at .264, sophomore Georgie Salem is hitting .261, sophomore Mikey White at .228 and freshman Will Haynie at .127. In limited duty, freshman Hunter Webb is hitting .250.

Mississippi State is led at the plate in SEC games by senior Brett Pirtle who is hitting .356. Also above .300 is freshman Gavin Collins at .351. Junior Seth Heck is hitting .291, while senior C.T. Bradford is hitting .288, followed by senior Derrick Armstrong at .266 and senior Alex Detz at .255. Junior Matthew Britton is hitting .235 and junior Wes Rea is hitting .222. Junior Jake Vickerson comes in hitting .213 in SEC play. In part-time duty, redshirt freshman Cody Brown is hitting .255, junior Zack Randolph is hitting .214 and senior Demarcus Henderson is hitting .167.

How Alabama and MSU Match Up
Alabama Category Mississippi State
32-19 Record 33-19
.279 Batting Average .272
264 (5.2 pg) Runs 257 (4.9 pg)
38 Home Runs 13
.351 OB % .367
31-44 Stolen Bases-Attempts 62-85
149 (2.9 pg) Walks 228 (4.4 pg)
339 (6.6 pg) Strikeouts 320 (6.2 pg)
396 (7.8 pg) LOB 446 (8.6 pg)
3.06 Team ERA 2.90
11 Saves 13
183 (3.6 pg) Walks 169 (3.3 pg)
353 (6.9 pg) Strikeouts 431 (8.3 pg)
.222 Batting Average Against .242
.971 Fielding % .981

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on the Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing swindoll@genespage.com.

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