Baseball Preview: Alabama Returns Home to Face #13 Ole Miss
Alabama (20-13, 6-6 SEC) returns to Sewell-Thomas Stadium this weekend to take on #13 Ole Miss (25-7, 6-6 SEC) after spending the last two weekends on the road.
The Tide's official welcome home game was on Tuesday night against UAB where they managed to pull out a 7-6 win. The win means more to the team after the Blazers embarrassed Alabama in a 8-0 loss earlier this season,
A break from the road should prove to be beneficial for Alabama; however, Ole Miss has proven to be one of the best teams in the country.
Statistically speaking, there is nothing that drastically separates these two teams. The Rebels' resume is what sets them apart right now. Their only series losses this season were against top-10 teams (South Carolina and Mississippi State). They have series wins over Louisville and Tennessee, and they will travel to Tuscaloosa fresh off their series sweep of Arkansas.
Ole Miss' weekend starters for the series with Alabama are a bit of a mystery as of now. The team has experimented with a few different rotations with RHP Brady Bramlett providing the only consistency as the team's Friday starter. Bramlett has a 5-2 record on the year and has 59 strikeouts compared to just 11 walks.
It is safe to assume that the Rebels will stick with the same rotation they had in their sweep over the Razorbacks. If that is the case then LHP David Parkinson will get the start on Saturday and LHP Wyatt Short will start on Sunday.
Parkinson got his first start of the year last weekend and picked up the win after allowing only one earned run and four hits in 5.1 innings of work. Short also got his first start of the season last weekend, allowing two earned run and six hits in 4.1 innings of work.
Alabama's starters, once again, should be RHP Geoffrey Bramblett, RHP Jake Walters, RHP Nick Eicholtz. Bramblett had a solid outing last week against Kentucky when he pitched 7.0 innings and only allowed three earned runs, but it still wasn't enough as he was handed his first loss of the season. Walters only allowed one earned run in 5.1 innings pitched in his last outing. Eicholtz had the most impressive weekend after only giving up three hits and one earned run in the Tide's only win of the series.
These starters will have their hands full against a dangerous Ole Miss lineup. The pitchers will have to be cautious of big swingers Colby Bortles and J.B. Woodman. An unfamiliar name that could play a huge role is catcher Henri Lartique, who has 19 hits and nine RBI in conference play so far this season.
For the Tide, it will continue to be all about finding consistency. It is safe to say that Mitch Gaspard may have found his most consistent player in freshman second baseman Cobie Vance. Vance is second on the team in hits (35) and has only struck out 12 times.
Alabama leads the all-time series over Ole Miss, 205-142-1. Friday's game will be at 7:00 p.m. CT. Saturday's game will start at 5:00 p.m. CT, and Sunday's game will begin at 1:00 p.m. CT. You can watch all three games on SEC Network+ or listen right here on Tide 99.1.