UAB (8-12, 2-2) and Alabama (13-6, 2-1) are both coming off impressive series wins in their conference openers over the weekend as they face each other on Tuesday at Regions Field at 6:30 p.m.
The Blazers took 2-of-3 from La Tech at home this past weekend, while Alabama went on the road and took 2-of-3 from No. 8 LSU.
The Crimson Tide have surprised a lot of people early with their good play, which is mostly due to their outstanding pitching that has a season ERA of 2.13.
Much like UAB, their offense has struggled to really get anything going as they are hitting .250 as a team on the year and scoring just 4.4 runs per game. Only Georgia has a worse batting average in the SEC, and nobody scores less runs per game than Alabama in the conference.
They’re middle of the pack in the SEC in errors, but their pitching staff is tied with Florida for the least amount of walks given up.
Chance Vincent leads the offense with a .302 batting average, Chandler Avant leads the team with 14 runs scored, and Chandler Taylor leads the team with 4 home runs and 11 RBIs.
In comparison, Griffin Gum leads UAB with a .324 average, Brewer Hicklen leads the team in runs scored with 17 and home runs with two, and Carter Pharis leads the team in RBIs with 16.
So these two teams are very similar in the way they win ball games. They pitch well, limit their walks given up and try to be opportunistic on offense.
Alabama traveled to Southern Miss last Tuesday and lost 9-2. In that game Alabama started Mike Oczypok on the mound. He is 2-1 with a 4.02 ERA and 13 strikeouts in 15.2 innings.
I would not be surprised to see coach Shoop start Adam Lamar on Tuesday. He started the Tuesday game against Ole Miss last week and has a 1.88 ERA on the season with 13 strikeouts in 24 innings.
I expect this to be a much closer game than the one against Ole Miss last Tuesday, and it wouldn’t be surprising if the Blazers came out with a win.
They’ll obviously have to play their best game of the year, but if Lamar can shut them down for 5 innings and the offense can produce a couple of runs early, UAB can come away with the upset.
So come out on Tuesday night and support your UAB baseball team as they look to beat in-state rival Alabama at Regions Field!