Music City Matchup as Alabama Baseball Travels to Nashville for Series with Vanderbilt

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama heads to the Music City as the Crimson Tide takes on second-ranked Vanderbilt in Nashville this weekend. The series at Hawkins Field is set to begin on Friday at 6:30 p.m. CT. Game two is scheduled for a 2 p.m. start with the finale slated for 1 p.m. on Sunday. All three games of the weekend will air on SEC Network+.

Follow the Tide

Fans can follow this weekend’s series via the below outlets:

Watch: SEC Network+

Listen: 100.9 FM / CTSN / TuneIn App

Twitter: @AlabamaBSB

Live Stats:

Probable Starting Pitching Matchups

FRIDAYUA – Tyler Ras (Jr., RHP) vs. VU – Kumar Rocker (Jr., RHP)

SATURDAYUA – Dylan Smith (Jr., RHP) vs. VU – Jack Leiter (So., RHP)


Leading Off

  • Alabama and Vanderbilt will meet for the 164th time in series history when the two teams square off on Friday evening at Hawkins Field. The Crimson Tide leads the all-time series, 95-65-3, including a 29-26-1 mark in Nashville.
  • The two teams last met from April 19-21, 2019, in Tuscaloosa, with Vandy earning a series sweep. The Commodores took game one, 7-4, before clinching the series in game two with a 13-5 win. Vanderbilt then completed the sweep with a 2-0 win in the series finale.
  • Vanderbilt claimed a 2-0-1 series win over UA in Alabama’s last trip to Nashville from May 18-20, 2017. Vandy dominated on Thursday with an 18-1 win before the securing the series on Friday with a 13-1 win. The finale on Saturday afternoon finished in a tie, as rain delayed the game for two hours before it was eventually called.
  • Alabama’s weekend duo of right-handers Tyler Ras and Dylan Smith begin the series for the Crimson Tide. Ras will get the start on Friday followed by Smith on Saturday. The Crimson Tide’s Sunday starter has yet to be announced.
  • Vanderbilt will utilize two of the nation’s top pitchers in righties Kumar Rocker and Jack Leiter. Rocker will take the hill in the series opener with Leiter following on Saturday. The Commodores have yet to announce a Sunday starter.

About Alabama

  • Alabama wrapped up the past week at a perfect 4-0. The Crimson Tide first defeated UAB, 9-3, at Regions Field in Birmingham before sweeping the Missouri Tigers this past weekend in Tuscaloosa.
  • The bullpen played a key role in UA’s success over the four-game stretch with six pitchers combining to throw 19.0 of the 36.0 total innings, or 52.8 percent of the innings, during that time. The relievers allowed just one run and only 12 hits while limiting opposing hitters to a .185 average. Alabama’s relief arms also struck out 20 compared to just one walk on the way earning two wins and a save in each contest.
  • Alabama’s bats paired with the bullpen to keep the Tide in each of the four games. The offense combined for a .321 (43-134) average and recorded double-digit hits in three of the games, leading to 28 total runs. Five of the Tide’s eight everyday starters batted above .350, led by Drew Williamson who finished at .467 (7-15) with a team-high three doubles and five runs to go with an RBI and three walks. Close behind was Sam Praytor, who batted .429 (6-14) with one double, a home run and a team-high tying four RBI in addition to one run, two walks and a hit-by-pitch.
  • The Tide’s complete team effort last Tuesday evening at Regions Field led to a 9-3 win over UAB. Jake Eddington picked up his first career win in a spot start after finding out he would get the nod just minutes before first pitch.
  • Eddington came out and worked 3.0 innings of two-run baseball with four strikeouts. The right-hander then turned it over to the bullpen with the duo of Eli Giles and Hunter Ruth combining for the final 6.0 frames. Ruth earned the save with 3.0 scoreless that featured four strikeouts.
  • Alabama’s offense put together an equally impressive performance on Tuesday, posting nine runs on 12 hits with eight of the nine starters recording at least one base knock. Six of those hits were doubles, a new season-high total for UA.
  • Despite falling behind early, Alabama battled for the eventual 11-8 comeback win over Missouri last Friday.
  • Missouri jumped out front with four runs in the top of the first. The Tide countered with a pair in the home half, but the Tigers added one in the second and two in the third to maintain the lead. Alabama posted two runs in the bottom of the third but, once again, Missouri came back with a run of their own. That run would be the last one for the Tigers as UA went on to score seven unanswered runs, highlighted by a three-run sixth to put Alabama in front for good.
  • The Crimson Tide bullpen took over in the fifth inning of game one and proceeded to blank the Missouri offense. William Freeman was first out, tossing 3.0 scoreless with three punchouts to pick up the win. Freeman was followed by the Tide’s late-inning duo of Landon Green and Chase Lee, with each pitcher contributing 1.0 scoreless frame. Lee earned the save, working a 1-2-3 ninth with two punchouts.
  • Alabama’s offense on Friday was led by Praytor and Peyton Wilson who each recorded a three-hit night. Praytor finished 3-for-5 with a team-high three RBI and one run scored while adding his team-leading 12th homer of the season. Wilson went 3-for-4 and finished a triple short of the cycle. The sophomore also tallied a team-high three runs scored to go with two RBI and a walk.
  • Dylan Smith was dominant in his start last Saturday, leading Alabama to a 5-2 win. Smith has been impressive all season but was able to pick up his first win thanks to his best start to date. The right-hander worked a career-high tying 8.0 innings of two-run baseball, allowing just six hits and issuing zero walks while striking out a career-best 11 in the effort. Green followed, punching out two as part of a scoreless ninth for his second save.
  • The Tide bats posted five runs in support of Smith. Alabama’s offense was led by Williamson, Jackson Tate and Jim Jarvis. The 6-7 hole hitters in Williamson and Tate each contributed three hits, including one double apiece. Williamson finished a perfect 3-for-3 with a walk and two runs while Tate wrapped up his day 3-for-4 with an RBI and a stolen base. Jarvis finished 1-for-4 with a triple, one run and a team-high two RBI from the eight-hole.
  • Alabama completed the comeback with a combined three runs across the seventh and eighth innings to down Missouri, 3-2, last Sunday afternoon.
  • Missouri hopped out front first for a third straight day, scoring one run apiece in the first and second frames. Alabama was unable to get much of anything going until the Tide finally broke through for one in the seventh. UA then struck for two to take the lead in the eighth. Jarvis and Wilson each singled to start the inning, forcing a sacrifice bunt situation. William Hamiter laid down the bunt, but the Tigers elected to throw to third with the ball going into left field to allow Jarvis to score and Wilson to move to third. Zane Denton then capitalized on the opportunity with a sacrifice fly to bring in Wilson and put UA in front, 3-2, the eventual final.
  • The bullpen shined once again. The foursome of Ruth, Eddington, Freeman and Lee kept Mizzou scoreless across 7.0 innings, allowing just five hits and a walk while striking out six. Freeman picked up the win thanks to 2.0 hitless frames with two punchouts while Lee notched his sixth save of the season and second of the weekend.

About Vanderbilt

  • Vanderbilt finished the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign at 13-5 overall. The Commodores were set to host Kentucky for a three-game series in Nashville to open SEC play when the season was officially canceled.
  • Tim Corbin is in his 19th season at Vanderbilt in 2021 and owns a 785-369-1 record in Nashville along with an 891-507-1 career mark across his 24 total seasons as a collegiate head coach. Corbin is joined on his staff by associate head coach Scott Brown along with assistant coaches Mike Baxter and David Macias.
  • Vanderbilt was selected to finish second in the East and second overall in the SEC in the league’s preseason poll, as voted on by the conference’s head coaches.

On Deck

Alabama continues its’ extended roadtrip with a weekend in Baton Rouge against the LSU Tigers from May 14-16. The series opens on Friday with a 7 p.m. first pitch followed by a pair of 2 p.m. starts on both Saturday and Sunday. The bookend games of the series will air on SEC Network+ with the Saturday contest playing in front of a national audience on SEC Network.