Weekend Roadtrip to the Bluegrass State Pits Alabama Baseball against Kentucky

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama heads north, traveling to Lexington to take on the Kentucky Wildcats for a three-game series this weekend at Kentucky Proud Park. The two teams begin the series on Friday with a 5:30 p.m. CT first pitch. Saturday’s matchup is slated for 1 p.m. with the series wrapping up on Sunday at 12 p.m. All three games between the Crimson Tide and Wildcats can be seen 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: StatBroadcast.com

Probable Starting Pitching Matchups

FRIDAYUA – Tyler Ras (Jr., RHP) vs. UK – Cole Stupp (So., RHP)

SATURDAYUA – Dylan Smith (Jr., RHP) vs. UK – Sean Harney (Sr., RHP)

SUNDAY: UA – TBA vs. UK – Zack Lee (So., RHP)

Leading Off

  • Alabama and Kentucky will meet for the 105th time when the two teams open the series on Friday night at Kentucky Proud Park. The Crimson Tide holds the all-time advantage, 63-41, including a 22-20 mark in Lexington.
  • The two teams last met from March 30-April 1, 2018 for Easter Weekend at Sewell-Thomas Stadium with Alabama claiming a 2-1 series win against the then-No. 7 Wildcats. The Crimson Tide picked up a pair of 4-2 wins in the first two games of the series before falling, 5-2, on Sunday. The series win was Alabama’s first against a top-10 team under head coach Brad Bohannon.
  • Kentucky took two games of a three-game weekend set when the two teams last met in Lexington from April 8-10, 2016. The Wildcats came out on top, 3-2, in the series opener before clinching a series win with a 6-2 victory on Saturday. Alabama rallied to win the series finale, 2-1, to avoid the series sweep.
  • Alabama sends Tyler Ras to the hill in the series opener on Friday. The right-hander is followed by fellow righty Dylan Smith on Saturday afternoon. The Crimson Tide’s starter for Sunday is still to be announced.
  • Kentucky will call on three righties for the weekend series. The Wildcats first send Cole Stupp to the mound on Friday followed by Sean Harney on Saturday. Things wrap up on Sunday with Zach Lee taking the hill for UK.

About Alabama

  • Alabama heads to Lexington having gone 3-1 across the last four games. The Crimson Tide earned a 2-1 series win over Auburn in a three-game set last weekend before an 8-6 win over North Alabama on Tuesday evening.
  • The Crimson Tide’s latest four-game stretch is highlighted by the efforts of Sam Praytor. The Tide catcher earned SEC Player of the Week honors to start the new week before contributing four of the Tide’s eight RBI against UNA.
  • Praytor is batting .500 (8-16) with a double, three home runs, eight RBI and four runs scored while walking once and adding a hit-by-pitch in the Tide’s last four games.
  • Right behind him is Drew Williamson. The junior has matched Praytor by batting .500 (7-14) and contributing a double, one homer, three RBI, three runs, three walks and a stolen base in his four starts at first base.
  • Alabama completed the comeback against North Alabama for an 8-6 win on Tuesday evening. The teams were knotted up at three apiece after two innings of play. UNA plated two in the sixth to take the lead before the Tide answered with a pair in the bottom of the seventh to set things even once again. The Lions added one in the top of the eighth, but a three-run home half pushed UA in front for good for the eventual 8-6 win.
  • The Tide offense was led by Praytor, who wrapped up his night 3-for-4 with a double, a home run, four RBI and one run scored. William Hamiter finished with two RBI, both of which came on his go-ahead, two-run single in the bottom of the eighth.
  • Chase Lee picked up the win, working the final 1.2 frames and striking out the side in the ninth for his team-leading sixth victory of the season.
  • Alabama’s bullpen was tasked with throwing 8.2 of 9.0 innings against the Lions, highlighted by Lee’s effort along with another strong outing from William Freeman. Freeman entered in a jam in the top of the first and got the final two outs to limit the damage. He went on to throw 2.2 scoreless frames with two punchouts.
  • Owen Diodati’s RBI-single in the 10th helped Alabama walk off Auburn, 8-7, last Thursday evening. The two teams went back and forth all game, trading runs throughout the night.
  • Auburn scored first, plating one in the second before Alabama answered with two in the home half. The Tide added a pair in the bottom of the third before AU came back with two in the fourth. Alabama crossed one in the home half, but the Tigers countered for three in the fifth to take the lead. The lead would not last for long as the Tide added one in the bottom of the fifth.
  • The teams traded single runs in the eighth before failing to score in the ninth to send the game to extras. In the 10th, Alabama got the leadoff man on thanks to a single from Zane Denton. He was followed by a single from Praytor to put two on for Diodati. The Tide DH capitalized on his opportunity, sending the first pitch he saw down the line in right for the walkoff win. Alabama was led on offense by trio of Denton, Praytor and Diodati who combined for seven hits, five RBI and three runs scored.
  • Alabama came up short against Auburn, 5-4, last Friday evening. Auburn got out front early with one in the first and two in the second. The Tide cut into the lead with one in the second, but the Tigers countered with one in the fifth. Alabama answered that with a two-spot in the home half of the fifth with both teams going scoreless until the eighth. The top of the eighth saw Auburn add one to make it a two-run game headed to the ninth. Alabama scratched across one in that final frame, but a strikeout ended things with the tying run at first.
  • For a second game in the series, UA walked off Auburn, this time to the tune of 10-9 last Saturday. The two teams went back and forth all day, but the key moments came late, as Alabama put up three runs in the seventh to make it 8-8.
  • Auburn proceeded to score one in the top of the eighth with Alabama answering with a run of its own in the home half. The game headed to the ninth with Lee getting a huge inning-ending 6-4-3 double play in the top half to bring the Tide to the plate with a chance to win.
  • Alabama’s ninth began with a single from Williamson. The Tide first baseman then moved to second on a perfect sacrifice bunt from Jackson Tate to bring Jim Jarvis to the plate. Jarvis played hero, doubling over the head of the Auburn left fielder to walk it off in favor of Alabama for the series-clinching win.
  • Williamson led the Tide in hits with a career-high tying four as part of a 4-for-5 showing that included a double and one run scored – the game-winning run. Diodati paced Alabama in RBI with four to go with a 2-for-5 effort that included a home run and one run scored. Also homering on Saturday were Praytor and Hamiter, with each home run coming in that huge three-run seventh that tied things up at eight apiece.
  • Lee earned the win with 2.2 innings of one-run baseball. The Tide closer allowed three hits and issued two walks while striking out three batters. Alabama was able to get to Lee thanks to another impressive effort out of Landon Green with the right-hander tossing 2.1 scoreless frames that included a pair of strikeouts.

About Kentucky

  • Kentucky finished the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign at 11-6 overall. The Wildcats were set to travel to Nashville for a three-game series with Vanderbilt to begin SEC play when the season was officially canceled.
  • Nick Mingione is in his fifth season as a collegiate head coach, all coming at Kentucky. Mingione entered 2021 with a career record of 114-80 in Lexington. A 2000 graduate of Embry-Riddle, Mingione is assisted by Dan Roszel and Will Coggin along with volunteer assistant coach Todd Guilliams.
  • Kentucky was selected to finish seventh in the East and 14th overall in the SEC in the league’s preseason poll, as voted on by the conference’s head coaches.

On Deck

Alabama’s next stop will be Regions Field in Birmingham for a midweek against UAB. The Crimson Tide and Blazers are set to square off on Tuesday, April 27 with a 6 p.m. first pitch at the Double-A ballpark. Fans can catch the game live on Conference USA TV ($).