April 2, 2009
The Tennessee baseball team departed Thursday morning for Tuscaloosa, Ala., where it faces the Alabama Crimson Tide for a three-game Southeastern Conference series this weekend at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. Game times are set for 6:35 p.m. CT Friday, 4:05 p.m. CT Saturday and 2:05 p.m. CT Sunday.
All three games will be broadcast on the radio in the Knoxville area on WNML AM 990, FM 99.1 & 99.3. And the radio broadcasts also can be accessed for all three games online at UTsports.com.
Tennessee (12-16, 1-8 SEC) is coming off a 1-1 split of its midweek games and looking for its first SEC series victory of the season. Alabama (17-10, 3-6 SEC) is returning home after spending the last two weeks on the road against No. 12 Mississippi and No. 23 Florida.
Tennessee trails the all-time series with Alabama 28-62, dating back to 1897. Alabama holds a 25-9 edge in Tuscaloosa and has won six of the last 10 meetings. Tennessee's last series win in Tuscaloosa came during the 2000 season, but the Vols won the 2008 series in Knoxville, two games to one.
The Volunteer offense continues to be paced by catcher Blake Forsythe. The sophomore leads the team with a .396 batting average and a team-high 11 home runs. Right fielder Josh Liles leads the team with 39 hits through 28 games. As a team, the Vols are hitting .290 with 42 home runs and 167 RBI.
Alabama is batting .314 as a team and has fashioned a 4.55 staff ERA this season. The Alabama lineup features eight players hitting .320 or better. Freshman left-fielder Taylor Dugas (.449, 2 HR, 18 RBI) continues to be one the SEC's hottest hitters as he leads the league in hits (48) and doubles (13) heading into this weekend's series.
This weekend's pitching matchups feature UT junior Aaron Tullo (1-3, 4.56 ERA) taking the mound Friday against Alabama right-hander Austin Hyatt (4-1, 3.24 ERA). Junior righty Nick Hernandez (1-3, 5.35 ERA) will start for the Vols on Saturday opposite Crimson Tide left-hander Del Howell (2-1, 4.20 ERA). Alabama has not announced a starting pitcher for Sunday's series final, while Tennessee is expected to send lefty Brian Morgado (1-0, 5.27 ERA) to the hill.
UT sophomore center fielder Kentrail Davis is the lone member of the 2009 roster who hails from the state of Alabama. Davis is a native of Theodore, Ala.