29 April 2011
Congrats to Derek Sherrod. Our star Tackle was drafted last in night in the first roung, 32nd pick overall, by the Green Bay Packers. I know he'll make us all proud, he already has in so many ways. A class act and a star both on the field and in the classroom. Good for you, Derek. You certainly deserve it.
Now, on to Bama. The Tide rolls in this weeked licking some serious wounds. They have dropped 9 of their last 10 conference games and fallen from first to fourth in the SEC West, just one game ahead of State for the 8th and final spot in the SEC tourney.
At the plate they are average at best. They come in with a team avg of .273 and only 12 HR. But their best hitter, Jared Reaves, has been on a tear. He's currently at .363 but in the last 10 games he is 18 for 35 with a slugging percentage over .600. He's hot. Obviously, it will be important to keep guys hitting in front of him off base.
They have a decent pitching staff which appears to be anchored by a good and deep bullpen. This will certainly come into play with the double header on Saturday. Their rotation is led by senior RH Nathan Kilcrease, and then after him they become a bit more average. The team ERA is 3.57, a shade better than State's, and opponents are hitting .273 against them.
Earlier this week they lit up Southern Miss for 15 hits and 7 runs, so the Tide may be down a bit but they aren't out.
This is a big series and MSU has to be ready to play.
And then there are the intangibles. Tuscaloosa is dealing with a tragic disaster, no doubt some of the Bama players have been affected by it personally. It's impossible to know how they will respond. Baseball is not an emotional game so emotions can work against you just as easily as they can help. If anything, maybe getting out there on the field and having a little fun can help with the healing process. Our hearts are certainly with the people in Tuscaloosa and all over the southeast.
One thing's for sure, both teams need this series badly.