Monthly Archives: May 2010

Alabama receives regional baseball assignment

And the Tide is headed to … Atlanta as the No. 2 seed. It plays Elon in the opener with top-seeded Georgia Tech meeting Mercer in the other Friday game.

Alabama played its way into the regionals with a string eight-straight wins snapped Sunday with a 4-3 loss to LSU in the SEC tournament championship.

Down in Auburn, the Tigers will host Jacksonville State in the opener as the NCAA did a good job matching in-state opponents.

The SEC got eight teams in, as did the Pac-10 and the ACC.

Live blog: LSU/Alabama SEC baseball championship

FINAL: LSU 4, Alabama 3

Jon Kelton struck out, Brett Whitaker grounded out to second and Andrew Miller struck out to end it.


More later.

Middle 10th: LSU leads 4-3 after Tyler Hanover’s RBI single to left scored Matt Gaudet. That followed a Josh Rutledge throwing error on what would have been the third out of the inning. 

End 10th: No clutch 2-out hit this time. Jake Smith left the game-winning run stranded at third with his pop out to right. Ross Wilson got to third on a walk, stolen base and a throwing error. Still 3-3 heading into 11th.

Middle 10th: Jake Smith turns a huge double play after allowing a lead off single. Micah Gibbs SAC bunt attempt turned into the DP that included a very close play at first. LSU was not happy with the call. Two walks and a looking strike out later, the game remains tied 3-3 with the top of the Alabama lineup coming to the plate.

End ninth: Cal Tinsley struck out swinging, as did Andrew Miller and Brock Bennett grounded out to second base. You know what that means: Bonus baseball. We’re going to extras with the SEC title on the line, tied 3-3. LSU fans are jacked up.

5:59 update: Play ball!

5:39 update: Tarp coming up again. Let’s hope we can play some baseball soon. A good chunk of the crowd took off after it went back on about an hour ago. Restart time: 6:05 p.m. (Central)

You’ve got to be kidding me:  Tarp is out. We are delayed by lightning again at 4:53 p.m.

Middle ninth: Andrew Miller makes catch falling into the wall for first out then another in shallow left before a Mason Katz single to left. Mikie Mahtook then grounded out to end the threat, 3-3 going to the bottom of the ninth.

End eighth: Jake Smith single to right scores Ross Wilson, ties game 3-3 before Jon Kelton pops out to left field.

Middle eighth: Ross Wilson’s leaping stab of Alex Edwards’s hard line drive saved at least a run and ended the threat with runners on first and second. Taylor Dugas up first next inning with 48-game streak of reaching base in jeopardy.

End seventh: LSU left fielder Mason Katz just made the play of the game so far. He dove to catch a sinking liner off the bat of Brock Bennett then doubled up Brandt Hendricks who was expecting the ball to drop in for a single. That’s huge for LSU, still leading 3-2 with two innings left and the top of the Tide lineup coming up in the eighth.

Bottom seventh: Andrew Miller’s single scores Jon Kelton to cut deficit to 3-2 with one out and another new pitcher coming in.

Middle seventh: With Jimmy Nelson pitching, the Tide retires the side in order. 3-1 LSU.

Middle sixth: The Tide avoids damage after a 1-out triple. Still no score after the delay. LSU up 3-1.

End fifth: Taylor Dugas’ long drive to center field was not deep enough in this big park. Leon Landry gloves the third out to keep LSU up 3-1. Jimmy Nelson warming up in Tide bullpen.

Middle fifth: One hit, no runs, one runner left on base. LSU still leads 3-1.

3:26 p.m. update: And … we’re back. Play ball, take II.

3:05 update: Wrong again. Tarp off. Announcement says game restarts in 20 minutes. $20 says that doesn’t happen, but we’ll see.

2:58 p.m. update: False alarm. Tarp is still down and the weights holding to down are coming back out.

2:51 p.m. update: The tarp is about to come off the field and the radar looks more positive. How this delay affects pitching will be interesting.

RAIN DELAY!!
It’s 2:05 and the tarp just came out. We are delayed. In a softball update, Alabama was just stunned by a 2-out, 2-run homer in the bottom of the seventh to get eliminated by Hawaii, 5-4 is the final.



End fourth: Ross Wilson’s single to center scored Josh Rutledge from second to cut the hole to 3-1 with no outs. But that was all the damage Alabama did as Wilson was left standing on first. Then the rains began and the crowd is seeking shelter.

Middle fourth: Hawley strikes out two, retires side in order. Still 3-0 LSU.

End third: Alabama goes down in order again to trail 3-0 entering the fourth. In softball, a 3-run homer put the Tide up 4-3 late in the super regional title game.

Middle third: Mikie Mahtook’s lead-off homer put LSU up 3-0. Taylor +Wolfe then exits after 2+ innings after hitting Tyler Hanover. Tucker Hawley replaces him on the mound to close out the inning.

End second: A 1-2-3 inning included two strike outs. For the first time this week, Alabama is not in control.

Middle second: Wolfe records first walk by Alabama pitchers this week and Matt Gaudet makes him pay for it with a 2-run double to put the Tide behind for the first time all week, 2-0 LSU. Leon Landry’s long at-bat and walk set up the shot to left with two outs.

End first: The Tide strands Ross Wilson at second with a Clay Jones ground out to third. Score remains 0-0 under still-sunny skies.

Middle first: Tide pitcher Taylor Wolfe puts two strikes on all three hitters, strikes out last two in 1-2-3 first. After a half inning, 0-0 with the Tide coming to the plate. LSU fans are running away with the spirit stick at this point.

Weather improves; let's play ball

Much to my surprise, the weather has cleared and we are about 15 minutes from first pitch in the SEC baseball championship game between Alabama and LSU.

It appears as if a few hundred more LSU fans traveled to Hoover over night to balance out the crowd a little more. Alabama fans, though, still outnumber those in purple and gold.

Stay here for all the between-innings updates I can manage.

SEC baseball championship weather report

In a word: Bad.

About 90 minutes before scheduled first pitch of the championship game between Alabama and LSU, and the downpour we just experienced in Hoover was biblical. A look at the radar shows a lot of green, some orange and red — not good for a game of outdoor baseball.

We saw a similar rain storm an hour or so after Saturday’s game ended. The tarp was nowhere in sight so the grounds crew had to scramble to cover the infield, but not before taking a good soaking. We’ll see if that has any impact today.

Stay tuned for updates.

Live blog: Florida/Alabama baseball

FINAL: Alabama 5, Florida 2

The hot streak continues. Consecutive win No. 8 puts Alabama into the championship game with defending conference and national champion LSU.

The final begins at 1 p.m. Sunday and will air on ESPN2.

More later.

End sixth: Tide needs three outs to wrap up its spot in the championship game against LSU. Adam Morgan still on the mound.

Middle sixth: Preston Tucker scored on a ground out to cut the lead to 5-2 Alabama after his leadoff double and a SAC fly.

End fifth: Ross Wilson, Clay Jones and Jake Smith all went down with strike outs. After five innings, Alabama still leads 5-1.

Middle fifth: The Gators got one back, but still trails Alabama 5-1 heading into the bottom of the fifth. Morgan gave up a pair of doubles and not dominating as he had in the first few innings.

End fourth: For the first time all afternoon, Alabama doesn’t put a run on the board. It still leads 5-0 with three innings left.

Middle fourth: The Gators stranded two runners as Adam Morgan’s no-hit bid ended with a lead-off single by Nolan Fontana. No damage on the scoreboard, though. Still 5-0 Tide.

End third: A 2-out, 2-run single from Jake Smith puts Alabama ahead 5-0 with Adam Morgan rolling on the mound.

Middle third: The Tide worked around a Jake Smith throwing error to keep the shutout alive, 3-0 Alabama after 2 1/2.

End second: Andrew Miller’s 2-RBI double to the left field put the Tide up 3-0 before he was doubled off on a Brock Bennett line drive hit right to the second baseman.

Middle second: Three up, three down in the Florida half of the second. Still 1-0 Tide.

End first: Josh Rutledge scores on a Ross Wilson SAC fly to take a 1-0 lead. Rutledge reached on infield single, then advances to third on a pick-off attempt throwing error.

Middle first: Tide pitcher Adam Morgan puts the Gator batters down in order — the first two by strike out. The score: 0-0 heading into the bottom of the first. Remember, all games Saturday will last just seven innings because of weather delays.

Sky sunny for now

We are about 20 minutes from first pitch between Alabama and Florida in the SEC baseball semifinal. For now, the weather looks good, but storms are in the forecast later this afternoon.

The Tide will be playing without designated hitter David Kindred this afternoon as he deals with a medical issue. According to a news release just delivered, he “returned home for tests to determine the origin of shortness of breath and tightness in his chest.”

Kindred hit .314 with three home runs this season and he had a two-run single in Wednesday’s 7-1 win over Auburn on Wednesday. Brandt Hendricks (.279 average) replaced him in the seventh spot on Alabama’s lineup card.

UPDATED: More rain, more delays

10:20 a.m. UPDATE: Ole Miss and LSU will begin at 11 a.m. and all games will be seven innings today. That will be interesting to see how that helps teams who played Friday and have less bullpen support.

The first game of the SEC baseball tournament’s semifinal Saturday is already a half hour behind schedule, so we could be in for another marathon day. Look at the radar and weather forecast, and it looks even worse for what could be two or three or four games (depending on if winner’s bracket teams get victories in the first game).

This will give Florida a little more time to rest before meeting Alabama. The Gators didn’t finish off their win over Vanderbilt until a few minutes past midnight this morning, so I’m sure they are happy to see the tarp covering the Regions Park infield this morning.

The Alabama/Florida semifinal will start 30 minutes after conclusion of the LSU/Ole Miss game that was supposed to start at 9:30 a.m. Stay tuned.

In other SEC news, check out this New York Times story detailing potential NCAA troubles for Kentucky involving Birmingham product Eric Bledsoe

And now, the Bama Blog humorous video of the day and one of my personal favorites.

Softball super regional postponed

There will be no softball played in Tuscaloosa tonight.

Instead, the super regional between Alabama and Hawaii will wait until Saturday.

Check back later for game times since they are still trying to figure out the schedule for the best-of-three series with a spot in the world series at stake.

Rain delay hijinx: Peanut beats hot dog

With time to kill and rain on the field, leave it up to peanut and hot dog costumes to entertain those waiting out the weather delay at the Alabama Softball Complex.

Check out the video of the race, but I stand behind my alma mater Western Kentucky as the champions of rain delay fun.

Bama softball super regional in lightning delay

Here we are, watching the lightning at the Alabama Softball Complex as the delay enters its second hour. Alabama was supposed to open the best-of-three NCAA super regional with Hawaii. The seats are packed but the lightning isn’t stopping.

More updates to come.

Bryant-Denny Stadium expansion update

Finally, after way too long, I have the latest view of the south end zone expansion at Bryant-Denny Stadium. I took this just moments ago. As always, check out the gallery below to view the progress over the last year.

BDS expansion, updated May 28, 2010

Alabama/Ole Miss baseball time lapse

Watch all the the 6-3 Crimson Tide win over the Rebels in 30 seconds via my trusty point and shoot camera. Enjoy.

Alabama/Ole Miss live blog: Tide wins

FINAL, ALABAMA 6, OLE MISS 3

From sneaking into the field to a semifinalist, Alabama took care of Ole Miss behind a second straight pitching gem and a little small ball.

Nathan Kilcrease almost threw his third straight complete game and the Tide’s second of the tournament after Jimmy Nelson’s outing Wednesday against Auburn. He was pulled for Jake Smith with one out in the ninth after Ole Miss brought the tying run to the plate.

Alabama gets the winner of the Florida/Vanderbilt game on Saturday.

Read more later.

Middle ninth: It looks like Kilcrease will get an opportunity to close it out himself after the Tide goes down in order in the top half of the last inning.

End eighth: Miles Hamblin’s lead-off, solo homer made it 6-2 after it rocketed over the right field wall but Kilcrease battles back and gets third out with a swinging K. Tide takes four-run lead to ninth.

Middle eighth: Josh Rutledge single scores Brock Bennett who moved to second on a balk after a bloop single to put Alabama up 5-1 and a Clay Jones single plates Rutledge to take a 6-1 advantage.

End seventh: Ole Miss isn’t going down quietly. Matt Smith ended Kilcrease’s streak at 17 straight retired with a double to right. David Philips then drove him home with a single to right. Alabama still leads 4-1 with two innings left.

Middle seventh: Ross Wilson got his third hit to lead off and later scores on a Jake Smith sacrifice fly to center. Another play at the plate, another Tide runner slide in safely to make it 4-0 Tide.

End sixth: Kilcrease got the put-out on to end the inning with 16 straight outs. Alabama comes back to the plate with its 3-0 lead in tact.

Middle sixth: The Tide scores two more. Jon Kelton triple to right scores David Kindred who led off with an infield single. Then an Andrew Miller squeeze scores Kelton in a wild inning. It’s now 3-0 Tide.

End fifth: Another inning without a base runner keeps Alabama ahead 1-0. Kilcrease has retired 13 straight now.

Middle fifth: We finally have a score. Taylor Dugas slid past the tag at home on a Josh Rutledge single. Dugas walked again and stole second in spite of pitch out to put himself in position. Clay Jones stranded two with a fielder’s choice to end inning. Your score: 1-0 Alabama.

End fourth: Ole Miss goes down in order again. The score: 0-0. Alabama’s Kilcrease has now retired 10 straight.

Middle fourth: Ross Wilson led off by slapping a double down the left field line, followed by a Clay Jones walk to put runners on first and second. Kindred failed to get a bunt down, then popped out. Jake Smith struck out swinging and Jon Kelton grounded into a fielders’ choice. Long story short, still 0-0 in Regions Park.

End third: A quick 1-2-3 half inning, keeps nobody in the lead, 0-0 with Alabama’s 3-4-5 batters coming up.

Middle third: Andrew Miller came just feet from a home run. Instead it was a long foul to the right side followed by a ground out to first. Brock Bennett legged out an infield single. Taylor Dugas followed by a walk that extended his streak of games in which he’s reached base to 46 straight, but Josh Rutledge struck out to strand both and keep the score at 0-0. Who will blink first? Stay tuned.

End second: Miles Hamblin just struck out to end the inning, 0-0. There was a brief delay when the home plate umpire took a baseball to the throat after the pitch hit the dirt. He appears to be alright now.

Middle second: David Kindred hit into a double play to waste a Clay Jones lead-off single and a Jake Smith strike out keeps the shutout in tact. 0-0.

End first: A pair of two-out singles for Ole Miss were wasted by a grounder to second that ends the first. Still 0-0 in a very pro-Alabama Regions Park. Another pitchers’ dual? We will see.

Middle first: Ross Wilson nailed trying to steal second ends the top of the first with no damage for Ole Miss. 0-0.

Welcome back to Hoover

We’re about 30 minutes from first pitch between Alabama and Ole Miss in the second round of the SEC baseball tournament in Hoover. Quite a bit is at stake.

An Alabama loss would set up a rematch with Auburn at 3 p.m. Friday after the Tide thumped the Tigers 7-1 on Wednesday. Auburn finished off South Carolina 3-1 in 12 innings earlier today.

Check back later for updates.

Stallings elected to college football hall of fame

The College Football Hall of Fame Class of 2011 will include former Crimson Tide coach Gene Stallings, as announced this afternoon.

Stallings will be one of two coaches and 12 players to enter the hall officially next year. Ex-Wisconsin coach Barry Alvarez is the other coach.

Here is the complete list:

DENNIS BYRD – DT, North Carolina State (1964-67)
RONNIE CAVENESS – C, Arkansas (1962-64)
RAY CHILDRESS – DL, Texas A&M (1981-84)
RANDY CROSS – OG, UCLA (1973-75)
SAM CUNNINGHAM – RB, Southern California (1970-72)
MARK HERRMANN – QB, Purdue (1977-80)
CLARKSTON HINES – WR, Duke (1986-89)
DESMOND HOWARD – WR, Michigan (1989-91)
CHET MOELLER – DB, Navy (1973-75)
JERRY STOVALL – HB, LSU (1960-62)
PAT TILLMAN* – LB, Arizona State (1994-97)
ALFRED WILLIAMS – LB, Colorado (1987-90)
BARRY ALVAREZ – 118-73-4 (.615) – Wisconsin (1990-2005)
GENE STALLINGS – 89-70-1 (.559) – Texas A&M (1965-71), Alabama (1990-96)