Baseball looks to improve its bubble status at home against No. 20 LSU

Austin Hannon, Sports Editor

The college baseball season is entering its final stretch, and the Alabama Crimson Tide (25-20, 9-12) are in the thick of things.

According to D1Baseball last week, Alabama was safely in the field for the NCAA Tournament. After suffering a sweep at the South Carolina Gamecocks, the Crimson Tide is now team No. 66 – sitting in the “First Four Out” category.

Alabama is coming off six days of rest leading up to this weekend. The Crimson Tide finished its series against South Carolina on Saturday afternoon, and did not play a midweek game.

After the almost full week off, Alabama is prepared for a huge series ahead of them. The No. 20 LSU Tigers (30-14, 12-9) are coming to Tuscaloosa for a three game set.

“We’ve got to play well,” Alabama head coach Brad Bohannon said. “I know that sounds simple. We’ve played some really good baseball at times this year. We’ve played some really good games for eight innings. We’ve got to put nine innings together three days in a row if we want to have a successful weekend.”

First baseman Drew Williamson has come into his own during SEC play. Williamson sits second on the team in OPS at .891, and has steadily improved in the field. Williamson has four home runs and 22 RBIs against conference foes.

“We’ve got to take advantage of the opportunities we get on offense,” Williamson said. “We’ve just been stranding too many runners, me included. I’ve just got to get my job done when the time comes.”

LSU is second to just No. 1 Tennessee in a lot of offensive categories. The Tigers have scored 348 runs this season – good enough for next best in the league.

Jacob McNairy, who will start Saturday night for the Crimson Tide, says that it all starts on the mound this weekend.

“Everybody in the SEC is really good, but I think they have one of the top offenses in the SEC and in the country,” McNairy said. “It’s going to be a challenge, but that’s every weekend. We have to execute pitches, keep the ball down and just do what we do.”

Jacob Berry, Dylan Crews, and Cade Doughty all have an OPS of over 1.000 for the Tigers, who pose a serious threat to opposing teams’ pitching staffs. The three have combined for 38 home runs and 132 RBIs.

“Really impressive lineup,” Bohannon said. “Probably two or three future big leaguers in that lineup. We’ve got to do a good job of attacking the bottom of the order. If you get behind in the count, they’re gonna make you pay. LSU is ranked in all the polls for obvious reasons, and we’re going to have to play our best baseball to win the series.”

Alabama will stick with its starting rotation from the past several weekends. McNairy along with Garrett McMillan and Grayson Hitt will start on the bump for the Crimson Tide in the three-game set.

Game one at Sewell-Thomas Stadium is set for Friday, May 6 at 6 p.m. on SEC Network+. The Crimson Tide and Tigers will play at 7:30 p.m. CT on Saturday, and 1 p.m. CT on Sunday. Saturday night’s game will be televised on the SEC Network.