Thursday, March 1, 2007

Baseball Series Preview: McNeese St. Cowboys

Crimson Tide Host Cowboys In Weekend Series

# 16 Alabama Crimson Tide host the pride of Lake Charles, LA, the McNeese St. Cowboys, in a three game weekend series starting Friday night at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.

Alabama(9-2) is coming off a 16-0 thrashing of the UAB Blazers Wednesday night and is swinging the bats extremely well through the first 11 games. Alabama is hitting .343 as a team with 12 home runs and 90 RBIs. Sophomore Ryan Rhoden leads the team with a .421 batting average and tied a school record with hits in a game with his 5-5 performance Wednesday against UAB. Sophomore Kent Matthes(.419) and senior Emeel Salem (.405) are also hitting above the .400 make for Jim Wells' club.

McNeese State (2-10) has struggled so far this season with its lone wins coming against Le Moyne College in a series win last weekend. The Cowboys dropped a 8-6 decision to Louisiana-Monroe on Wednesday night. The Cowboys are in a peculiar situation having their head coach, Chad Clement, resign from the head coaching position on February 14th, saying his heart was not in coaching anymore. Leaving in the middle of the season has caused McNeese St. to rearrange its coaching staff in the middle of the year.

Starting pitchers have not been named yet for the series, but 'Bama coach Jim Wells has stated he would like to get All-American Tommy Hunter in the bullpen this weekend, if possible. Wells thinks Hunter would flourish in a closer role and feels a starting rotation of Brandon Belcher, Meirs Quigley, Kasey Kebadeuax and Bernard Robert can win games for the Tide, while using Hunter to shut the door on oppenents late in the game.

The first game is scheduled for Friday night at 6:30 pm CT, with Game 2 slated for Saturday at 4pm, and the series finale on Sunday at 2pm.

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