|2010 Alabama Crimson Tide baseball|
Atlanta, GA Regional Champions
|2010 record||42-25 (15-15 SEC)|
|Head coach||Mitch Gaspard (1st season)|
|Hitting coach||Dax Norris|
|Pitching coach||Kyle Bunn|
|Home stadium||Sewell-Thomas Stadium|
|2010 Southeastern Conference baseball standings|
|#7 Florida x+||22||-||8||.733||47||-||17||.734|
|#1 South Carolina||21||-||9||.700||54||-||16||.771|
|#19 Auburn x||20||-||10||.667||43||-||21||.672|
|x - Division champion
+ - Conference champion
? - Tournament champion
As of June 29, 2010; Rankings from Baseball America
The 2010 Alabama Crimson Tide baseball team will represent the University of Alabama in the NCAA Division I baseball season of 2010. The Crimson Tide play their home games in Sewell-Thomas Stadium. Alabama was given the #7 seed in the 2010 SEC Baseball Tournament, they beat #2 Auburn, #6 Ole Miss, and #1 Florida on their way to the championship game. They would be defeated 4-3 by LSU in 11 innings. The Crimson Tide was then selected to play in the 2010 NCAA Baseball Tournament, as the #2 seed in the Atlanta, GA Regional. Alabama went 4-1 and beat #8 national seed Georgia Tech twice to advance to the Super Regionals. Alabama's Nathan Kilcrease was named the MVP of the regional. The Crimson Tide fell Clemson in the Super Regionals.
First-year pitching coach Kyle Bunn coach must find a way to replace two-thirds of the Crimson Tide's starting rotation from last year's team. Fifth-year senior Austin Hyatt (8-3, 3.76 ERA) logged more than 100 innings last season en route to All-American and All-SEC honors, while two-way standout Del Howell (5-3, 6.33 ERA) opted for the MLB draft after his junior season. Bunn, who has built solid reputation at Mississippi and Clemson for developing arms into solid weekend warriors, will now try his hand with an Alabama staff that has a nice blend of veterans and newcomers. Sophomore left-hander Adam Morgan (13 G, 9 GS, 4-2, 4.17 ERA) is the lone returning weekend starter for the Tide. He posted some key wins last season for the Crimson Tide, including his SEC debut against No. 1 ranked Georgia. Juniors Jason Townsend, Jonathan Smart and Jimmy Nelson will also contend for starting jobs on the mound. Townsend spent the last two seasons at Chipola Junior College and has a solid fall for the Crimson Tide. Smart, who missed the 2009 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery, was a pleasant surprise this fall on the mound and emerged as one of the Tide's top arms. Nelson is in his third season with the Tide and has pitched as both a starter and reliever in his career. The bullpen should be anchored by senior David Head, junior Nathan Kilcrease, senior Adam Scott and sophomore Tyler White. The Crimson Tide will also have the services of six freshmen, including Tucker Hawley, Trey Pilkington, Matt Taylor, Adam Windsor and Taylor Wolfe, all of whom showed great promise this fall on the mound. Taylor is also a two-way player and could see time in the outfield because of his speed and arm strength. Junior college transfer Brett Whitaker is another two-way player that will likely see action on the mound. He is also an excellent hitter and suited for the role of DH or pinch-hitter.
What the Crimson Tide lacks in experience, it makes up for it with talent and depth behind the plate this season. Alabama enters the 2010 season with five catchers on its active roster, but only two of those five catchers have seen game action for the Crimson Tide. Senior Cody Trotter (.342, 3 HR, 11 RBI) has the most experience with 12 games under his belt before an elbow injury ended his season in early April last season. Trotter underwent extensive rehab this summer and fall and was able to return to the lineup by the middle of fall camp. Junior Brock Bennett is the only other catcher with any game experience and is one of the Tide's top defensive backstops. He has played in five games during his two-year career. Junior Chris Smelley and freshman Brett Booth are both talented players and offensive and defensive depth to the Tide's lineup this season. Smelley and Booth both bring a quarterbacks mentality to the Tide's catching lineup, as both were successful high school signal callers. Smelley, who also played quarterback at South Carolina before transferring to Alabama for the 2009 season, was an all-state performer at American Christian Academy in Tuscaloosa in both football and baseball. Booth led the Tuscaloosa County High School Wildcats to back-to-back perfect regular seasons in 2007 and 2008. That experience should help both players and the catching position. Smelley could also play first base and DH for the Tide this season. Booth worked a third base and saw action on the mound for the Tide this fall. Freshman walk-on Charley Waldrep missed most of the fall with a back injury and could redshirt this year.
The strength of the 2010 Alabama baseball team has to start in the infield, where the Crimson Tide returns all four starters from last year's squad. The Tide welcomes back senior first baseman Clay Jones (.331, 7 HR, 39 RBI), junior second baseman Ross Wilson (.353, 9 HR, 47 RBI), junior shortstop Josh Rutledge (.305, 5 HR, 44 RBI) and senior third baseman Jake Smith (.359, 18 HR, 54 RBI). Smith and Wilson are 2010 preseason All-Americans, while Rutledge, Smith and Wilson were first-team All-SEC selections in 2009. Smith and Wilson were also named to the 2009 SEC All-Defensive Team. Smith, a two-time SEC All-Defensive Team selection, made only five errors at third base last season. That quartet combined to hit .336 (264-for-785) with 39 home runs and 184 RBI last season. With the abundance of talent and experience, Alabama coach Mitch Gaspard thinks the Crimson Tide will field one of the finest infields in the nation this season. "I feel like we have a chance to have one of the best infields in the country," Gaspard said. "We have a lot of talent and experience in the infield and they are all leaders on this team. Smith and Jones are solid corner-infielders, who will hit for average and power. Wilson and Rutledge will be together for the third straight year and have formed one of the best middle infields in the country." The Crimson Tide will also have the services of senior Cal Tinsley, juniors John David Smelser and Josh Sanders and freshmen Danny Collins and Allen Dye this season.
Sophomore Taylor Dugas, who earned All-SEC and All-American honors as a freshman last season, anchors the Cirmson Tide outfield this season. Dugas will move from left field to centerfield this season, after a steallar rookie season in which he hit .352 (83-for-236) with two home runs and 27 RBI in 56 games. He led the team in hits (83) and doubles (20) and ranked third in runs scored (61) and fourth in hitting. Alabama will be looking to replace Kent Matthes, the 2009 NCAA home run leader, and Alex Kubal in the outfield this season. Matthes hit .358 with 28 home runs and 81 RBI last season en route to being named a consensus All-American in 2009. Kubal hit .313 with four home runs and 16 RBI and turned in a number of highlight-reel catches in centerfield the last two seasons. A trio of freshmen are among the candidates to replace Matthes and Kubal this season. The Tide will look to redshirt freshman Brandt Hendricks, true freshman Andrew Miller and redshirt freshman Kent Myer to fill those shoes in 2010. All three are talented players, but all three missed some or all of the fall with significant injuries. Miller missed the first two weeks while recovering from a broken ankle sustained during the summer. He returned to the lineup in the middle of the fall and showed why he was one of the top high school players in the state of Alabama. Hendricks suffered a broken ankle the first week of fall and did not return, while Myer suffered a broken leg during the second week and missed the remaining practice time. Both should be back in the fold this spring and competing for the two outfield slots or DH. Sophomore Jon Kelton and junior David Kindred will also compete for playing time in the outfield this season. Kelton can also play in the infield and is a provides a capable left-hand bat, while Kindred has experience with stints at Mississippi and Shelton State CC.
2010 Alabama Crimson Tide Baseball Roster & Bios http://www.rolltide.com/sports/m-basebl/mtt/alab-m-basebl-mtt.html#Numerical
2010 Alabama Crimson Tide Baseball Coaches & Bios http://www.rolltide.com/sports/m-basebl/spec-rel/m-basebl-coaches.html
+ Indicates the game does not count toward the 2010 Southeastern Conference Standings.
*Rankings are based on the team's current ranking in the Baseball America poll the week Alabama faced each opponent.
|USA Today/ESPN Coaches' Poll (Top 25)||NR||NR||NR||25||21||16||23||25||NR||NR||NR||NR||NR||NR||NR||NR||18|
|Baseball America (Top 25)||NR||NR||NR||NR||NR||20||25||24||NR||NR||NR||NR||NR||NR||NR||NR||16|
|Collegiate Baseball (Top 30)^||NR||NR||NR||30||21||16||NR||NR||NR||NR||NR||NR||NR||NR||NR||NR||16||16|
|NCBWA (Top 30)+||32||NR||28||27||23||20||29||25||NR||NR||NR||NR||NR||NR||NR||29|
|Rivals.com (Top 25)||NR||NR||NR||NR||NR||22||NR||19||NR||NR||NR||NR||NR||NR||NR||NR||17|
The following members of the Alabama Crimson Tide baseball program were drafted in the 2010 MLB Draft.
|Jimmy Nelson||P||2nd||64th||Milwaukee Brewers|
|Josh Rutledge||SS||3rd||107th||Colorado Rockies|
|Ross Wilson||2B||10th||308th||Chicago White Sox|
|Jake Smith||3B||15th||471st||Philadelphia Phillies|
|Tyler White||P||20th||613th||Detroit Tigers|
|Jason Townsend||P||31st||927th||Pittsburgh Pirates|
|Clay Jones||1B||32nd||973rd||Detroit Tigers|