Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Tide, Dugas look to prove themselves against LSU

It has been a roller coaster ride lately for coach Mitch Gaspard and the Alabama baseball team. Throughout the last three weeks the Tide has struggled to maintain consistency, going 6-11 since March 21.

“We have been a team that is really erratic,” Gaspard said.

One thing that Gaspard pointed out in his team’s struggle was a lack of confidence. Gaspard said the confidence the team showed early in the season was a key to the Tide’s early success.

“Confidence is so big in this game,” Gaspard said. “I think when you are a confident group, you can do a lot more things. We were playing easy and loose and you just saw better play across the field.”

Gaspard has decided to alter the batting lineup in order to bring more life to the heart of the lineup. In recent games, hot-hitting sophomore Jon Kelton has taken the spot of preseason All-American Ross Wilson as the Tide’s number three hitter.

“It was more about getting Jon in the three whole and getting him that opportunity, and moving Ross back a little bit, to try to get him going,” Gaspard said.

The move is not a knock toward Wilson’s ability and what he means to the team Gaspard said.

“I still think the flow to our lineup, Ross is our three-hole hitter,” Gaspard said. “There is no question Ross is going to have to hit for this team to do what we need to do.”

The Tide travels to Baton Rouge, La., tonight to start a three-game series with the Louisiana State Tigers.

“This is a big weekend for us,” Gaspard said. “Whenever you come to Baton Rouge and Alex Box, it’s an energizing place and as difficult as it can be to play it can also increase your focus and concentration.”

The series against the defending national champions gives the Tide a chance to prove to the nation and itself the team can compete with the best.

“We need a road series, and that would certainly energize the group to really get us in the right direction,” Gaspard said. “As much as anything, the group in general has to prove to itself that it is a good team.”

For one member of the team, the trip to Louisiana means even more. Tide leadoff hitter Taylor Dugas hails from Lafayette, La., and was passed up by the Tigers out of high school. The LSU series gives Dugas the opportunity show the Tiger’s coaching staff that they made a mistake.

“Taylor is a kid that is very self-motivated, self-driven,” Gaspard said. “He has always been told he’s too small, he’s too this and that and it drives him.”

Gaspard said he feels it is not too late for his team to turns things around in the season.

“This game has a way to turn on you,” Gaspard said. “You look every year there is a team late that really had to fight through tough things to get where they wanted to go. I believe in this group, we can get back to where we were in the beginning of the season.”

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