The 22nd ranked Alabama baseball team travels to, as head coach Brad Bohannon calls it, "Fayettenam" this weekend to take on the top ranked Razorbacks. It will be an exciting weekend for SEC baseball, as no team has seen conference play in over a year.

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Tide ace Connor Prielipp is still ruled out with an undisclosed medical issue, so he will not get to start for Alabama as they head into SEC play.

Junior Tyler Ras will start off the weekend on the mound for the Crimson Tide, as he has for most of the weekend series so far. Ras has a 3.60 ERA through 20 innings pitched this season, and a 2-1 record. Ras has pitched better than his stats look, however, and he has started find his stride pumping 96 MPH across the plate consistently.

Dylan Smith, a junior from Stafford, Texas, has been Alabama's ace early on with Prielipp out. Smith has pitched 25.1 innings while only allowing an opponent batting average of .188 and totaling 32 strikeouts. Saturday with Smith starting will be the best chance for Alabama to sneak a game out of this series, if the offense cooperates and produces.

Canadian left-hander Antoine Jean will close out the weekend on the mound for Alabama. Jean has a 1.45 ERA so far this season, keeping the damage to a minimum. The issue for Jean has been walks, allowing 11 through his 18 innings pitched. However, he is fully capable of pitching a good game against Arkansas.

Alabama will quickly discover their potential as a team with this tough, early road test. Most of the offensive production has come from the longball, which can be concerning due to its inconsistency. Consistent hits moving runners around and a strong bullpen weekend will be the keys for the Crimson Tide as they look to sneak some wins past the No. 1 team.

The Alabama Baseball Twitter account will keep you updated on starting lineups and scores throughout the weekend.


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