The UAB Blazers baseball team will begin the 2016 season with a three-game series at Regions Field against Arkansas State on Friday, February 19.
UAB will begin its quest for another Conference USA championship after falling short in the championship game a year ago.
Arkansas State is also gearing up to make another run in their conference tournament this year as they were dismissed by South Alabama in the semi-finals of the Sun Belt Tournament a year ago.
The Red Wolves had four players taken in the MLB Draft last year, including infielder Zach George who led the nation in on-base-percentage at .548 and finished with the best batting average in the Sun Belt Conference at .399.
Senior outfielder Austin Baker is the team’s best returning hitter having hit .290 a year ago, while leading the team in runs scored with 42, home runs with seven and he was third on the team in RBIs with 36.
Ty White, another senior outfielder, is the team’s leading hitter average-wise returning having hit .300 in 2015. Junior infielder/catcher Joe Schrimpf returns after leading the team in RBIs last year with 38, while also blasting 5 home runs.
Arkansas State also lost its best starting pitcher from a year ago in David Owen who was taken in the 19th round in the MLB Draft after posting a 3.25 ERA in 91.1 innings last year with 73 strikeouts.
Junior Tyler Zuber may be the team’s best returning starter having posted a 3.54 ERA in 73.2 innings pitched last year with 72 strikeouts. He only made eight starts a year ago, but expect him to be a full-time starter this year.
This will be a difficult task for the Blazers in their first weekend of action, especially with all they lost from last year’s team. It will be exciting to see what Coach Brian Shoop and his team looks like as they take the field this weekend.
For more on the Blazers 2016 team go here.
Game Times and Probable Starters:
Friday – 4 p.m. Central – Regions Field.
Probable Starters: Jr. Tyler Zuber (RHP, 7-4, 3.54 ERA, 72 Ks)* vs. Fr. Tanner Graham (RHP)
Saturday – 1 p.m. Central – Regions Field.
Probable Starters: Sr. Adam Grantham (RHP, 0-3, 4.43 ERA, 45 Ks)* vs So. Ryan Ruggles (LHP, 4-2, 4.11 ERA, 35 Ks)*
Sunday – 1 p.m. Central – Regions Field.
Probable Starters: RS So. Bryan Ayers (RHP, redshirted last year) vs TBD.
* – 2015 stats
We look forward to seeing you out at the ballpark!