UAB baseball had another good weekend taking 2-of-3 games from Valparaiso bringing their overall record on the season to 5-2. The Blazers were just 3-4 after seven games last year playing similar or worse competition, so there is definitely some improvement there.
One concerning aspect of UAB baseball right now is the offense. If you take out the 14 run outburst in game three against Creighton, the Blazers are averaging just 3.8 runs per game this year.
However, I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that their two best hitters, Brewer Hicklen and Carter Pharis, are hitting just .208 and .111 respectively. That will not last forever, and as soon as those two start hitting, this offense will improve dramatically.
On the flip side, the pitching is off to a great start and I’m hoping that trend remains the same. The staff as a whole has an ERA of 2.76 with 49 strikeouts in 62 innings to just 16 walks.
Obviously Garrett Whitlock is on another level right now giving up just 1 earned run on 10 hits and ONE WALK in 17 innings with 11 strikeouts.
Tanner Graham has been great to start the season as well giving up just 1 earned run on 7 hits and also just 1 walk in 10 innings.
Carson Jones has proven to be an effective long reliever out of the bullpen giving up just 1 earned run in 7.2 innings with 6 strikeouts.
If the pitching staff continues to limit walks and the defense makes plays behind them, this team will be just fine in 2017.
Looking forward, the Blazers have a pretty daunting week ahead of them. They take on a solid Troy team on Tuesday at home, and then Alabama State at home on Wednesday. However, there is a chance of rain both days so there is a chance those games get postponed.
Then they’ll take their first weekend trip of the season traveling to Athens, Ga. to play the Georgia Bulldogs. While Georgia may not be the best team in the SEC, it will still be one of the best lineups UAB will face all season. And playing them on the road with be a tough challenge for this young UAB team.
So while we’re off to a good start this season, we’ll learn a lot about this team in the coming week.