Only the top eight teams will make the C-USA Baseball Tournament, and right now UAB baseball is two games back of that eighth spot.
At 6-12 UAB baseball has an uphill battle the rest of the way, and it doesn’t get any easier this weekend. They’re back home this weekend to face a Charlotte team that has an opposite conference record of 12-6 to go along with an overall record of 25-16.
Charlotte is currently on an 8-game winning streak, which includes a win over then No. 17 Wake Forest, and they’ve won seven straight conference games.
The 49ers are on the verge of earning an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament along with Southern Miss, Ole Dominion and FAU.
Charlotte has a potential C-USA Player of the Year candidate in T.J. Nichting leading them with a .406 batting average, 49 runs scored, 5 home runs, 41 RBI and 11 stolen bases. If you’re just a fan of baseball, you should go to the park this weekend to watch this guy.
Nichting is not alone with three other guys in the lineup that are batting .345 or better. Jackson Mims is hitting .354 with 5 home runs and 31 RBI. Leadoff man Zach Jarrett is hitting .346 with 4 home runs, and Brett Netzer is at .345 with 41 runs scored.
They are second in the conference behind Southern Miss with a .303 team batting average. Not only that, but they have the least amount of strikeouts in the conference, so they know how to put the ball in play.
They’re also second in the conference in ERA at 4.31 – also behind Southern Miss.
Colton Laws is their ace as he’s 5-0 with a 1.36 ERA in 66.1 innings with 60 strikeouts and just 10 walks. Josh Maciejewski has been getting the starts on Saturday with a 4.95 record, while Zach Flanagan is the Sunday starter with a 2.85 ERA.
Jacob Craver and Jonah Patten are the names to watch out of the bullpen. Craver has a 2.84 ERA in 19 innings, while Patten has a 2.70 ERA and 6 saves in 20 innings with 26 strikeouts.
UAB won game one against La Tech last weekend, but couldn’t pick up a second. They had a great chance on Sunday, but blew a 3-run lead by giving up 6 runs in the bottom of the eighth.
Quite frankly, the pitching staff after Thomas Lowery is just failing. But I think things are getting better as Tanner Graham gets healthy.
I really think Isaiah Gonzales-Montoya deserves a chance to start on Sunday. That will allow Carson Jones to go back to the bullpen to hold onto some of these leads.
At this point UAB has to start winning some series that they shouldn’t. This is definitely one of those series.
Weekend Schedule (* – Pitchers are Not Confirmed)
Friday – Young Memorial Field – 6:30 p.m. CT
Thomas Lowery (5-1, 3.46, 38 Ks) vs. Colton Laws (5-0, 1.36, 60 Ks)
Saturday – Young Memorial Field – 2 p.m. CT
*Tanner Graham (1-2, 3.18, 13 Ks) vs. Josh Maciejewski (4-3, 4.95, 48 Ks)
Sunday – Young Memorial Field – 1 p.m. CT
*Isaiah Gonzales-Montoya (1-1, 3.38, 18 Ks) vs. Zach Flanagan (3-3, 2.85, 47)