After a 4-1 start to the season, the Blazers are now just 1-5 in their last six games. We’ll see if they can get back on track this weekend against Milwaukee before conference play begins.
Again, I’ll mention how huge losing those three games at Arkansas State was. Not only when the Blazers likely have won at least two of those games, but this young team needs those at-bats and innings to continue their development.
But I digress.
UAB is coming off a heart-breaking loss at home to Auburn on Tuesday night. They were up 8-3 last and eventually lost after a couple of 3-run home runs by the Tigers.
Meanwhile, Milwaukee comes into this series with a 2-9 record overall and a tough mid-week loss of their own as they blew a 4-1 lead at Minnesota.
The Panthers were picked to finish fourth out of six teams in the Horizon League.
What to expect from Milwaukee:
Infielder Mike Ferri has been solid atop the lineup for Milwaukee with a .333 average and .412 on-base-percentage to lead the team.
Third baseman Ben Chally might be the team’s best hitter after batting .327 last year. So far in 2018 he’s hitting .289 with 7 runs scored and 2 home runs.
Shortstop Trevor Schwecke was a preseason All-Conference player and he’s hitting .262 with 7 runs scored and 6 RBI.
As a team they’re hitting .252 and averaging 4.1 runs per game. This might be the worst offense UAB faces this season, and our pitching staff needs to take advantage.
Austin Schulfer is probably the team’s best starter with a 4.60 ERA in three starts this season with 19 strikeouts in 15.2 innings pitched.
Jake Sommers has also started three games this year, but has a 6.28 ERA in 14.1 innings pitched with 13 strikeouts.
As a staff, they have a 5.11 ERA and 1.76 WHIP with 91 strikeouts in 93.1 innings pitched. They do have some swing-and-miss stuff on this staff, but they’ll give up their fair share of hits and walks as well.
The UAB offense has had trouble putting runs on the board, hopefully that will start to change this weekend.
Keys for UAB:
I hate that I have to keep harping on this, but we have to get better in the field if we’re going to be a competitive team this season. Right now we’re averaging 1.6 errors per game, which is not good.
The Sunday game against Iowa was beautiful as they did everything right both on offense and defense. We need to see that become more of the norm.
This is the final week before conference play begins, so it’s time to start putting it all together.
Offensively, we’ve hit the ball really well the past two games. Now we just need more timely hitting to put runs on the board. I’d like to see that happen this weekend.
This is series at home that really needs to be a sweep for UAB. Anything less than two wins would be disappointing.