After a frustrating three weeks of baseball for UAB, they’ll try and hit the re-boot button as they begin conference play this weekend on the road against Marshall.
The bad news for UAB is that they enter conference play with just a 6-9 record. I would have felt much better if those numbers were reversed.
But the good news is they start with a clean slate this weekend in Conference USA play. Their journey to get back to the C-USA Tournament begins on Friday.
Even though the Blazers haven’t gotten out to the start they would have liked, I still think they can be a really good team when they play a clean game. And if they can do that more consistently over the next 10 weeks, we’ll have a shot in the C-USA Tournament.
As for Marshall, they come into this weekend series with a solid 10-4 record, but they haven’t played anyone of note.
Last year the Herd finished 25-28 and 12-17 in conference play, missing out on the C-USA Tournament.
Marshall is a team that UAB will definitely be battling with to get one of the final spots in the C-USA Tournament, which makes this weekend that much more important.
What to expect from Marshall:
Marshall is hitting over .300 as a team this year and are averaging 7.8 runs per game. Those are obviously great numbers, but they haven’t faced a pitching staff close to as good as the one UAB possesses.
Shane Hanon is the team’s best hitter, and he has lived up to that designation this year with a .367 average, 13 runs scored, 1 home run, 9 RBI and a .472 on-base-percentage.
Tucker Linder is actually tops on the team with a .380 average to go along with 12 runs scored and 11 RBI. Reynaldo Pastrana leads the team with 2 home runs and 15 RBI, while hitting a solid .316.
Geordon Blanton is hitting .339 with 12 runs scored and 13 RBI and hits atop their lineup.
Wade Martin is an experienced starter for Marshall and has a 4.35 ERA in 20.2 innings pitched this year with 18 strikeouts. Brad O’Connor has the exact same numbers, except he has 21 strikeouts.
Will Ray has had the most success as a starter so far with a 1.19 ERA in 22.2 innings pitched with 15 strikeouts.
Gordon Cardenas has been great out of the bullpen with a 0.69 ERA in 13 innings with 13 strikeouts.
Again, it’s really hard to judge this team based on the competition they’ve played. But they’ve also won game they’re supposed to win, while UAB hasn’t.
My feelings on this UAB team are kind of down at the moment. At the height of that Auburn game when we’re up 8-3, I thought for a moment that this team had turned a corner and could be something special this year. But then losing 2-of-3 at home to Milwaukee, and now having lost to Troy twice, it’s understandable to be a little down on this baseball team.
But I know what they are capable of, and I’m hoping we see that to begin conference play. At the very least they have to pick up one win on the road, but I think they are more than capable of winning the series.
Based on what I’ve see over the past couple of weeks though, I’m predicting a 1-2 weekend for the Blazers.