The Alabama baseball team starts their season this weekend with a three game series with the Northeastern Huskies of the Colonial Athletic Association. The three games will be the first ever between the two teams. Opening day is Friday at 3 p.m., with game two set for noon on Saturday, and game three at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
Feb 14 (Friday) 3 P.M.
Feb 15 (Saturday) 12 P.M.
Feb 16 (Sunday) 1 P.M.
The Huskies have been picked to finish second in the CAA, behind perennial power UNC Wilmington. They will be led by Ian Fair, their conferences preseason pick as player of the year. Fair hit .357 with eight home runs in 2019. Second baseman Scott Holzwasser was also picked on the preseason all conference team. Northeastern stole 101 bases in 57 games last year, and return four of their top five hitters to this year’s team. Kyle Murphy will be the Huskies Friday starter, followed by David Steil on Saturday, and the jewel of their recruiting class, freshman Sebastian Keane on Sunday. Keane is a Massachusetts native, and was an 11th round draft pick of the Boston Red Sox out of high school. The state’s Gatorade Player of the Year apparently has a fast ball that reaches up to 95 mph.
The Tide’s pitching rotation for the weekend includes two freshman left-handers and a sophomore right hander. The highly regarded Connor Prielipp is a 6’2” lefty out of Tomah, Wisconsin, and draws the opening day slot, the first true freshman to do so since Taylor Guilbeau in 2012. Conner Shamblin will start the Saturday game for the Tide. The 6’1” right hander from Lakeland, Tennessee started several games for Bama last season. Freshman left hander Antoine Jean is a 6’1” freshman from Montreal, Quebec.
Coach Brad Bohannon hasn’t tipped his hand about an opening day lineup, but I will take a stab at what I think after watching practices and the team’s scrimmage this fall and winter. Expect many lineup combinations over the first few weeks of the season, and again, this is a guess at what I think Bohannon may do on opening day.
Catcher- Sam Praytor
SS- Kolby Robinson
Praytor is returning from missing most of last season after arm surgery. Last week, he jammed his thumb sliding into third base, and possibly may not play. If Praytor is out, Auerbach would likely move to catcher, and Zane Denton would be the third baseman. Game two and game three will likely have much different lineups, as Bohannon feels his players out and tries to decide on the best combination to put on the field. The team is deep at all positions, and expect to see almost everyone on the roster to see action over the weekend.
All the games will be available on SEC Network Plus, and the ESPN App. The team is young and exciting, and look to take a big step forward this year. Look for more power than any Alabama team has had in the last 10 years. Bohannon thinks they are capable of 60-70 home runs (and I agree), after not having more than 45 in a year over the last decade.
Make your plans to come see the team this spring. Get on the wagon early.
Bama Baseball Fever, Catch it
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