Brad Bohannon’s sixth year at the helm of the Crimson Tide baseball team will begin on Friday afternoon when the Tide hosts the Richmond Spiders. The team will play a three game series with games at 3 p.m. on Friday, 2 p.m. on Saturday and 12 noon on Sunday. Bama finished 31-27 last season. The Spiders finished 30-26 in the 2022 campaign.
Bohannon announced a weekend starting rotation of junior left hander Grayson Hitt, sophomore right hander Ben Hess, and super senior right hander Jacob McNairy. Last year's Friday starter, senior Garrett McMillan, is dealing with an injury and will be unavailable this weekend. Bohannon also announced on Tuesday that senior left handed pitcher Antoine Jean will miss the season after Tommy John surgery this past summer. Also sophomore transfer right handed pitcher Aiden Moza is recovering from a bone spur procedure done in December and will also be out for an undisclosed amount of time.
Offensively, the Tide will be lead by outfielder redshirt junior Andrew Pinckney, junior outfielder/infielder Caden Rose, super senior first baseman Drew Williamson, senior shortstop Jim Jarvis, redshirt senior outfielder Tommy Seidl, and junior catcher Dom Tamez. Pinckney, Rose, Williamson, and Jarvis are almost certain to play most days while others will vie for playing time throughout the year. Tamez and Florida junior transfer Mac Guscette will share some time behind the plate. Other infielders that should see substantial time are third baseman-second baseman redshirt senior Ed Johnson, junior second baseman-third baseman Bryce Eblin, and freshman Colby Shelton. Rose can also slip into the infield if needed. In the outfield, redshirt senior Ryan Guardino, senior William Hamiter, sophomore Camden Hayslip, and sophomore Will Hodo will also receive playing time. Shelton, Hodo, Guardino, Hamiter, and Tamez could also battle for at bats as the designated hitter.
The Tide will likely use a number of pitchers the opening few weeks as the starters get slowly stretched out and increase their pitch counts as the season goes on and the weather gets warmer. Candidates for roles early on are sophomore right hander Luke Holman, junior left hander Hunter Furtado, sophomore righty Braylon Myers, senior left hander Jake Leger, redshirt freshman right hander Kade Woods, freshman RHP Brock Blatter, senior righty Brayden Gainey, freshman lefty Alton Davis, sophomore right hander Hagan Banks, transfer junior righty Zane Probst, grad student transfer right hander Jackson Reynolds, and freshman right hander Riley Quick.
Richmond will be led by outfielders Aiden Mathes and Johnny Hipsman. Both were selected to the preseason Atlantic 10 All-Conference team. Mathes hit .355 with 10 home runs last season and also was 3-2 on the mound with 58 strikeouts in 43 innings pitched. Hipsman batted .329 in 2022 with seven home runs and 41 runs driven in. The 2022 squad hit .309 as a team with 64 home runs and sported a team ERA of 5.99. Brock Weirather and Jeremy Neff both return and started 16 games on the mound for the Spiders last season.
After the weekend the Tide will have a busy week with games Tuesday at 3 p.m. against Tennessee Tech and Wednesday vs UT Martin also at 3 p.m. The team will then fly to Malibu, CA on Thursday to play the Pepperdine Waves in a three game set on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Friday is a 3:30 p.m. CT first pitch, Saturday will start at 3 p.m. CT, and the Sunday game is also set for 3 p.m. All home game will be available on SEC Network Plus, while the Pepperdine games will be radio only.
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