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Alabama Baseball set to start the 2014 campaign next week.

BaseUSM006The Alabama Baseball team is just under a week before their first game of the season where they will open with a three-game series against Saint Louis at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.  The season opener will start on Friday Feb. 14th with the first pitch scheduled for 6:05 PM (CST) and the following two games to follow on Saturday and Sunday.

The Crimson Tide will open the 2014 season ranked No. 21 in the nation by both Baseball America and Perfect Game USA, and No. 29 in the Collegiate Baseball NCAA Division I Poll. Alabama is ranked among eight other SEC schools in the top 30 of the three polls mentioned.  There are

Head coach Mitch Gaspard enters his fifth-year with his staff of former Alabama All-Americans Dax Norris and Andy Phillips where the Tide returns 21 players to the 2014 roster including nine pitchers and five position starters.  Alabama inked nine more players to the roster during the early signing period for the 2014-15 academic years where they addressed some needs for the future. “We really addressed a lot of different areas with a number of pitchers, a catcher, an outfielder and a few middle infielders.”  Gaspard said.

Alabama is coming off a 2013 season where the Crimson Tide posted 35-28 overall record and made an appearance in the NCAA Regionals displays some exceptional talent explaining why the Tide has high expectations going into the 2014 campaign.  Of the 21 returning, Alabama is looking to continued support and the development of 2013 freshmen All-Americans Mikey White at shortstop and Ray Castillo on the mound who recorded 12 saves last season, along with 2013 gold glove second baseman Kyle Overstreet.

Alabama also returns starters in the outfield with junior Ben Moore (right field), sophomore Georgie Salem and sophomore Chance Vincent (center field). Alabama is most excited about the very experienced pitching staff that finished the 2013 season with a 3.70 earned run average. On the mound will be senior right-handed relief pitcher Tucker Hawley (5-2, 2.93) and junior starters Spencer Turnbull (4-3, 3.70) and Justin Kamplain (1-0, 4.77). Alabama also returns relievers from the bullpen Jay Shaw (2-1, 1.61), Taylor Guilbeau (4-2, 3.14), Mike Oczypok (5-2, 3-02), Jay Shaw, Mitch Greet and John Keller.

With the talent that is returning and the new talent that is coming in there is no doubt that Coach Gaspard and staff are excited about the 2014season and is looking to get this campaign underway.  See you at the Joe!

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