Sept. 29, 2015
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Alabama baseball team will officially begin fall practice Tuesday afternoon with a 2:30 p.m. CT practice on the newly finished field inside Sewell-Thomas Stadium. The first session of the year will lead into live action on Friday afternoon, as the team will play an intrasquad scrimmage.
The Crimson Tide will follow up Tuesday’s work with full team practices on Wednesday and Thursday, all beginning at 2:30 p.m. CT, just before its scheduled eight-inning intrasquad scrimmage on Friday afternoon. First pitch for the Friday game is scheduled for approximately 1:30 p.m. at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. The first full week of fall practice will conclude on Saturday morning with a second intrasquad matchup that will begin at 9:30 a.m.
Alabama’s roster returns 20 players from a season ago, with five of those being positional starters. The returnees are highlighted by seniors Georgie Salem and Chance Vincent, both of whom played in every game a season ago. Junior catcher Will Haynie returns to direct the pitching staff, while sophomores Chandler Avant and Cody Henry will look to build upon solid freshmen campaigns.
The Tide also welcomes back 12 pitchers, including junior starter Geoffrey Bramblett, who posted a team-leading eight wins to go with his 69 strikeouts last season. Bramblett was key to UA’s success in 2015, helping propel the team to wins in 10 of his 15 total starts including a 2-1 mark with a 2.74 ERA in the month of May. Junior closer Thomas Burrows returns following a season that saw him post a team-leading seven saves, three of which came in May where the left-hander was 1-0 with a 0.96 ERA.
Among the other returning pitchers are starters Jake Walters and Nick Eicholtz, to go with relievers Colton Freeman, Ray Castillo, Zac Rogers, Jake Hubbard, Tyler McMurray and Tyler Adams. Jon Keller and Mike Oczypok both return from rehabbing arm injuries and will look to make big contributions to the 2016 pitching staff.
In addition to the 20 returners, Alabama adds a good recruiting class to the mix, which includes 14 freshmen and three transfers. The class features the top three players from the state of Alabama, and seven of 10 high school players who were ranked in the top-10 of their respective states by Perfect Game USA.
Head coach Mitch Gaspard returns for his seventh year as the head coach of the Alabama baseball program. In his six years at the Capstone, Gaspard has guided the Tide to a 202-161 record, reaching the 30-win mark in five of those seasons to average out at 34 wins per year. During his tenure, Gaspard has guided the Crimson Tide to NCAA regional appearances in four of his seasons and collected 35 or more wins in each of those years.
With the on-going construction at Sewell-Thomas Stadium, fans are asked to avoid entering the ballpark and construction zone. At the moment, practice is not open to the public. Please check @AlabamaBSB on Twitter or Facebook for updates throughout the week on viewing options for future practices and scrimmages.
Get all the latest information on the team by following AlabamaBSB on Twitter and Instagram and on Facebook at Alabama General athletic news can be found at UA_Athletics on Twitter and Instagram and AlabamaAthletics on Facebook.
FALL PRACTICE SCHEDULE
Tuesday, Sept. 29 – Practice 2:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 30 – Practice 2:30 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 1 – Practice 2:30 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 2 – Practice/Scrimmage 1:30 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 3 – Practice/Scrimmage 9:30 a.m.