By Nolan Imsande | 02/11/2015 10:38pm
The Alabama Crimson Tide kicks off the baseball season with a home stand this weekend against Maryland Eastern Shore. UA Athletics
“I don’t see the travel being a real issue, especially for college-age guys, they’re pretty resilient when it comes to that,” Gaspard said. “They’re very excited about being here.”
Alabama returns junior shortstop Mikey White. White was recently named to the preseason Golden Spikes Award Watch List. The award is presented annually to the nation’s top amateur baseball player. After losing Ben Moore, Austen Smith and Wade Wass to the MLB, White returns as the team's leading hitter. He hit .300 last season with seven home runs and 33 RBI.
“Mikey has been really consistent since day one,” Gaspard said. “He’s one of the few guys that has played primarily every inning since he stepped on campus. We expect a lot out of Mikey, and he expects a lot out of himself as well. I see him this year as a middle of the lineup hitter, and a guy that’s going to be one of the faces of our program.”
White is part of a group of returning position players this season along with outfielder Georgie Salem, second baseman Kyle Overstreet, utility player Casey Hughston and infielder Chance Vincent.
“I think this is a really talented group,” White said. “We’ve got some young guys that will helps us out a lot. As a team, we’re kind of growing into veterans. I think this will be a really fun group to watch, and a really good group to play with.”
The expected starting pitcher for Friday’s season opener is left-hander Taylor Guilbeau. He only made one start all of last year but it was a complete game win against Kennesaw State in the NCAA Regional. Right-handed junior college transfer Will Carter is expected to start Saturday’s game, and right-hander Geoffrey Bramblett will start on Sunday.
Alabama’s home opener Friday is scheduled for a 6:35 p.m. start. Saturday’s game will start at 2:05 p.m. while Sunday’s game has first pitch slated for 1:05 p.m.