Alabama Baseball: 3 Things You Need To Know About Maryland Eastern Shore
Alabama baseball's 2015 season kicks off this Friday in a three-game series against Maryland Eastern Shore. The Crimson Tide will play their home games this year in Hoover, Alabama at the Hoover Met due to current renovations being made to Sewell-Thomas Stadium.
Head coach Mitch Gaspard returns a slew of talent from last year's team, a team that made it to the Tallahassee Regional Final before eventually losing to Kennesaw State. The returners include veteran shortstop Mikey White, second baseman Kyle Overstreet, and center fielder Georgie Salem. Although Alabama returns some key players from last year's team, newcomers such as Chandler Avant and Cody Henry will be making their debut this weekend.
This weekend's series will give fans an idea of what this season has in store. Before you prepare for the opening pitch, here are three things you need to know about Maryland Eastern Shore:
3. Maryland Eastern Shore Will Be Led by a New Head Coach
Maryland Eastern Shore named assistant coach John O'Neil interim head coach following the resignation of head coach Pedro Swann earlier this year. Swann had a 21-80 record in his only two seasons has head coach. O'Neil was entering his fourth season as an assistant coach before being named interim head coach. He previously coached the Middlesex Rays in the Atlantic Baseball Confederation Collegiate League.
2. The Hawks Will Be Replacing Their Two Leading Hitters
Starting off your season against an SEC opponent is no easy task, especially if you are having to replace your top two hitters from last season. Left fielder Stephen Bull led the team in hits (68) with right fielder Byron Campbell close behind him (62).
The Hawks will return shortstop Mike Escanilla and right fielder Greg Turlik. Both players were named preseason All-Conference by the Mid Eastern Athletic Conference. Escanilla played in all 48 games of the 2014 season and batted .289 with 54 hits and 16 RBI's. Turlik batted .244 while racking up 26 RBIs and was the only Maryland Eastern Shore player to not commit an error last season.
1. Maryland Eastern Shore has Lost 10 Consecutive Games
Head coach John O'Neil will not only be pursuing his first win as head coach, but he will also try to end a 10 game losing streak that dates back to last year. The Hawks were outscored 82-18 during the 10-game skid. They last won on April 26th during an 11-4 route of Coppin State.