Alabama baseball is days away from opening its season against the Richmond Spiders, and the starting pitching rotation for the weekend is going to look a little bit different.

2022 Sunday starter Grayson Hitt, a junior who was named to the MLB Pipeline Top 100 for the 2023 draft, will get the ball in the season-opening game Feb. 17. He is expected to be a key piece in the Crimson Tide's arsenal of pitchers this season and was 4-3 in 14 starts last year.

Sophomore Ben Hess saw a lot of playing time in 2022, with a stint as Alabama's midweek starter. He improved over the course of the campaign, culminating in a 10-strikeout relief appearance against Georgia in the opening game of the SEC Tournament. Hess was 3-1 with a 4.54 ERA and started eight games. He'll get the start on Saturday, Feb. 18.

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Jacob McNairy, a graduate student, is set to round out the weekend series on Sunday. McNairy was drafted by the Seattle Mariners over the summer but is back at Alabama, where he was the Saturday starter during much of SEC play. He led the Crimson Tide in wins with six. His 2022 ERA was 4.62 with 65 strikeouts and 12 starts.

On Feb. 14, head coach Brad Bohannon announced that 2022 Friday starter Garrett McMillan is nursing a muscle strain and will be out indefinitely. He will return this season. Antoine Jean, whose Saturday role McNairy assumed after Jean was injured, will not pitch in 2023 owing to Tommy John surgery last summer.

The Crimson Tide's first pitch of the 2023 season will be at 3 p.m. on Feb. 17.

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