The 2013 VMI baseball season will open in Tuscaloosa, Ala. this weekend, where the Keydets will take on the Alabama Crimson Tide beginning Friday night. The opening game is set for a 7:05 p.m. Eastern time first pitch, with the ensuing games set to begin at 3:05 and 2:05 p.m. respectively, also Eastern time.
Friday: VMI RHP Reed Garrett vs. Alabama RHP Spencer Turnbull
Saturday: VMI LHP Campbell Henkel vs. Alabama LHP Jon Keller
Sunday: VMI LHP Connor Bach vs. Alabama RHP Charley Sullivan
How to Follow
Fans can follow along with the action in a number of ways, including video and audio links accessible through the Alabama Athletics web site, linked above. There is a fee for both the video and audio broadcasts, but all three games are scheduled to be covered by the Crimson Tide. Live stats are also available for all three contests at the links above.
There is not projected to be any precipitation this weekend in Tuscaloosa. Saturday's high is an estimated 46 degrees under partly cloudy skies, with the weather each of the other days projected to be in the mid-50's or above, although Friday's low of 34 may come into play with the later start time.
While this is the first meeting ever between VMI and Alabama, it does mark the second consecutive season, and fourth time in the last eight years, that the Keydets have opened by taking on an SEC foe. The Keydets went 0-3 last year at then-#2 South Carolina, losing two one-run games to open that series, but won season-opening series at Auburn and Florida in 2006 and 2007, respectively.
VMI opens the year by throwing right-hander Reed Garrett in the Friday night game. Garrett will make just his second collegiate start, and as such, possesses the fewest games started of any opening night starter in Coach Marlin Ikenberry's 10 seasons at the helm of VMI baseball. Only one other time (Adam Lopez, 2010 vs. Bucknell) has a pitcher made an opening day start for Ikenberry with fewer than 10 career games started.
Sophomore Brandon Angus, VMI's projected starter in right field, will enter the 2013 season with a nice run in progress. After getting just 11 at-bats over the first two-plus months of last season, Angus worked his way into a starting role in late April and delivered, going 14 for his last 43 (.326) and ending the year on a six-game hitting streak that included a 3 for 5 performance in the season-ending win at VCU.
The Keydets will be facing a highly touted Alabama freshman class, ranked as high as #4 in the nation (Baseball America).
Next Time Out
Following this three-game set, VMI baseball is back in action Tuesday, taking on the Richmond Spiders in Richmond, Va. Game time is set for 2:30 p.m.