February 13, 2014

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MARTIN, Tenn. - The University of Tennessee at Martin baseball team opens the 2014 campaign on the road when it travels to Conference USA member UAB for a three-game weekend tilt at Regions Field. The first game will take place on Friday, Feb. 14 at 4 p.m., followed by 1 p.m. first pitch times on both Saturday, Feb. 15 and Sunday, Feb. 16.

This weekend will mark the third time in the last six years that the Skyhawks and Blazers have squared off against each other, as they also played in 2009 and 2011. The last time these teams met, UAB claimed a sweep but each game was decided by two runs or less (4-2, 2-1 in 12 innings, 8-6).

This series also marks the coaching debut of UT Martin’s Brad Goss, who was tabbed interim head coach last September. Goss had spent the previous nine seasons as an assistant for the Skyhawks.

UT Martin returns 18 players from last season and boasts 21 upperclassmen. The Skyhawks bring back seven of their top eight pitchers in ERA while also trotting out seven position players who logged at least 10 starts a year ago.

On the mound, the Skyhawks are expected to throw junior left-hander Taylor Cox in the season opener, followed by junior southpaw Dalton Potts on Saturday and junior righty Alex Martin on Sunday. Cox made a team-high 13 starts last season and fanned 45 batters in 57.1 innings while Potts led the team in victories (four) and innings pitched (62.2) last season. Martin will make his Skyhawk debut after two seasons at nearby Jackson State Community College.

UAB returns 26 players from last year’s squad, including six starting position players and 14 pitchers. Senior outfielder Ryan Prinzing is the Blazers’ top returning hitter, as he led Conference USA in on-base percentage (.441) in 2013. Chase Davis (.307 average last year) and Ivan De Jesus (25 RBI’s, 10 stolen bases last year) also return for UAB.

UAB’s probable weekend rotation is led by Chase Mallard (2-4, 3.75 ERA, team-high three saves in 21 appearances in 2013) in Game 1. Heartland Community College transfer Johnny Lieske will start on Saturday while Sunday’s starting pitcher is to be determined.

Fans can purchase a video package to watch all the games this weekend at the link above. Live stats are also available by clicking on the link at the top of the webpage.