FROM CBD NEWS SOURCE
Jacksonville State University head coach Jim Case announced the 2013 baseball schedule on Thursday, which includes home games against in-state rivals Auburn, South Alabama, Samford, Troy and UAB.
“We feel like this is a very exciting and challenging schedule for our team,” said Case. “Obviously, we are excited to have Auburn come back to Jacksonville and also happy to renew our series with South Alabama.”
The 56-game schedule features 30 Ohio Valley Conference games and home-and-home matchups against in-state rivals Auburn, Samford, Troy, UAB, Alabama State and South Alabama. The Gamecocks, who will host Auburn on May 7, will also travel to Tuscaloosa to face the University of Alabama on March 20.
The Gamecocks open the season Feb. 15-17 with a three-game series at Kennesaw State, before returning to Rudy Abbott Field for the home-opener on Tuesday, Feb. 19, against UAB.
Jax State will also host Southern Illinois and South Alabama, before traveling to face the University of North Florida for a three-game series March 1-3.
The Gamecocks open Ohio Valley Conference play on the road at UT Martin on March 8-9, and will host SIU-Edwardsville for their conference home-opener March 15-17.
JSU plays OVC home series against SIU-Edwardsville, Eastern Illinois, Tennessee Tech, Belmont and Morehead State, while the Gamecocks will travel to OVC foes UT Martin, Austin Peay, Murray State, Southeast Missouri and Eastern Kentucky.
“We know the OVC schedule will be a tough one again this year, especially with the addition of Belmont,” added Case. “Belmont is a very tough team and they won the Atlantic Sun last year to advance to the NCAA Regionals.”
The 2013 Gamecocks will have 13 newcomers and 19 returning players off a team that advanced to the OVC Tournament for the ninth-straight year and has appeared in the OVC Championship Game in seven of the nine years since joining the league in 2004.
Case, who begins his 12th season in 2013, will be looking to replace three Major League Baseball draftees in Ben Waldrip (10th round/Colorado Rockies), Sam Eberle (25th round/San Francisco Giants) and Daniel Watts (32nd round/Arizona Diamondbacks).
Jax State will be led by seniors Hunter Rivers, Ben Haynes, Zach Elbirt, Adam Miller and Cody Ponder, while juniors Casey Antley, Stephen Bartlett, Andrew Bishop, Michael Bishop, Coty Blanchard, Cal Lambert, Robby Lilly, Michael Mason and Bradley Raulston all return.
Sophomores Carlos Somoza, Taylor Sparks and Travis Stout will be joined by redshirt freshmen Sanders Ferrell and Kurt Lipscomb as returning players.
Jacksonville State completed fall practice last week with the conclusion of the Red and White Fall World Series, with the White team sweeping all three games in the fall classic.