FROM CBD NEWS SOURCE
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. —- The UAB baseball team recently announced its 2013 schedule as the Blazers are coming off a historic season when they reached the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1991.
UAB finished 32-30 overall in 2012 and captured its first Conference USA Tournament Championship in program history.
Head coach Brian Shoop, entering his seventh season at the helm of the UAB baseball program, is excited for the upcoming year, especially the opening weekend against Southern Illinois, slated for February 15-17. It marks the first time the Blazers will start the season at home since the 2009 campaign.
“It will be a neat opening weekend against a quality opponent in Southern Illinois, because for the first time in school history we will be able to put up a Conference USA Championship sign on our outfield wall, so we are pleased and excited to do that,” Shoop said.
The Blazers will face off against nine schools that finished in the RPI’s top 100 in 2012, along with 12 opponents that won 30 or more games, including five squads that reached the NCAA Tournament.
After hosting Southern Illinois, UAB will welcome Xavier for a three-game series prior to hitting the road for three-game sets at Georgia and Arkansas State. UAB will make its final preparations for C-USA play by taking part in the Central Florida RussMatt Invitational in Orlando, Fla. The tournament field consists of Valparaiso, Indiana and Dartmouth.
“We try to make a big trip once or twice a year, for instance last year we went to Clemson and Coastal Carolina, and this year we are going to Georgia, a possible NCAA Regional team and a strong SEC opponent. We also started a home-and-home series with Arkansas State, which played for the Sun Belt Conference Championship last year and also make a trip to Orlando to play in a tournament as well,” Shoop said.
The following week, the Blazers host UCF to begin conference action from March 22-24. Other home C-USA series include Memphis (April 12-14), East Carolina (April 19-21) and Rice (May 3-5). During UAB’s off week in league play, the Blazers welcome Savannah State (April 5-7) to Birmingham.
The Blazers will be tested with league road trips to Marshall (March 29-31), Southern Miss (April 26-28), Houston (May 10-12) and Tulane (May 16-18).
In addition, UAB has two games against instate foe Alabama. The first matchup will be played at Regions Park on March 26 in Hoover, Ala. The Blazers will then trek to Tuscaloosa, Ala. on April 16.
Other non-conference opponents include: Alabama State, Jacksonville State, Samford, Saint Joseph’s and Troy.
Following the 56-game regular season, 29 of which will be played at Young Memorial Field, the Blazers, if one of the top eight teams in the league standings, will compete in the Conference USA Tournament hosted by Rice in Houston Texas from May 22-26.
“The Conference USA schedule is obviously outstanding again and our midweek games remain the same, keeping those rivalries going against quality instate opponents,” Shoop said. “We are excited for the upcoming season and hope fans will come out and support us at Young Memorial Field.”