Albany State Baseball Season Begins Friday

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NCAA DII/SIAC/Baseball

 

Albany State Sports Information

 

ALBANY – With 23 upperclassmen, Albany State University Baseball is looking to build off its 28-18 finish and Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title from 2018 NCAA Tournament trip as it begins the 2019 season. ASU will host Young Harris College this weekend, Feb. 1-3, for its opener.

“This is an old team. I really look forward to it,” said ASU head coach Scot Hemmings. “Our Top 4 (on the pitching staff) is going to be extremely talented, so we’re excited to see what our pitching staff can do for us this year.”

Leading the way on the mound will be Preseason SIAC First Team selection Michael Reddick, a redshirt junior from Leesburg, Georgia. Reddick and senior Roman Oliu combined for 14 of the Golden Rams’ 28 wins last season. Transfers Blaylor Galice (Asa College) and Malik Barrington (Tallahassee Community College) will round out the starting rotation.

Offensively, ASU will look to replace three of its top four hitters in Rilani Familia (.414), Nic Griggs (.313) and Tyler Morris (.305), who combined for 167 hits, 122 runs and 134 RBIs. They produced 63 extra-base hits, including 21 home runs.

“If you look back at the runs they produced with their scoring and RBIs, it’s astronomical what those three guys brought to our lineup. It’s going to be very tough to replace those three guys,” Hemmings said. “On the mound, we have to try to replace Tristan Rice who was our stopper and Tyler Wilcher, a five-game winner, who won the conference title game.”

ASU returns a bulk of its infield, which produced a .977 fielding percentage: Quantico Dodson-WilliamsChasen Roulhac and Kelvin Wimbish.

“Anytime you can catch the ball like that you’re going to have a chance to win,” Hemmings said.

The trio is also the top returning hitters, as Dodson-Williams hit .318 last season with 13 doubles and is a 2019 Preseason SIAC Second Team selection. Roulhac and Wimbish hit .289 and .287, respectively.

Junior college transfers Travis Ray (Abraham Baldwin Community College), Kyle Walker (Enterprise State Community College) and Kevin Bryant (Wallace State-Hanceville) will be key in the middle of the batting order.

The Golden Rams host Young Harris College for a three-day, three-game series to open the season Feb. 1-3 at Golden Rams Field on West Campus. Friday night’s game will begin at 6 p.m., followed by a 2 p.m. start Saturday and noon first pitch Sunday.

“Right out of the gate we have a Peach Belt Tournament participant in Young Harris, who is going to be extremely well coached,” Hemmings said.

It will be the start of a six-game home stand for ASU, which will play 30 of its first 31 games at home on the 50-game schedule.

“Teams enjoy coming here. We have a great facility. For some reason this year the stars lined up where we could play so many home series,” Hemmings said.  “The schedule’s loaded up, but I’ve said my entire career, I’m not concerned about February. I’m really concerned about April. We would like to win but we’d like to make sure all of our flaws are fixed before we head into conference play, and playing at home early where we’re comfortable, we’ll be able to do that.”

Next weekend, ASU will host Emmanuel College, which went 2-1 against the Golden Rams in 2018. ASU will travel to Valdosta State midweek on Feb. 13 for its only scheduled road game until March 29 when a 10-game road swing begins. The Golden Rams will close the regular season with 15 of its final 19 games on the road, which Hemmings says will be good preparation for postseason travel.

Tampa University and Columbus State University, ranked No. 2 and No. 3 respectively in the DII preseason poll, are among the Golden Rams’ non-conference opponents, as well as NAIA Tournament team Point University and Saint Anselm College.

Conference play will begin Saturday, March 16 when ASU hosts Lane College on Little League Day. Free admission to given to each child wearing a uniform and one parent. On April 19, ASU will host Alumni & Community Day with free admission and a fireworks show. The following day will be Senior Day.

ASU will also host the SIAC Tournament again this season, May 2-5.

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