Alabama Baseball Begins Practice in Newly Renovated Stadium
Alabama's baseball team will open up fall practice on Tuesday inside the recently renovated Sewell-Thomas Stadium. The team is now free to take full advantage of the new facilities after being limited in their use during the 2015 season.
Alabama will practice everyday this week and will scrimmage on Friday and Saturday. Here is the team's full schedule for week one of fall practice:
Tuesday, Sept. 29 - Practice 2:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 30 - Practice 2:30 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 1 - Practice 2:30 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 2 - Practice/Scrimmage 1:30 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 3 - Practice/Scrimmage 9:30 a.m.
The Tide returns 20 players from last year's team while also adding 17 new signees. Five positional starters return for the 2016 season including Chandler Avant, Cody Henry, Chance Vincent, Will Haynie and Georgie Salem.
Avant and Henry both made an impact as freshmen during the 2015 season. Avant finished with a .266 batting average and a .974 fielding percentage. Henry's powerful swing allowed him to be third on the team in doubles (12) despite having 62 less at-bats than the team leader.
Haynie was named to Cape Cod Baseball's all league team over the summer and returns as the team's active home run leader (11). Salem returns as the team's active leader in stolen bases (32) and most experienced outfielder. Chance Vincent is expected to play a very important role this season after having a very successful summer in the Texas Collegiate League.
The Crimson Tide will also bring back 12 pitchers including starters Geoffrey Bramblett, Jake Walters, Nick Eicholtz and relievers Thomas Burrows and Ray Castillo.
Head coach Mitch Gaspard returns for his seventh year as the head coach of the Crimson Tide. He has posted a 202-161 record as head coach, and Alabama has four NCAA regional appearances during his tenure.
Alabama will play Maryland in its first game in the new Sewell-Thomas Stadium. The $42.6 million dollar renovation to the stadium allows the Tide to return to Tuscaloosa after playing last year's home games at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium.