Alabama starting pitcher Nick Eicholtz has chosen to return for the 2017 season. Eicholtz, who was selected in the 13th round of the 2016 Major League Baseball Draft last month, will be a senior this year and will delay beginning his professional career.

“We are excited to get the great news that Nick is returning for his senior year here at Alabama,” said head coach Greg Goff. “He will be one of the best arms in our league during the 2017 season. For a young man to put off his childhood dreams to come back and lead our team and pitching staff says a lot about his character and his experience at the Capstone thus far.”

“I would like to thank the Miami Marlins organization for giving me the opportunity to achieve my dream,” said Eicholtz. “After much thought and consideration, I have decided to return to The University of Alabama for my senior season. In doing this, I will have the opportunity to grow, not only as a player but also as a person. I am looking forward to being an instrumental part of the 2016-17 roster and helping lead this team through what will hopefully be a memorable year.”

Eicholtz was selected by the Miami Marlins in draft thanks to a three-year career at the Capstone in which he went 10-6 with a 2.91 ERA (46 ER/142.1 IP) and limited the opposition to a .219 average against. He has 39 total appearances to his name, making 26 starts, and has struck out 103 batters. Eicholtz has improved on his numbers each season at Alabama and provided the Crimson Tide with one of the most reliable arms in the Southeastern Conference a season ago.

Alabama’s Sunday starter during the 2016 campaign, Eicholtz set career-highs in nearly every pitching metric, finishing with a team-low 2.30 ERA (17 ER/66.2 IP) across his 12 starts, a total that ranked third among all SEC starters. He limited opposing hitters to a .227 average and recorded 38 strikeouts in the process. In conference play, the righty allowed only 15 earned runs across his 51.0 innings of work for a 2.65 ERA that ranked seventh against SEC opponents, as he did not allow more than one earned run in seven of his nine conference starts.