Baseball Opens 2013 Regular Season Friday

Baseball Opens 2013 Regular Season Friday

Follow Zips Baseball on Twitter (@ZipsBB) and Facebook

AKRON, Ohio – The University of Akron baseball team will head to Atlanta to open the 2013 regular season against No. 21 Georgia Tech with a three game series set to begin at 4 p.m., on Friday.

The Akron baseball program has never faced Georgia Tech prior to this season. However, head coach Rick Rembielak is quite familiar with the Georgia Tech baseball program, as he was volunteer assistant coach with Georgia Tech in 2011. Head coach Rembielak comes into this season with a career collegiate coaching record of 530-431-1 (.551) over 17 years a Division I head coach.

UA baseball was voted to finish fifth in the Mid-American Conference East Division earlier this week. The full release for the MAC baseball preseason rankings can be seen here

The 2013 Zips' roster returns 17 players from last year's squad, and welcomes 12 incoming freshman and two junior college transfers. Head coach Rembielak expects the newcomers to get action early. He said, "We made the program expectations the utmost importance in the recruiting process. Because of this, every player on the team understands the goals they should work to achieve, and are aware of the steps they need to take to achieve the standards we have set for the program."

The lineup for this season has been shaken up a little bit. Junior outfielder Tyler Begun will bat leadoff for Akron after spending last season in the three-hole. Begun led UA with a .299 batting average, 12 doubles, six home runs, 94 total bases and 26 walks. The Mayfield Village, Ohio native also had a team-high slugging percentage (.503) and on-base percentage (.411).

Outfielder Devan Ahart will bat third for the Zips this season. Ahart batted .251 with six doubles and three triples last season, as the team's primary leadoff hitter and centerfielder. Ahart tallied the most at-bats for Akron in 2012 with 223 at-bats.

The junior college transfers, Grant Alvarez and Matt LaRocca, will follow Ahart at four and five in the lineup. Alvarez batted .280 in two years of junior college, and set the school single season record for home runs (15) and RBI (60). LaRocca played at Suffolk County Community College prior to Akron, where he hit .353 in 2012 with a team-high 37 RBI.

The UA pitching staff has added a lot of depth in comparison to last season. The rotation is bolstered by the return of red shirt sophomore Jon Pusateri, whom needed to undergo Tommy John surgery after two starts in 2012. Pusateri struck out eight batters in his 7.2 innings pitched last season.

Sophomore Pat Dyer and freshman JT Brubaker will round out the rotation following Pusateri. Dyer was last season's Saturday starter, and went 3-5 with a 4.54 ERA and 33 strikeouts over 69.1 innings. Brubaker joins the Akron pitching rotation from Tecumseh High School, where he went 4-1 with a 0.76 ERA with 44 strikeouts as a senior.

Akron also has twelve players on the roster that can step into bullpen situations. Five of those 12 players are freshman, and are expected to contribute to the pitching staff early in the season.

The 2012 Georgia Tech squad went 38-26, which was good enough to participate in the NCAA Regional. Georgia Tech is led by head coach Danny Hall, his 20th season at the helm of Georgia Tech baseball.  

Here is the schedule and pitching matchups for this weekend's games:

Game 1 (Home 1) - Friday, February 15

First Pitch: 4 p.m. ET

Matchup: RHP Buck Farmer, GT vs. RHP Jon Pusateri, UA

Radio: WREK 91.1 FM Atlanta

Webcast: RamblinWreck.com All-Access (premium)


Game 2 (Home 2) - Saturday, February 16

First Pitch: 2 p.m. ET

Matchup: RHP Dusty Isaacs, GT vs. LHP Pat Dyer, UA

Radio: WREK 91.1 FM Atlanta

Webcast: RamblinWreck.com All-Access (premium)


Game 3 (Home 3) - Sunday, February 17

First Pitch: 1 p.m. ET

Matchup: RHP Cole Pitts, GT vs. RHP JT Brubaker, UA

Radio: WREK HD2

Webcast: RamblinWreck.com All-Access (premium)