Baseball Set to Play Three at UAB

Redshirt sophomore Tyler Koors is schedule to start on Friday for the Musketeers
Redshirt sophomore Tyler Koors is schedule to start on Friday for the Musketeers

Feb. 25, 2011

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The Xavier baseball team is in Birmingham this weekend for a three-game series at University of Alabama-Birmingham in the first-ever meetings between the two schools. First pitch is set for 4 p.m. ET at UAB's Young Memorial Field. The series will continue at 3 p.m. on Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday.

About the Musketeers
Xavier has been off since opening its season last weekend in Spartanburg, S.C. The Musketeers lost their opener to Wofford (10-9) but rebounded with wins over George Mason (11-3) and USC Upstate (8-6). Last season, Xavier posted an overall record of 26-32 and finished second in the Atlantic 10 with an 18-9 league record.

Through three games this year, Xavier is hitting .368 and averaging more than nine runs per contest. Senior outfielder John McCambridge paced the Musketeer attack last weekend with a .533 batting average (8-for-15), while senior first baseman Ben Thomas hit two of the team's three home runs and led the squad with six RBI. The Musketeers were also successful on seven of eight stolen base attempts.

On the mound, Xavier logged a 6.58 team ERA in its first weekend of play. The Musketeers are scheduled to start redshirt sophomore right-hander Tyler Koors (0-0, 3.00 ERA) against UAB in Friday's series opener, followed by sophomore left-hander Jon Richard (1-0, 1.29 ERA) on Saturday and redshirt freshman righty Vinny Nittoli (0-0, 10.38 ERA) on Sunday.



Xavier head coach Scott Googins is in his sixth season as a head coach, all of them at Xavier, and owns an overall record of 142-153.

Scouting UAB
UAB opens a nine-game home stand with this weekend's series against Xavier. After going 1-2 last weekend to open the season at the Auburn Tournament, the Blazers dropped a 3-1 decision Tuesday at Kennesaw State in their first midweek action.

As a team, UAB has struggled to get the bats going early this season, but Jamal Austin has picked up right where he left off last year. The junior center fielder is hitting .438 (7-for-16) and has already stolen four bases. Right fielder Ryan Ussery (.333) and third baseman Patrick Palmeiro (.313) have also gotten off to good starts, and the duo has combined to hit both of UAB's homers and drive in five of the team's 10 runs.

UAB has been effective on the mound, logging a 4.76 ERA in the early going. Friday starter Dillon Napoleon (0-0, 1.50 ERA) allowed just one run in six innings of work against Arkansas State last weekend, striking out five without a walk. Saturday starter Ryan Woolley (0-1, 7.20 ERA) is a two-time Major League draft pick. Sunday starter Michael Busby (0-1, 7.20 ERA) pitched effectively last weekend against Auburn in his first appearance in two years because of injury.

UAB coach Brian Shoop is beginning his fifth year with the Blazers. He owns a record of 111-121 (.478) at the school and a career record of 803-428-1 (.653).

This Weekend's Schedule
Game 1 -- Friday (3 p.m. CT/ 4 p.m. ET)
Pitching Probables: RHP Dillon Napoleon (UAB) vs. RHP Tyler Koors (XU)

Game 2 -- Saturday (2 p.m. CT/ 3 p.m. ET)
Pitching Probables: RHP Ryan Woolley (UAB) vs. LHP Jon Richard (XU)

Game 3 -- Sunday (12 p.m. CT/ 2 p.m. ET)
Pitching Probables: RHP Michael Busby (UAB) vs. RHP Vinny Nittoli (XU)

Live Coverage
All games this weekend will feature Gametracker live stats (free) and All-Access streaming video (premium) through