UAH To Open GSC Tournament Play Friday

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The University of Alabama in Huntsville baseball team will make its fourth consecutive appearance, and 12th overall, at the 2012 Gulf South Conference Baseball Tournament on Friday, May 4 in Rome, Ga. The third-seeded Chargers will face No. 6 seed West Florida at State Mutual Stadium, home of the Rome Braves, at noon CT.

UAH (28-20, 15-9 GSC) finished the regular season with the second-best GSC record, and earned the No. 3 seed after tiebreakers. The Chargers carry an all-time record of 17-22 in GSC Tournament play, while appearing in four finals and claiming the 2001 tournament championship.

Just two wins from notching the most wins since the 2004 season, the Chargers enter the tournament with one of the more potent offensive attacks in the league after having hit in double figures in eight of their last 10 games, better than any other team in the conference.

Leading that offensive charge, senior Eric Deese claimed GSC Player of the Week honors for his effort last week when he batted .538 with three home runs, one double and nine RBI. As a team in the last 10 outings, UAH is hitting an impressive .368 with eight home runs and 29 doubles while averaging 8.7 runs on 12.5 hits per game. Conversely, the pitching staff is allowing just 3.6 runs on 8.3 hits per game.

The defending NCAA Champions West Florida Argonauts enter the tournament with an overall record of 32-15 and a conference mark of 11-11. Despite being fresh off a 2-1 series loss to Valdosta State, the Argonauts still have won 10 of its last 14 contests after being swept 3-0 by Delta State.

As a team, UWF is hitting at a clip of .272, paced by Billy O'Connor's .344 and Taye Larry's .313 averages. O'Connor and Larry have combined for three homers, 14 doubles and one triple for 40 RBI and 67 runs scored. While averaging six runs on 8.5 hits per game, offensively, the Argonauts pitching staff is allowing just four runs on 8.2 hits per outing, and carries a 3.37 ERA.

Friday's contest will be the fourth meeting between the two teams this season and 58th overall. Though the Argonauts claimed the season series 2-1 over the Chargers, UAH still holds a slim advantage in the all-time series by a margin of 31-26. Earlier this season, West Florida won the series opener, 4-2, before UAH evened the series with an 8-2 victory in the nightcap. UWF then claimed game three in 10 innings by a score of 3-2.

All tournament contests will be streamed live on UStream, and live stats will be available through West Georgia's platform.

The winner of the UAH and West Florida matchup will next face the winner of the No. 2 seed West Alabama Tigers and No. 7 seed West Georgia Wolves at noon CT on Saturday. The losers of the respective games will play in the first elimination game Saturday at 9 a.m. CT.

Courtesy UAH Media Relations

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