Baseball looks to build momentum before tourney

UNA heads into its final week of the season sitting at the top of the GSC standings and having the ability to control where they will be seeded in the conference tournament.

The 2012 GSC baseball tournament will take place May 4 to 8 in Rome, Ga. Games will be played at State Mutual Stadium, the home of the minor league Rome Braves.

The Lions have a conference record of 14-7 going into their final week, which will end at the University of Alabama-Huntsville, currently third in the conference at 13-8.

Coach Mike Keehn stressed the importance of the final week of the season for the Lions.

“Our first visit to the campus of UAH will be a good test for us,” he said. “Those games will have a tournament feel, with their fans on top of us and a chance for us to lock up a top seed in the conference tournament.”

Second baseman Michael Schmidt likes the direction the team is heading as the regular season comes to an end.

“This past weekend’s sweep against New Orleans will give us some good momentum as we try and finish this season out strong,” Schmidt said. “We’ve been swinging the bats well here at the end of the season, and that is a good sign as we get ready for a big series against UAH and the conference tournament.”

Offensively, UNA sits in the middle of the conference being fifth in team batting average (.294), and fifth in slugging percentage (.409). However, it is second in conference in runs scored (281) and third in total hits (380).

UNA tops the category for strikeouts with 259, 11 more than West Florida’s solid pitching staff.

UNA’s small ball approach offensively also shows up in the conference stats with UNA topping the sacrifice bunts category with 51 and second in stolen bases with 88.

The UNA baseball team is scheduled to play at rival UAH April 28 with a double-header starting at 2 p.m.

The Lions will then play a single game April 29 at 1 p.m., closing out the regular season.

The GSC tournament is scheduled to start May 4 with the matchups still to be determined.