Brock Duke gets the start on the mound in Friday's game for Utah.
Feb. 11, 2013
Friday: Utah's Brock Duke (Sr./RHP) vs. Loyola Marymount's Colin Welmon (So./RHP)
Saturday: Utah's Tanner Banks (Jr./LHP) vs. Loyola Marymount's Trevor Megill (So./RHP)
Sunday: Utah's Joe Pond (Sr./RHP) vs. Loyola Marymount's Aaron Griffin (Sr./RHP)
SALT LAKE CITY - The Utah baseball team opens its 2013 campaign with a three-game series at Loyola Marymount, beginning on Friday, Feb. 15, at 2:00 p.m. PT.
"We're excited to finally start our season," Utah head coach Bill Kinneberg said. "It's been a good seven months of practice but now it's time to switch gears and start playing for real. Guys are ready for the most part. We have a few injuries, but we've had two good weeks of team practice and looking forward to getting to Los Angeles."
The Utes have taken trips to St. George over the past three weeks to prepare for their first games.
"We have been able to have six practices outside and six scrimmages, and that really helps," Kinneberg said. "I'm sure that teams in the south have many more opportunities to scrimmage, but this does get us a step ahead of where we've been in the past. The St. George weekends are very valuable to us."
The Utes will start senior Brock Duke on the mound in their first game. Junior Tanner Banks, a transfer from Salt Lake Community College, gets his first career start on Saturday while veteran senior Joe Pond starts Sunday's game.
Key returning players for the Utes include Duke and Pond, sophomore reliever Mitch Watrous, two-year starting third baseman Trey Nielsen and three-year outfielder Tyler Relf. The Utes are joined by 16 new players, several who will have starting roles all around the diamond after the loss of seven position starters from 2012.
Utah went 14-42 in its first season in the Pac-12 conference.
Loyola Marymount was slated to finish fourth in the West Coast Conference preseason poll. The Lions went 27-27 last season, finishing tied for third in the WCC.