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Baseball Set to Open Season at UC Santa Barbara

Courtesy: Princeton Athletic Communications                                                                      Release: 02/27/2014
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Courtesy: Beverly Schaefer
Senior tri-captain Alec Keller
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Feature: Baseball Season Preview - 2/26/14
Princeton (0-0) at UC Santa Barbara (4-1)
Game Info: Friday, Feb. 28 - Sunday, Mar. 2 
Location: Santa Barbara, Calif.
All-Time Series: First meeting in program history
Live Media:
Live Stats @PUTIGERS @PUTigerBaseball
About Princeton: Roster Schedule Stats
About UCSB: Roster Schedule Stats
Game One: Friday, Feb. 28 • 5 p.m.
Probable Starters: Princeton: Sr. LHP Michael Fagan (2013: 1-4, 7.99 ERA, 23.2 IP)
UCSB: So. LHP Justin Jacome (0-0, 3.00 ERA, 6.0 IP)
Game Two: Saturday, Mar. 1 • 2 p.m.
Probable Starters: Princeton: Fr. LHP Keelan Smithers (Princeton debut)
UCSB: Fr. RHP Shane Bieber (0-0, 3.60 ERA, 5.0 IP)
Game Three: Saturday, Mar. 1 • 5 p.m.
Probable Starters: Princeton: TBD
UCSB: So. RHP Dylan Hecht (2-0, 0.90 ERA, 10.0 IP)
Game Four: Sunday, Mar. 2 • 4 p.m.
Probable Starters: Princeton: Fr. RHP Chad Powers (Princeton debut)
UCSB: Jr. LHP Andrew Vasquez (0-0, 0.00 ERA, 1.0 IP)

The Princeton baseball team will officially open the 2014 season this weekend with a four-game series at UC Santa Barbara from Feb. 28-Mar. 2 in Santa Barbara, Calif.

Due to impending inclement weather, all schedule updates will be posted on GoPrincetonTigers.com and Twitter (@PUTIGERS/@PUTigerBaseball).

A Look at Last Year:
• Princeton is coming off a 14-28, 11-9 Ivy 2013 season, missing advancing to the Ivy League Championship Series for the second straight season.
• While run support came at a premium, the Tiger rotation was dominant behind Ivy Player and Pitcher of the Year Mike Ford’s 6-0 record and 0.98 ERA. Ford became the first-ever Ivy player to win both awards in the same season and the first Princetonian to be named Player of the Year.
• Princeton boasted a pair of All-Ivy pitchers in its rotation in Ford and Zak Hermans ’13.
• Senior tri-captain Alec Keller enters the year after earning the Blair Bat Award, boasting the top batting average in the Ivy League at .378 (54-for-143). He is Princeton’s lone All-Ivy selection returning, as he and Ford were unanimous All-Ivy First Teamers and Hermans and Alex Flink ’13 picked up honorable mention accolades.

On Deck:
• Princeton’s season-opening 18-game road swing will take the Tigers to the Sunshine State for a four-game neutral sited series versus Michigan from Mar. 7-9.
• The Tigers and Wolverines will face off in St. Lucie, Fla. at the New York Mets’ spring training facility.

Get Connected:
• Are you following Princeton on social media? Follow the athletics department at Facebook.com/PrincetonAthletics, Twitter.com/PUTIGERS, Vine.co/PUTIGERS and Instagram.com/PrincetonAthletics.

• To connect with the baseball program, follow the Tigers on Twitter via @PUTigerBaseball.

Leading the Pack: Seniors A.J. Goetz, Michael Fagan and Alec Keller will serve as tri-captains this season for the Tigers.

Pair Goes to the Bigs:
• The Tigers will look to fill the void of pitcher/first baseman Mike Ford (2011-13) and Zak Hermans ’13 who both currently are playing in the Minor Leagues.
• Ford is coming off a historic 2013 season, becoming the program’s first Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award finalist and a Gregg Olson Award semifinalist, along with his Ivy, ABCA Northeast Region First Team and NCBWA All-America Third Team honors.
• After going undrafted, Ford made waves in Cape Cod with the Cotuit Kettlers and was signed as an undrafted free agent by the New York Yankees. He finished 2013 with the Class A Short-Season affiliate in Staten Island.
• Hermans was selected by the Chicago Cubs in the 30th round in the MLB First-Year Draft as the 888th pick.
• The two-time All-Ivy selection and 2012 Ivy Pitcher of the Year played with the Cubs’ Rookie Ball team in Mesa, Ariz.
• Hermans was the 44th Tiger draftee in the MLB amateur entry draft since 1965.

The Returners:
• Princeton returns 31 letterwinners from a year ago, including nine pitchers.
• In the outfield the Tigers will be led by Alec Keller, who may split time between center field and second base. Keller also is the top returning batter, behind his league-leading .378 average with nine doubles, four home runs, a triple and 17 RBI.
• The infield returns sophomores Billy Arendt and Danny Hoy, who were immediate contributors as freshmen and played in 39 games last season.
• Junior Tyler Servais provides experience behind the plate, as well as versatility at first base. The Tigers have options at catcher with Bobby Geren, Brett Geren and Andres Larramendi – all of whom saw time last year.
• The pitching rotation will be led by sophomore Cameron Mingo, who began 2013 as a reliever and then moved into the starting rotation. In 10 appearances, Mingo went 1-4 with a 2.92 ERA and opposing batters hit .283 against.

The Newcomers:
• Behind a sizeable group with experience, the Tigers welcome nine true freshmen to the lineup.
• The Class of 2017 features three pitchers, three infielders and a pair of outfielders, providing depth throughout the lineup.

Scouting UC Santa Barbara:
• The Gauchos are coming off a 6-4 upset victory over No. 19 UCLA on Feb. 25 to improve to 4-1 on the year.
• UCSB’s offense is powered by Joey Epperson and Peter Maris, who are averaging .450 and .409, respectively.
• UC Santa Barbara has seen 12 different pitchers see action over the first five outings. All four of this weekend’s probable starters have made at least one appearance, led by Dylan Hecht’s (2-0) 0.90 ERA in two starts spanning 10 innings. 

All-Time vs. UC Santa Barbara: This weekend’s series marks the first meeting in program history between Princeton and UC Santa Barbara.

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