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UHV Baseball Opens Season Here Friday

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Opening night for UHV baseball will be here Friday. After having to spend much of the fall offseason in doors, the University of Houston-Victoria baseball team is ready to get outside and open the 2018 collegiate baseball season.

The Jaguars were forced inside after Hurricane Harvey damaged the playing surface of Riverside Stadium resulting in the artificial turf having to be replaced. With field unavailable due to repairs, the Jaguars held most of their fall offseason workouts indoors.

The Jaguars now get to open the season on the new turf when they host the NCAA Division III Trinity Tigers in the three-game set this weekend.

UHV and Trinity square off for the first time ever on Friday night at 6 p.m. and meet again Saturday night for a 6 p.m. contest, before wrapping up the series on Sunday at noon. Friday night's game will be free t-shirt giveaway night for the first 100 fans.

The Jaguars enter the season coming off a 21-24 season last year and return 14 players from that squad, including seven seniors. The seven include pitchers Ross Bludau (SR/Schulenburg, TX) and Collin Schaaf (SR/Needville, TX), along with position players Wesley Kutac (SR/Schulenburg, TX), Jonathan Banuelos (SR/Arlington), Chase Almendarez (SR/Round Rock, TX), Jacob Mihalski (SR/League City, TX) and Cesar Martinez Jr. (SR/Channelview, TX)

Other returnees include Nathaniel Pena (SO/Angleton, TX), Collin Quinn (SO/El Campo, TX), Jacob Atkinson (JR/Harlingen, TX), Garrett Gray-Mathis (SO/Smithville, TX), Derek Maciejeski (SO/Tomball, TX), Chase Tamez (JR/Cypress, TX), and Joshua Fonseca (JR/Pasadena, TX).

They will be joined by newcomers Colton Starnes, Zachariah Vela (FR/Victoria, TX), Alec Cruz (FR/Victoria, TX), Nicholas Ortiz, Jonathan Jimenez (FR/Victoria, TX), Nathan Letien (FR/Conroe, TX), Maxwell Sheldon (SO/Houston, TX), Gustavo Valdes (FR/League City, TX), Garrett Harrison (JR/Victoria, TX), Tanner Knowles (JR/Houston, TX), Nolan Macejeski, Gavin Trevino (FR/Victoria, TX), Ely Gordon (JR/Portland, TX), Brandon Tipton (SO/Victoria, TX), Mason Hulett (FR/League City, TX), and Alejandro Hinojosa III (FR/Harlingen, TX).

The Tigers are coming off a 28-16 record from a year ago and enter the season ranked No. 21 in the NCBWA/D3 Baseball.com poll.

The Tigers had their streak of four straight Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference titles snapped last year in a 13-3 loss to Centenary in the winner-take-all conference championship game. Trinity forced the deciding take-all game with a 10-9 victory over Centenary.

The Tigers return 15 positions players from last year, along with nine pitchers. Among the returnees for the Tigers are All-SCAC outfielders Rafe Chaumette, Jake Martin and pitcher Kevin Flores.

Chaumette lead the team in RBIs with 38 as he compiled a .344 average with 12 doubles, four triples and two home runs. Martin compiled a .350 average with 33 RBIs, 11 doubles, two triples and a team-high sharing four home runs. Meanwhile, Flores finished the year with a 7-3 record and a 2.03 ERA. He allowed 20 runs on 48 hits and 20 walks, while striking out 46 in 57.2 innings.

After the three-game series, the Jaguars hit the road for three games against Texas A&M-International on Feb. 16-17, before returning home to host Texas A&M-International in a5 p.m. doubleheader on Feb. 21.

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