Baseball workouts underway

The University of Alabama baseball returned for the 2004 Spring Semester on Wednesday as classes resumed at the Capstone after a two-week semester break.

The 32nd-ranked Crimson Tide baseball team began individual workouts Wednesday afternoon at Sewell-Thomas Stadium as preparation resumes for the upcoming season.

Coach Jim Wells celebrates his 10th anniversary season at Alabama this spring with several special promotions scheduled to honor the UA coach and his first decade at the helm of Bama baseball.

The Bossier City, La., native has compiled a 409-176 (.699) in his nine years with the Crimson Tide, leading the team to three College World Series appearances, one SEC Championship (1996) and six SEC Tournament titles, including the last two in a row. His overall record stands at 601-265 (.694) in 14 seasons at Northwestern State and Alabama.

Wells welcomed 36 players back for the spring semester, including three newcomers who joined the squad as classes began at Alabama on Wednesday.

The additions to the team are sophomore catcher David Ferazza (6-2, 200, Redwood City, Calif.), sophomore right-hand pitcher Tyler Meigs (6-6, 244, Bowden, Ga.) and junior infielder Rocky Scelfo (6-1, 185, Youngsville, La.)

Ferazza played the 2003 season at American River College in Sacramento, Calif., where he batted .333 (45-for-135) with two home runs and 28 RBI in 42 games as the starting catcher. He helped the Beavers to a 28-18 record as they advanced to the Northern California Playoffs and upset No. 3 seed Fresno City College in the first round. He was an honorable mention All-Northern California selection after his freshman season. Ferazza was selected in the 49th round of the 2003 MLB Draft by the New York Yankees.

Meigs played one season at Young Harris Junior College in Georgia. He missed the 2003 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery. As a freshman in 2002, Meigs posted a 6-0 record with six saves on the mound. He fired two complete-game victories and threw a no-hitter against Roane State. In 61 1/3 innings on the mound, he recorded 74 strikeouts.

Scelfo spent the 2003 season at Chipola Junior College in Marianna, Fla., where he was a teammate of UA outfielder Matt Grooms. In his lone season at Chipola, Scelfo batted .390 with three home runs, 37 RBI and 10 stolen bases. A first-team All-Panhandle Conference selection, Scelfo helped Chipola to a 31-12-1 overall record and 2003 Panhandle Conference championship. The Youngsville, La., native originally signed with LSU and batted .269 with two home runs and 10 RBI in 42 games with the Tigers as a redshirt freshman in 2002.

The Crimson Tide will begin practice on Sunday, Jan. 18 in preparation for the 2004 season opener, which is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 13 against the New Orleans Privateers here at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.

Season tickets are also available through the Alabama Athletic Ticket Office by calling (205) 348-2262. Season ticket prices are affordable for individual and families at bargain prices throughout the 2004 season, which promises to be an exciting year at the Joe.

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