Southeastern baseball opens the 2014 season with its longest road trip of the year as it treks the 525 miles to Laredo, Texas, for a three-game series against Texas A&M-International beginning with a noon double-header on Feb. 1.
The first two games of the series are set for a noon start on Saturday, while the final contest is slated for a noon start on Feb. 2.
The Savage Storm enter the season-opener off an up-and-down 2013 campaign that saw the team finish 23-20 and miss the conference tournament for the first time since 2002.
Following that performance, the club has been picked eighth in the league's preseason poll out of the 11 members.
SE returns its leading hitter form a season ago in Evan Ramsey who was an All-Central region selection who hit .356 with a total of 18 extra base hits that included a team-high eight home runs. He also drove in a team-best 35 runs and scored 37.
He is joined by fellow returners in the lineup Chevis Springer and Ryan Salter who both started every game they played in.
Springer was an all-conference pick a year ago while hitting .348 and patrolling centerfield, while Salter hit .319 and stole a team-high 26 bases.
On the hill, however, the Storm will be breaking in an almost entirely new staff with Canyon Colley being the only pitcher to see action a season ago when he made five appearances with three starts and tossed 14.0 innings.
In all, SE is breaking in 17 new players on a 24 man roster.
TAMIU comes into the opening series picked to finish fourth in the Heartland Conference and coming off its first winning season in the program's five-year Division II history, finishing 27-26.
The Dustdevils bring back just two of the nine players to log at least 100 at bats last season, led by Alvaro Rondon who batted .358 as well as Alex McKeon who hit .299.
On the hill, TAMIU returns five of the nine pitchers to make at least 10 appearances, including Abdel Rivera who logged a team-high 15 starts with a 9-3 record and a 2.17 ERA.