Christmas is 309 days away, which to some may feel like an eternity to experience the kind of joy that day can bring. But, Alabama junior infielder Jim Jarvis says he'll be getting the same feeling today as Alabama opens up its season at home.

“Me and Owen Diodati were literally talking about this yesterday as we were leaving the field, the comparison for how excited we are for tomorrow is like when you’re a kid waking up on Christmas morning. There’s like nothing, nothing else you want to do besides go down and like open presents, I feel like that’s kind of how we are right now. Just waiting for Santa to come,” said Jarvis. 

After months of practice and scrimmages beginning in the fall, all the Tide's practice will finally come to fruition this afternoon at Sewell Thomas Stadium as the Xavier Musketeers come to town.

It'll finally be time to put on the uniform, pick up their gloves, take the field, and "open presents".

"We’re just ready to see another team in another uniform. You know, scrimmaging is nice and all, but once you kind of get to take what you have and compete against other teams that’s when it really gets fun. We’re just looking forward to that, we’re extremely excited,” said junior outfielder William Hamiter.

Xavier presents a challenge for the Tide. It finished last season 28-26 The Musketeers were runner up in the Big East last season, losing to UConn in the finals. It has made it to the NCAA Tournament three times since 2014, its last trip being in 2017.

Xavier is returning a couple of stars from last season, senior outfielder Andrew Walker who led the team in batting average last year, and graduate pitcher Trevor Olson who posted a career best 2.97 ERA through 63 total innings.

It also snatched up a preseason top 50 catcher in transfer Jerry Huntzinger from Seton Hall.

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Despite the possible challenge this first game brings, coach Brad Bohannon seemed equally excited to get the season rolling during media availability on Thursday.

“ I think I told my wife last night that I’d rather lose 10 to nothing on Friday than to scrimmage one more time, I did say that but I really didn’t mean it. I said it, but I didn’t mean it," said Bohannon.

It should be a fun weekend to get things started at "The Joe", and we will be covering every minute on Follow @tide1009 on Twitter to stay up to date as we will have coverage of each of the games in this series.

Probable Pitching Matchups and Start Times for the Series:

Friday, Feb. 18 - 3 p.m.

Alabama - Garrett McMillan, Xavier - Trevor Olson

Saturday, Feb. 19 - 2 p.m.

Alabama - Antoine Jean, Xavier Bryce Barnett

Sunday, Feb. 20 - 1 p.m.

Alabama - Grayson Hitt, Xavier - George Eisenhardt

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