Feb. 14, 2003
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ----- Senior right fielder Kyle Leon was 5-5 with a three-run home run, six RBI and two runs scored in helping lead UAB (2-0) to a 9-1 home-opening victory over Mississippi Valley State (0-4) in baseball action Friday evening at Young Memorial Field.
"Mississippi Valley State is much improved over the team we played last year," said UAB head coach Larry Giangrosso. "They have lost some games late this year. However, I think we are an improved team as well. Overall, I am well pleased. Our intensity was good. We played hard. We were really aggressive on the bases and overall, it was a good win."
UAB got on the board in the first inning when center fielder Sam Clark scored on a balk by Joseph Liberto.
Second baseman Seth Rollin doubled to left field to start the bottom of the second inning. He later scored when shortstop Josh Miljavac grounded out to the shortstop. UAB led 2-0.
UAB added a run in the bottom of the fifth inning when Leon singled through the right side, allowing Clark to score his second run of the of the game.
The Delta Devils answered in the top of the sixth inning off a home run to right field by shortstop Tee Thomas.
The Blazers took a 6-1 lead on a three-run home run by Leon in the bottom of the seventh.
Leon ran his RBI total to six when he singled through the left side, scoring Miljavac and left fielder Mitch Jones in the bottom of the eighth inning. Leon also scored his second run of the evening in the eighth when first baseman Daniel Hill doubled to center field to put UAB up 9-1.
"Offensively, Kyle Leon really hit the ball well tonight," said Giangrosso. "He was very patient at the plate."
(1-0) picked up the win for UAB after working five innings and allowing no runs and only two hits to go along with six strikeouts.
"I thought we got a very solid pitching performance from Lucas Trotter," said Giangrosso. "I thought he was outstanding tonight."
Joseph Liberto (0-1) took the loss for the Delta Devils after pitching four innings and allowing two runs on four hits. He walked two and struck out five. Jermaine Shack pitched four innings of relief and gave up seven runs on eight hits. He walked two and struck out seven.
UAB and Mississippi Valley State will square off in game two of the three-game series Saturday at 2 p.m.