Feb. 14, 2014
Box Score (PDF)
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Senior right-handed pitcher Chase Mallard had a career-night on the mound as the UAB baseball team defeated UT-Martin, 5-0, in its season-opener on Friday night at Regions Field. In the squad's first-ever game at the downtown Birmingham ballpark, Mallard did not yield a hit, struck out 13, and walked one in seven innings of work.
"It was a pretty good pitching matchup," head coach Brian Shoop said. "There were several scouts in to see their guy. You know how much confidence we have in Chase and our guy was a little better, just a little."
Mallard set a career-high with 13 strikeouts on the night, which all were swinging. In addition, Mallard became the first Blazer to record at least 10 strikeouts in a game since Alex Luna fanned 10 against Alabama State on April 24, 2013.
Senior designated hitter Ryan Prinzing was 2-for-4 from the plate with a team-high 2 RBI. Redshirt sophomore outfielder Griffin Gum registered a career-best three hits, as well.
"You know what you are going to get with Ryan," commented Shoop. "You are going to get a good at bat, every time he is up there. It's not like he is going to get a hit every time, but he is going to give you a good at bat. He is going to fight you every time."
Scoreless through five innings, the Blazers broke through in the sixth inning. With redshirt freshman infielder Matthew Furuto and junior outfielder Chase Davis on first and third base, respectively, Prizing came to the plate. The Oswego, Ill. native grounded into a double play, but Davis crossed home, giving UAB a 1-0 lead.
Freshman Thomas Lowery came in in relief of Mallard in the top of the eighth inning. Despite surrendering the first hit of the night, Lowery showed great poise striking out UT-Martin catcher Mikey Nantze for the final out of the inning with a man on base.
"We have great confidence in Thomas," added Shoop. "It's good to get your young guys into a close and heated game. We got a lot of people in the game. They got their first appearances as a Blazer. Lots of good things happened."
UAB exploded for four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning. Prinzing registered a two RBI-single to plate Davis and sophomore infielder Adam Smith. Classmate Ivan De Jesus scored one on a fielder's choice; then stole second allowing Gum to score on the throw.
The Blazers and Skyhawks resume their series on Saturday afternoon at Regions Field. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.
Notes: Senior right-handed pitcher Chase Mallard fanned a career-high 13 batters on Friday night ... Redshirt sophomore outfielder Griffin Gum had a career-best three hits on the game and extended his hitting streak to four games, his longest of his career ... It marked the first time UAB shutout an opponent since April 24, 2013 against Alabama State ... UAB is 7-3 in its last 10 season-openers and 8-2 in its last 10 home-openers.
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