Feb. 17, 2007
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - One day after UAB pulled off a ninth inning heroic victory, Central Michigan returned the favor, as the Chippewas came back in the top of the ninth to beat the Blazers, 5-4, at Young Memorial Field on Saturday to even the three-game series at one-game all.
Sophomore right-hander Mitch Kloskowski got the start on the mound for the Blazers and gave the team 5.0 sharp innings of work in which he struck out three and didn't allow a single earned run.
Both teams' records move to 1-1 on the year with the decision.
Junior outfielder Phil Bell hit his first home run of the season in the sixth inning to aid his 2-for-4 performance, while sophomore outfielder Brint Hardy was 2-for-5 with a stolen base. Junior infielder Tyler Rollin got his first start as a Blazer and made good use of it, going 2-for-3 with two RBI, in addition to seven put outs in the defensive effort.
Kloskowski stood out amongst the Blazer pitchers with his impressive line, while sophomore right-hander Robert Brewster (0-1) was credited with the loss after coming in to pitch 0.2 innings in relief in which he struck out one and gave up no earned runs.
Central Michigan was led by James Taes who went 1-for-3 with three RBI and a run scored, while Jeff Helps was 1-for-2 with an RBI and a run scored.
Right-hander Kurt Lauscher was impressive on the mound for the Chippewas, striking out three in 5.0 innings of work.Lefty Dan Taylor (1-0) earned the victory for CMU as he came in to pitch 3.0 innings in relief in which he struk out three and gave up no runs.Bryce Morrow earned the save (1).
Both starting pitchers threw nearly 90 pitches (Kloskowski-88, Lauscher (89).
After the teams played scoreless baseball for three innings, UAB got on the board first when senior designated hitter Danny Sawyer led the inning off by drawing a walk on a full-count pitch and then advanced to second on a wild pitch.
With Sawyer in scoring position at second, senior first baseman Ryne Lovdahl reach on an error that also advanced Sawyer to third to bring up Friday's hero, senior outfielder J.R. Bond. Bond dug in and took an 0-2 pitch from Lauscher to right field for an RBI single.
The Chippewas then retired consecutive UAB hitters, however Lovdahl and Bond still remained on the corners when Rollin stepped to the plate and belted a two-RBI double to put the Blazers on top, 3-0.
After Central Michigan went three-up and three-down in the top half of the fifth, Bell led off the bottom with a deep shot to left field for a home run and pad UAB's lead to 4-0, where the scored remained until the top of the ninth.
In the ninth, junior right-hander Dustin Colburn came in to close things out and after giving up a single and a walk and then hitting his third batter face, Colburn found himself with the bases loaded and nobody out. Helps then came to the plate and drew a walk, scoring Sean Hoorelbeke to make it 4-1.
Brewster was then called in from the bullpen and got the Blazer fans in attendance on their feet as he struck out Ben Humphrey and then got Bryan Mitzel to pop up into an infield fly. Bases still loaded and two out, Taes stepped in as the Chippewas last hope and he delivered, driving in three runs on a double by Taes who also advanced to third after an error by freshman Jonathan Merritt who was throwing home.
With the game tied at 4-4, Eric Cannon came to the plate and hit an RBI double to drive in what would prove to be the game-winning hit as the Chippewas closed out the game for a 5-4 triumph.
The deciding game of the three-game set will be played on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Young Memorial Field.