Blazers Claim Rubber Game Vs. SIU, 3-1

Jeff Schalk launched a solo homer in the fourth inning

Feb. 17, 2013

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ---- A day after knocking in the game-winning run, Tanner Bryant earned the win on the mound to help the UAB baseball team claim the series with a 3-1 victory vs. Southern Illinois on Sunday afternoon.

Bryant (1-0) worked a personal best 5.2 innings on the bump along with a career-high eight strikeouts to improve the Blazers to 2-1 on the young season.

SIU dropped to 1-2 as all three games of the series were decided by a total of four runs.

The Salukis broke through in the top of the third against Bryant as Jake Welch roped a double to right-center and came around on a RBI single to left off the bat of Matt Jones. That was the lone run SIU could muster against the Blazer staff as the Salukis were held to just one run over the last 20 innings of the series.

Just a half inning later, the Blazers answered the bell. Chase Davis (2-for-3) started off the frame with an infield single prior to Ryan Prinzing tatooing a run scoring double to right-center to square up the game at 1-1.

Prinzing would later move to third on a ground out and come around to touch home on a John Frost grounder to shortstop to put the Blazers up 2-1.

In the fourth, Jeff Schalk added an insurance run by  launching a no-doubt solo blast to right on the first pitch of the inning to extend the Blazers' lead to 3-1.

SIU appeared to have some things rolling in the sixth, as it put two runners on with two outs ending the day for Bryant.  Head coach Brian Shoop went to his bullpen and called on newcomer Cameron Rose, who induced a fly out to end the threat and keep the two-run lead in tact.

Rose pitched 2.2 innings of relief before being lifted in the ninth for true-freshman Adam Lau, who in his first career outing recorded the save to secure UAB taking two-of-three in the series.

UAB returns to the diamond on Tuesday with midweek trip to Jacksonville State. First pitch is slated for 3 p.m. CT.

Series Notes
- Tanner Bryant posted career highs in inninngs pitched (5.2) and strikeouts (8).  His previous high in each were five innings and five strikeouts set last season.

- The Blazer bullpen allowed only one run in a total of 15 innings of work.

- The UAB staff held SIU to a .196 batting average and walked only one batter over the last two games of the series.

- Six UAB players made their Blazer debuts over the weekend: Adam Lau, Griffin Gum, Cory Eller, Turner Lee, James Naile and Cameron Rose.

- UAB and SIU combined to score 14 runs over three games.