Feb. 18, 2003
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Behind a career-high 11-strikeout performance from senior pitcher Cody Cillo, UAB ran its record to 5-0, defeating Birmingham-Southern 7-2 in baseball action Tuesday evening at Young Memorial Field. The Blazers are off to their best start since the 1992 season.
Right fielder Kyle Leon, this week's Conference USA Co-Hitter of the Week, extended both his hitting streak and his RBI streak to five games. The senior from Guelph, Ontario, had a crucial three-home homer in the bottom of the third inning that gave the Blazers the lead for good. For the evening, Leon was 2-for-2 with four RBI and two runs scored.
"It's really good to be 5-0," said UAB head coach Larry Giangrosso. "We are just excited about the way we are playing and the intensity that we are playing with. We are just getting good performances right now. We are swinging the bat a lot better. We have some guys in the lineup that can drive the ball and score runs for us."
UAB struck first in the bottom of the first inning when Leon doubled down the right field line, scoring center fielder Sam Clark.
Birmingham-Southern answered in the top of the second inning when designated hitter Mac Goodwin scored on a throwing error by shortstop Josh Miljavac.
The Panthers took a 2-1 lead in the top of the third inning when first baseman Adam Tucker singled to right field, scoring left fielder Adam Pease.
The Blazers were able to build a 4-1 lead in the bottom of third inning off Leon's three-run blast to left field.
Cillo recorded six of his 11 strikeouts in the last four innings of work to hold Birmingham-Southern scoreless.
UAB added three more runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. Third baseman Steve Martin walked to start the inning. He then stole his second base of the night, making him 8-for-8 in stolen bases this season. Clark continued his five-game hitting streak with his second hit of the evening, a single to right center field that scored Martin. Later, designated hitter Matt Womble doubled to center field, allowing Clark to score his third run of the game. Leon also scored on the play.
Cillo (2-0) picked up his second win of the season in as many starts. He worked seven innings and allowed two runs, only one of which was earned, and three walks. Griffin Zarbough
and Kevin Brannon
each worked an inning apiece for the Blazers.
John Crew (0-1) took the loss for the Panthers. Crew worked five innings and allowed four runs on five hits. He walked three and struck out six.
UAB returns to Young Memorial Field this weekend to face Ball State (0-0). Friday, the Blazers and Cardinals square off at 6 p.m., Saturday the teams meet at 2 p.m. and Sunday's first pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.