Feb. 22, 2003
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - With the score tied at six, UAB (6-0) pushed across three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to claim a 9-6 victory over Ball State (0-1) and keep its winning streak alive. The Blazers are now off to their best start since 1990.
Game two of Saturday's scheduled doubleheader was suspended due to rain. UAB holds a 5-2 lead in game two with left fielder Mitch Jones on first base and one out. The game will resume Sunday at noon. Game three of the three-game series will immediately follow the completion of game two.
"It was really good to win the first game," said UAB head coach Larry Giangrosso. "A lot of different guys are contributing right now. It really helps to have different people step up. Overall, the win was just a great team effort.
"We need to play well tomorrow and with a good performance in finishing up game two. We need to cash in on the opportunities we have in the second game and hope that a good performance will game over to Sunday's final game."
Ball State took an early 1-0 lead in game two when designated hitter Adam Metzler doubled to left center field, scoring left fielder Ben Schroeder.
The Blazers answered with two runs in the bottom of the first inning when first baseman Daniel Hill tripled to left field, scoring third baseman Steve Martin and center fielder Sam Clark.
Jones singled to left field, scoring catcher Brett Tilley, to give UAB a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the second inning.
Ball State answered with a run in the top of the third inning when catcher Matt Singleton singled, scoring Metzler.
The Blazers added two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Right fielder Kyle Leon continued his seven-game hitting and RBI streak when he singled up the middle, allowing Clark to score his second run of the game. Later in the inning, Drew Connell, who was pinch hitting for designated hitter Matt Womble, grounded out to third base, allowing Leon to score.
UAB struck first in the bottom of the second inning in game one when catcher Eugene Rodriguez
doubled to right field, scoring Hill.
Ball State answered with four runs in the top of the third inning. With the bases loaded, right fielder Brad Snyder grounded out to second base, allowing second baseman James Nowicki to score. Metzler then singled up the middle, bringing in Schroeder and shortstop Jason Bucholtz. Later in the inning, first baseman Brad Miller singled to center field to score Metzler.
The Blazers got a run in the bottom of the fourth inning when shortstop Josh Miljavac singled to center field, scoring second baseman Seth Rollin.
UAB tied the score at six in the bottom of the fifth inning. Hill singled up the middle, scoring Martin. Later in the inning as the Cardinals were trying to turn a double play from second base to first base, Nowicki overthrew first base after getting the out at second. Leon scored on the throw to second and Hill scored his second run of the game on the errant throw to first.
The Blazers took a 6-5 lead in the bottom of the sixth inning when Martin singled to right field to score Jones.
Ball State tied the game in the top of the eighth inning on a home run to right field by Miller.
UAB took the lead for good in the bottom of the eighth. With the bases loaded, Ryan Hammons walked Clark, allowing Miljavac to score. Leon then singled through the right side, allowing Jones and Martin to score their second runs of the game.
Jeff Brown (1-0) picked up the win for UAB after coming on in relief of Blazer starter Lucas Trotter. Brown worked four innings and allowed one run on two hits and walked four. Kevin Brannon recorded the Blazers' first save of the season and the first of his UAB career after working an inning and giving up two hits, while striking out the side. Trotter pitched four innings and allowed five runs on eight hits. He walked two and struck out five.
"Lucas Trotter struggled uncharacteristically today," said Giangrosso. "He was having trouble spotting his pitches. I thought Jeff Brown did a good job of coming in and allowing only one run."
Joe Ness (0-1) took the loss for the Cardinals after working two and two-thirds innings and giving up three runs off three hits. He walked one and struck out one.