Feb. 22, 2008
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - UAB junior right-hander Mitch Kloskowski threw six innings in which he struck out seven, walked one and allowed just one run in helping the Blazers earn an 8-7 opening day victory over Ball State at Young Memorial Field on Friday. The Blazers have now won seven straight opening day games and are 23-7 all-time in season openers.
"I felt pretty good out there today," Kloskowski said. "I feel like I'm more relaxed out there than I was last year and it just felt good to go out there and get into the game."
Senior first baseman Ryan Keedy paced the Blazers offensively by going 2-for-4 with three RBI, two of which came on a two-run double to left field in the sixth to aid a four-run Blazer inning that opened up an 8-1 advantage.
Senior outfielder Phil Bell also had a strong day at the plate, going 2-for-3 with two singles and a sacrifice fly. Junior catcher Allen Aubin scored three runs in the game, while going 2-for-2 with a single and a double on top of being hit by pitches in back-to-back at bats in the fourth and sixth innings.
Junior designated hitter Austin Taylor was 2-for-4 with two RBI in his Blazer debut.
Ball State (0-1) nearly came back to steal the game from the Blazers in the top of the ninth inning as the Cardinals rallied for five runs. BSU first baseman Matt Stoeklen doubled down the left field line to score two runs with two outs to cut the Blazer lead to one, 8-7.
Mark Isenberg checked in to pinch run for Stoeklen at second but would fail to come in and tie the game as UAB senior right-hander Dustin Colburn came in and struck out Kory Benbow to earn the save.
Jeremy Hazelbaker led Ball State at the plate by going 2-for-4 with two RBI, while Stoeklen finished 2-for-5 at the plate with two RBI.
Tyler Pritchard picked up the loss on the mound after allowing four runs on eight hits in five innings of work.
Games two and three of the four-game series will be played on Saturday with game one slated to start at 12:00 p.m. at Young Memorial Field.