Feb. 23, 2003
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - UAB (8-0) was able to notch a 5-2 victory in its suspended game with Ball State (0-3) and capture an 8-5 win over the Cardinals in Sunday's scheduled game to remain perfect on the season.
The Blazers are off to their best start since the 1990 season.
"We are real happy to be 8-0," said UAB head coach Larry Giangrosso. "Today and this weekend made for a tough schedule. We were at the ball park a lot this weekend with the rain delays and having to suspend a game. Overall, I thought our concentration level was good throughout the weekend. We continue to do a good job of situational hitting."
UAB got on the board in the bottom of the fourth inning in game two of the day when left fielder Mitch Jones singled up the middle, scoring designated hitter Drew Connell and catcher Eugene Rodriguez.
The Blazers took a 6-0 lead in the bottom of the sixth inning. Jones singled through the left side for his third RBI of the game, scoring second baseman Seth Rollin. Later in the inning, center fielder Sam Clark doubled to right field, bringing in Jones and third baseman Steve Martin.
Ball State got two runs in the top of the eighth inning when designated hitter Adam Metzler doubled to left field, scoring left fielder Ben Schroeder and shortstop Jason Bucholtz.
UAB added two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning. With runners on second and third, first baseman Daniel Hill grounded out to second base, allowing Clark to score. Right fielder Kyle Leon later scored on a wild pitch by Dustin Ruhl.
Ball State rallied in the top of the ninth inning. Marc Franz, who was pinch hitting for center fielder Mike Sullivan, singled through the right side, scoring first baseman Brad Miller. Catcher Lucas Fry was then able to score on a wild pitch by Blazer reliever Griffin Zarbough
. Later in the inning, Bucholtz singled in Franz. Cody Cillo
, who had come on in relief of Zarbough, was then able to stop the Cardinal rally and retire the side to pick up his first save of the season.
Scott Gibson (2-0) got his second win of the season in as many starts, working five innings and allowing no runs on two hits. He struck out five and walked one. Ryan Huffman came on in relief of Gibson and pitched three innings. He allowed two runs on four hits, walking one and striking out three.
"It is great to see Scott throw," said Giangrosso. "His endurance is still not where it needs to be, as he is coming off surgery, but he gave us five solid innings. I thought he really pitched well."
Mike Johnston (0-1) took the loss for Ball State after working four innings and allowing two runs on three hits. He walked four and struck out two.
Game two of Saturday's scheduled doubleheader was suspended due to rain. The game resumed Sunday with UAB holding a 5-2 lead with Jones on first base and one out.
Ball State threatened in the top of the eighth inning with runners on first and third and one out, but Schroeder grounded into a 1-6-3 double play to end the inning.
In the top of the ninth inning, Ball State had runners on first and second with one out. Kevin Brannon came on in relief of Rusty McIntyre and struck out the side to pick up his second save of the season.
Jon Burgett (2-0) picked up the win for UAB after working six innings Saturday and allowing two runs on seven hits. He struck out six and walked five. Brannon pitched two-thirds of the ninth inning and McIntyre came on in relief of Burgett in the seventh inning and pitched two and one-third innings. He allowed one hit and walked five.
Jason Paul (0-1) took the loss for Ball State after pitching five innings and allowing five runs on seven hits. He walked three and struck out five. Andrew Anderson worked the final three innings and allowed two hits and had two strikeouts.
UAB returns to Young Memorial Field Tuesday to take on in-state rival Alabama State at 6 p.m.