Feb. 27, 2006
DOTHAN, Ala. -
Yogi Berra said it once, and it has bee said a million times after. "It ain't over until its over."
UAB proved this to be true on Friday, snatching victory from the jaws of defeat and upending 2005 NCAA tournament team Michigan 5-4. The Blazers scored four runs in the ninth to clinch the victory, and move to 3-1 on the season. Michigan falls to 0-1 on the year.
Mitch Thorn picked up the win in relief, his first of the season. Brandon Flaherty notched his second save of the year, pitching a scoreless ninth to close the door for the Blazers.
UAB's offense was a model of efficiency, scoring five runs on six hits. Billy Lichtner keyed head coach Larry Giangrosso's offensive attack, going 2-for-4 with a home run and 3 RBIs. Danny Sawyer, Levi Patmon, Zac Ward and John Wayne Donahue each contributed hits in the effort. Ward added two RBIs on the day, extending his team lead to nine.
Michigan wasted no time getting a lead in their first game of the year, plating two runs in the their first two chances at bat. Starter Heath Tapscott settled in nicely after that, pitching a total of four innings while only allowing one earned run. UAB cut the lead in half in the top of the 3rd on a solo blast off the bat of Lichtner. Lichtner gave the Blazers not only their first run of the contest, but gave UAB their first home run of the season.
The next four innings saw the pitchers find their grove, keeping both offenses in check and silent in the run column. Jacob Legg
continued his string of strong performances out of the UAB bullpen, tossing three innings in relief. The senior from Hartselle, Ala. gave up only two hits while punching out three Wolverine hitters. Thorn followed, allowing UAB the chance to mount one more effort to reclaim the edge in the top of the ninth.
Patmon started things off on the right foot, singling to right center to begin the frame. After two hit batsmen, the bases were loaded for Ward. Ward promptly deposited a single to left, cutting the lead to 4-3. After another walk, Lichtner again came through in the clutch, as his single gave UAB its first lead of the game at 5-4.
Flaherty was then summoned, and promptly retired the Michigan hitters in the bottom of the ninth to give Giangrosso's team its third win of the season.
UAB continues on in the Wiregrass Classic, as they will lock horns with the South Alabama Jaguars Saturday at 2 p.m.
For in depth coverage of UAB baseball, check www.uabsports.com.