Feb. 29, 2012
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ---- UAB scored five runs in the bottom of the third inning and that was all the offense the Blazers would need in a 5-4 victory over Jacksonville State on Wednesday afternoon at Young Memorial Field.
"The big inning is the greatest win predictor in baseball," head coach Brian Shoop said. "It wins 94 percent of the time and they are very hard to come by with the new bats. Usually there are some mistakes and big hits during a big inning and today we were the beneficiary."
JSU (1-5) owned a 2-0 lead heading into the explosive third frame at the plate from the UAB (6-2) batters. The Gamecocks pushed across a run in the second on a RBI triple from Andrew Bishop, and an inning later made the score 2-0 on a solo homer by Sam Eberle.
The bottom of the third is when the Blazer bats came to life, as UAB scored all five of its runs using five of the team's eight hits in the ball game.
UAB loaded the bases with one out thanks to a walk drawn by Jacob German and infield singles by Ivan De Jesus and Coy Arrowood. The next three Blazers - Patrick Palmeiro, Tyler Mims and Jeff Schalk - would all rope doubles as five batters in a row recorded a hit. Palmeiro and Mims' two-baggers each brought in a pair, while Schalk's double plated another to end the day for JSU hurler Casey Antley (0-1).
Dylan Munger (2-1) replaced UAB starter David Hayes in the top of the fourth and pitched 3.0 innings in relief to earn his second victory of the young season. After allowing a single to the first batter he faced in the fourth, Munger sent down the next seven batters in a row, which featured striking out the side in the fifth.
With one down in the sixth, the Gamecocks made things interesting when Michael Bishop launched a two-run homer to center field, but UAB still led 5-4.
The seventh and eighth frames in the game were tossed by Chase Mallard, who allowed only one hit and struck out two. Closer Ryan Nance shut the door in the ninth, sending JSU down in order with a pair of strikeouts of his own to earn his third save of the season.
Of UAB's six victories in 2012, five have come by one run.
"Jacksonville State is a good team and they have a strong offense," Shoop said. "I bet when it's all said and done they are right at the top of the Ohio Valley Conference."
Arrowood, De Jesus and Mims all recorded 2-for-4 days at the plate, while Palmeiro knocked in a pair of base runners in the victory.
UAB is back at Young Memorial Field on Friday against the Utah Utes for a three-game series. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. CT.