March 4, 2006
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Lyle Northington's career-best outing and the power of John Wayne Donahue led UAB to a 5-2 victory on Saturday over Mercer in game two of a three game series at Young Memorial Field.
This victory pushes UAB's record to 6-4 on the year, and drops Mercer to 10-6 on the season. The rubber match of the series is set for a 1 p.m. start time on Sunday at Young Memorial Field
Senior Lyle Northington has his best pitching performance as a Blazer on Saturday, pitching 7.2 innings and allowing only two runs. The native of Detroit, Ala., set a career high in innings pitched in today's outing while picking up his first win on the year. Mitch Thorn's durable arm again provided relief for UAB, as the junior hurler closed out the 8th inning for Northington. Brandon Flaherty picked up his team-high third save of the season, retiring the Bears in the ninth.
Donahue was the focal point of the offense, providing two key hits that led to three Blazer runs. The junior from Quinlan, Tex., had an RBI single in the 5th and then blasted his second home run of the year later in the game to seal the deal for UAB. Steven Turner also turned in a fine day at the plate, going 2-for-4 to score the other two UAB runs on the day. Ryan Metcalf also added two hits to his tally in today's game.
The start of the game picked up where last night's contest left off, as both pitchers charged ahead and kept both offenses at bay to start things off. Mercer would open up the scoring in he fifth, plating one run to take the early 1-0 lead. UAB quickly responded, as Donahue laced a single up the middle to score Ryne Lovdahl in the bottom half of the inning, tying the game at one.
UAB would put more runs on the board in the bottom of the seventh, as they sent four runners across home plate to stretch the margin to 5-1. Lovdahl served as the catalyst, reaching base to start things off. Donahue again brought him plateward, launching a one-two curveball deep over the right field fence to give UAB its first lead of the ballgame. The Blazers would not stop there, as Phillip Bell
tripled down the right field line to set up UAB's next scoring opportunity. After a hit by pitch and stolen base by Levi Patmon
, Turner lined a shot into the left center field gap, scoring both and pushing head coach Larry Giangrosso's
squad to a 5-1 advantage.
Mercer would score one run in the top of the eighth, chasing Northington from the game. Thorn came on to relive the lefthander, retiring the one hitter he faced to keep the score at 5-2. Flaherty mowed down the Bears in their final at bat, sealing the victory for UAB.