March 4, 2011
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Behind strong starting pitching from Dillon Napoleon and Ryan Woolley combined with a big day offensively by Patrick Palmeiro, the UAB baseball team swept Friday's doubleheader from Cleveland State at Young Memorial Field.
The Blazers (7-3) opened with a 10-5 victory in game one and closed by posting a 13-0 win over the Vikings (2-6) in the nightcap. The shutout in game two was the first by UAB since a 6-0 victory over Ball State on Feb. 27, 2010.
Palmeiro went 5-for-9 over the two games with two doubles, a home run and six RBI to help the Blazers match their longest winning streak from last season at six games. Napoleon and Woolley each struck out 11 batters in seven innings to earn their second consecutive wins.
Jamal Austin collected four hits on the day as he ran his hitting streak to 11 games, including all 10 games this season. Nick Crawford also had four hits in the doubleheader for the Blazers.
UAB and Cleveland State are slated to meet for game three of this weekend's four-game series on Saturday at noon CT, weather permitting. Check back to uabsports.com for any weather-related schedule updates.
Game 1 (UAB 10, CSU 5)
Napoleon struck out 11 batters without walking anyone, pitching UAB to a 10-5 win in game one. The right-hander scattered six hits and surrendered three runs -- just one earned -- in seven innings.
After allowing a hit to Cleveland State's Anthony Sambula to lead off the game, Napoleon retired 14 consecutive batters, including the last five by strikeout, before giving up a solo home run to Tom Carter in the fifth inning. Cleveland State tacked on two more unearned runs in the fifth after a Blazer error as the Vikings trimmed a 4-0 UAB lead to 4-3.
But Palmeiro, who went 3-for-5 in the game, belted a two-run homer in the bottom of the fifth, helping the Blazers answer back with a three-run inning of their own to take command again. UAB then added single runs in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings before Cleveland State pushed two across in the ninth to cut the final deficit to five.
Austin added three hits in the game for UAB, while Crawford drove in a pair of runs. Carter paced Cleveland State as one of four Vikings with two hits. He went 2-for-4, scored two runs and drove in one.
Napoleon lowered his ERA to 1.80 through three starts this spring. He has struck out 22 batters and walked only one in 20 total innings.
Coty Bates suffered the loss for Cleveland State, allowing the first five UAB runs in four innings of work.
Game 2 (UAB 13, CSU 0)
Palmeiro doubled twice and joined John Frost with three RBI in UAB's 13-0 victory over Cleveland State in game two. Keith DePew chipped in by matching a UAB single-game record with two triples.
Woolley and Chase Mallard combined on the shutout with Woolley throwing the first seven innings. The UAB right-hander fanned 11 batters and walked only one while surrendering just four hits.
The only time Woolley faced trouble came in the third inning when Cleveland State loaded the bases with one out. But he struck out the next two Viking batters looking to end the threat, beginning a stretch in which he retired 14 of the final 15 batters he faced.
UAB grabbed the lead early as it sent 10 batters to the plate in the second inning and scored six runs, highlighted by a three-run double from Palmeiro. The Blazers added two runs in the third and two in the sixth. They closed out the scoring with three in the seventh on a two-run double from Frost and an RBI single from Ivan De Jesus.
A sixth-round pick in last year's MLB draft, De Jesus missed the first eight games of the season because of injury but recorded a pinch-hit at-bat in both games Friday.
Mallard pitched the final two innings for UAB, striking out four of the seven batters he faced. UAB pitchers finished the day with a two-game total of 28 strikeouts.
Sambula, the reigning Horizon League Pitcher of the Week, got the start for Cleveland State and took the loss as UAB got to him for eight runs on eight hits and forced him from the game in the third inning.