March 6, 2013
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ----- Four UAB pitchers combined to limit Saint Joseph’s to one run on five hits as the Blazers went on to defeat the Hawks 2-1 Wednesday afternoon at Young Memorial Field in non-conference baseball action.
Sam Kelley got the start for UAB (6-7) and pitched 4.1 innings of scoreless ball, surrendering three hits and striking out two. Jacob German (2-0) picked up the win in relief of Kelley. German didn’t allow a hit in his 2.2 innings of work while striking out one.
“Sam [Kelley] did great. It was a tough call to make a pitching change at that time (in the fifth inning) but he was to the pitch count that we thought would be comfortable for him today,” said UAB head coach Brian Shoop.
Adam Lau made quick work of Saint Joseph’s (2-10) in the eighth inning but got into a jam in the ninth, allowing the first two batters to reach. After a sacrifice bunt moved both runners into scoring position, the Blazers called on right-hander Cameron Rose to get the final two outs. Rose induced a groundout, which plated a run, and a fly-out to close out the game and earn his second save of the season.
“They key to that game was that it was a three freebie game. The one intentional walk I wouldn’t count so we had one walk, one hit batter and one error and that makes it difficult (for the opponent) to score. If you can play games with three freebies, you’re almost always in those games and today was another case of that,” added Shoop.
UAB scored both of its runs in the fourth inning. The Blazers put its first two batters on base via an Ivan De Jesus single up the middle and Tyler Mims hit by pitch. After Todd Wilkinson laid down a sacrifice bunt to move both runners over, Harry Clark picked up a RBI on a groundout to second. Matt Morse, playing in his first game of the season, reached on a two-out bunt single to plate the second run for the Blazers.
Both teams had several opportunities to add runs early. UAB loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the first inning but was unable to capitalize.
In the second inning, Kelley intentionally walked the SJU batter to load the bases. Kelley escaped withouth any damage by inducing a fly out to right field to end the inning.
Already leading 2-0, the Blazers again loaded the bases in the sixth inning with one out but grounded into a 1-2-3 double play to end the threat.
Morse provided a spark for UAB in his first game, going 2-for-3 with a RBI and two stolen bases.
Jack Stover (0-2) suffered the loss for Saint Joseph’s, surrendering two runs on six hits and four walks in 5.1 innings. In 2.2 innings of relief, the Hawks bullpen didn’t allow a hit and walked one UAB batter.
The Blazers return to action this weekend when they make the trip to Jonesboro, Ark. for a three-game series with Arkansas State. Game one is scheduled for 6 p.m. CT on Friday.