March 8, 2003
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Louisiana-Monroe scored three runs in the top of the ninth inning to overtake UAB and claim a 14-13 victory over the Blazers (14-2) in baseball action Saturday afternoon at Young Memorial Field.
ULM's three runs in the top of the ninth came with two outs. The Indians scored four unearned runs, had 17 total hits and made two errors, while the Blazers scored seven unearned runs, with 14 hits and five errors.
"We made too many mistakes to win a ball game," said UAB head coach Larry Giangrosso. "We are very fortunate that we had a chance to win it. I was disappointed in the way we handled the top of the ninth inning. We didn't do some things that we needed to do and it allowed them to get back in the ball game. It looked like we were always one pitch behind today. I thought we swung the bats well and kept coming back. We played very poor defense and our defense today got us beat. The inability to close the game out got us beat. Today, we just didn't make pitches when we needed to. I am very disappointed that we lost the game, but at the same time I am very thankful that we had a chance to win. Our offense was plenty today."
Louisiana-Monroe (8-6) took a 3-0 lead on a double to center field by catcher Joey Wolfe that scored second baseman Jack Skaggs, center fielder Andy Chance and right fielder Jerad Doty.
The Indians added three runs in the top of the third inning. First baseman Ben Jones singled through the left side, scoring left fielder Kade Eady. Later in the inning, Wolfe singled through the left side, bringing in Jones. Designated hitter Daniel Raymond then grounded out to third base, scoring Doty.
UAB answered with three runs in the bottom of the third. Third baseman Steve Martin singled to left field, bringing in second baseman Drew Goneke. Later in the inning, first baseman Daniel Hill doubled through the middle, scoring left fielder Mitch Jones and Martin.
Louisiana-Monroe added a run in the top of the fifth inning when Raymond singled up the middle, scoring Doty.
-more- ULM retook the lead at 10-8 in the top of the sixth inning. Center fielder Willie Rickard scored on a throwing error by Hill. Later in the inning, Raymond reached on a fielder's choice and picked up his third RBI of the day, as Jones scored from third on the play. Shortstop Bradley Hoffpauir then reached on anerror by Goneke on his attempt to sacrifice bunt, allowing Doty to score.
The Indians added a run in the top of the seventh inning when Doty singled up the middle, scoring Rickard.
UAB added two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. Designated hitter Matt Womble singled through the left side, scoring Leon. Womble later scored on a passed ball by Wolfe.
The Blazers posted three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to regain the lead. Martin scored his third run of the day on a fielding error by Jones. Leon later picked up his third RBI of the day with a triple to center field that scored Clark. After Hill was hit by a pitch, Womble hit a sacrifice fly to center field that allowed Leon to score his third run of the day. The Blazers led 13-11.
With two outs and the bases loaded in the top of the ninth inning, Blazer reliever Kevin Brannon hit Skaggs, bringing in Al Hayward, who was pinch running for Raymond. Eady then singled up the middle, scoring Jay Aulds, who had come in to run for pinch hitter Tony Lamothe, and third baseman Mario Filippi.
Indian reliever Caleb McConnell was able to retire the Blazers in order in the bottom of the ninth, recording three strikeouts to clinch the victory.
McConnell (2-0) picked up the win for ULM after working two innings and allowing one run on one hit. He allowed no walks and had three strikeouts. Indian starter Ryan Schwabe pitched three and two-thirds innings and gave up eight runs, three of which were earned, on nine hits. He walked one and struck out six.
Brannon (0-1) took the loss for UAB after working the ninth inning and giving up three runs on two hits. He allowed one walk and had one strikeout. Blazer starter Jon Burgett pitched two and one-third innings and allowed five runs, four of which were earned, on four hits. He walked two and struck out one.
UAB and Louisiana-Monroe will meet in the final game of the series Sunday at Young Memorial Field at 1 p.m.