March 9, 2014
Box Score (PDF)
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Junior right-handed pitcher Alex Luna threw 8.0 scoreless innings to guide the UAB baseball team to a 2-0 victory against Middle Tennessee on Sunday afternoon. With the win, UAB clinches its first Conference USA three-game series of the 2014 season.
"It was great to comeback after losing on Friday to win the series," head coach Brian Shoop stated. "But, I do not want to make any more of it than what it is."
Luna had a superb day on the mound, scattering four hits in eight innings. All four hits were infield singles by the Blue Raiders. In addition, the Huntsville, Ala. native matched a career-high by fanning 10 batters and did not allow a walk.
"It was a dominant outing," commented Shoop. "All four missed barrels and they squibbed ground balls in the right spots. That was a dominant performance. Today, basically we win because of Alex Luna."
UAB (13-3, 2-1) provided the only run support Luna would need early, scoring two runs in the bottom of the third inning. Sophomore Evan Peterson drew a walk, and then was advanced to second after a successful sacrifice bunt from classmate Adam Smith. Junior outfielder Chase Davis hit a double down the right field to plate Peterson. Senior outfielder Ivan De Jesus singled to left field, moving Davis to third. Classmate Ryan Prinzing then hit an RBI single up the middle to score Davis and give the Blazers a 2-0 advantage.
Luna did not allow a hit until the sixth inning. Middle Tennessee senior outfielder Jake Ellison squeezed a single in between Smith and Peterson for the Blue Raiders' first hit of the day. Luna would give up three more infield singles before being replaced in the ninth inning.
With a runner on first and no outs in the top of the ninth, senior left-handed pitcher Turner Lee was called to the hill. Lee forced Middle Tennessee (5-9, 1-2) to ground into a double play. Sophomore right-handed pitcher Adam Lau came on for the save, but gave up a hit and hit a batter. Classmate Cory Eller then came in and closed the books on the squad's first Conference USA series of 2014.
Blue Raiders senior first baseman Trent Miller ran for third base on a steal attempt. UAB redshirt junior catcher Tyler Mims gunned the ball down to Peterson at third and sealed the victory for the Blazers.
Middle Tennessee left-handed pitcher Johnathan Frebis pitched a complete game, going 8.0 innings for the Blue Raiders. Frebis gave up two earned runs and five hits in his third loss of the season.
UAB is back in action on Tuesday night when it hosts Jacksonville State at Regions Field. The game is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. at the downtown Birmingham ballpark.
Notes: The UAB baseball team won its first Conference USA three-game series for the first time since 2012 ... UAB has won five consecutive three-game series, dating back to last season's Tulane series ... Junior left-handed pitcher Alex Luna matched a career-best with 10 strikeouts on the day ... Junior outfielder Chase Davis had three hits on the day, including two doubles ... Davis became the first Blazer to have two doubles in a game since Ryan Prinzing against Memphis on April 13, 2013.
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