March 10, 2006
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- The UAB baseball team posted its best offensive numbers of the season, pounding out 14 hits and defeating the Rider Broncs 13-1 in game one of a non-conference three-game series at Young Memorial Field. The win pushed UAB's season-best win streak to five games, as the record now stands at 10-4 on the season.
Eight Blazers had hits for head coach Larry Giangrosso's on the evening, with five batters posting RBIs in the game. Ryne Lovdahl lead the way, smashing a season high four hits on the night. John Wayne Donahue continued his hot hitting at the plate, going 3-for-5 with a three-run home run. Zac Ward also had a bomb of his own, going 2-for-4 contest. Danny Sawyer hit his second home run of the season for Giangrosso as the Blazers set a season high in runs scored.
That was more than enough for starter Heath Tapscott, who cruised through seven innings to pick up his second win of the season. The sophomore from Hartselle, Ala., allowed only six hits while striking out five Broncs during his outing. This solid performance drops Tapscott's season ERA to 0.78, which stands as the best among all UAB pitchers. Freshman Derek Hanks closed things out, throwing two shutout innings in his first career appearance at UAB. Hanks struck out two and didn't allow a runner past first base while he was on the hill.
UAB got ahead early, getting on the board in their first at bat. After the Blazers loaded the bases with two walks and an infield single, a sacrifice fly by Sawyer put the Blazers up 1-0. Rider would tie the game in the top of the third, but the Blazers would respond with 12 unanswered runs to close out the game.
The green and gold scored eight runs in the fourth, the most runs they have scored in a single inning all season. Lovdahl had two hits in the inning, which saw 14 hitters come to the plate. UAB also hit two back-to-back homeruns in the frame, with Donahue hitting a three run shot and Ward launching his second home run of the year one pitch later.
The Blazer bats continued to sizzle, adding two more runs in the fifth to stretch the lead to 11-1. This time Sawyer cleared the bases, hitting a moonshot deep over the left field wall to add to UAB's advantage. Tapscott continued to be on cruise control, posting zeros on the scoreboard while his teammates continued to pad the lead for him.
UAB would add runs in the seventh and the eighth, to push the final score to 13-1. Lovdahl laced a single to right, bringing in Donahue and adding to the tally. In the eighth, Jorge Gutierrez ripped a double deep into left center field, chasing home Donny Muth for the Blazers final run of the contest.
Game two of the three game series is set for 2 p.m. tomorrow, with Lyle Northington taking the hill for the Blazers. Follow every pitch online with gametracker, available at UAB's website, www.uabsports.com.