March 11, 2006
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- UAB used a six-run eighth inning and a perfect day at the plate by Zac Ward to double up the Rider Broncs 12-6 in game two of a non-conference weekend series at Young Memorial Field. The Blazers continue to roll, having won six straight games heading into Sunday's contest. The streak of good play pushes UAB's season record up to 11-4, while Rider remains winless at 0-8.
Ben Styes picked up his second win in the season, relieving starter Lyle Northington. Styes threw two innings out of the bullpen, allowing two runs and two hits. Northington had another solid day at the office, throwing six innings while striking out two Rider hitters. Drew Murray closed things out for head coach Larry Giangrosso's squad, throwing a scoreless ninth while striking out two.
Ward had his best day at the plate in his Blazer career, hitting a perfect 5-for-5 on the day. The five hits are a career high, and going back to last night's game Ward has had hits in seven straight at bats. Ryne Lovdahl also had a big day for UAB, going 3-for-5 including two home runs and five RBI. Jorge Gutierrez and Levi Patmon also chipped in three hits, as the green and gold had a season high 20 hits on the game. Danny Sawyer kept his hitting streak alive, rocketing a single up the middle in the 8th to extend it to team-high eight games.
UAB picked up where it left off in last night's contest, scoring two runs in the second to take and early lead. Ward singled to start the inning, and headed to second when Billy Lichtner ripped a single through the right side. Gutierrez would capitalize, smashing a line drive up the middle to bring Ward home and give UAB a 1-0 advantage. Patmon quickly followed with an RBI single of his own, scoring Lichtner and pushing the margin to 2-0.
Rider would cut the lead to 2-1 in the third, but the Blazer bats would respond, scoring another run in their half of the inning. Ward again served as the catalyst, as his single set the table for a Ryan Metcalf
RBI sacrifice fly, wiping out Rider's attempt to close the gap.
The Broncs proved feisty, scoring runs in both the fourth and fifth innings to take a 4-3 lead. It wouldn't last long, as the green and gold stormed back to score three runs of their own. In the fifth frame, Lovdahl hit his first home run of the night, an opposite field blast to plate Ward and himself and make the game 5-4. John Wayne Donahue added an RBI single in the sixth, scoring Phillip Bell to push the lead to 6-4. Rider would tie things up in the eighth, but the Blazers would rally for six runs to put the game out of reach.
Patmon ignited the attack, doubling to left to begin start things off. Sawyer brought him around two batters later, lacing a single back through the box to give UAB the lead back. The onslaught was in full swing, as Donahue and Ward hit back-to-back singles to score another run for the Blazers. Lovdahl put an exclamation point on his day, sending another ball deep over the center field fence to add three runs to UAB's total. Metcalf would close out the scoring, rapping a double to right center to score Steven Turner.
The final game of this weekend's series between Rider and UAB will be Sunday at 1 p.m. Follow every pitch online through gametracker, which is available at the Blazer website, www.uabsports.com.