March 12, 2014
Box Score (Game One) | Box Score (Game Two)
JACKSONVILLE, Ala. – The UAB baseball team split its two-game mid-week series with Jacksonville State on Wednesday night at Rudy Abbott Field. Jacksonville State took the first game, 9-5, in extra innings. UAB rebounded with a 14-9 victory in the later contest.
Game One: Jacksonville State (10-5, 3-0) scored four runs in the top of the 10th inning, handing UAB (13-4, 2-1) a 9-5 loss in the first game of the mid-week two-game series. Redshirt junior left-handed pitcher Sam Kelley was credited with the loss after giving up four runs in extra innings. Preseason Ohio Valley Conference Pitcher of the Year Travis Stout earned the win for JSU.
Tuesday’s contest resumed on Wednesday night in Jacksonville, Ala. Jacksonville State began with a 4-3 lead, the bases loaded, and one out in the top of the seventh inning. Sophomore right-handed pitcher Cory Eller came on to the mound and got UAB out of the jam, striking out one and forcing a fielder’s choice.
UAB tied it up in the bottom of the eighth inning. Junior infielder Nathan Vincent crushed a double to left center field to lead off the inning, and then advanced to third after sophomore infielder Evan Peterson grounded out. After sophomore Mitch Williams earned a walk, pinch hitter Ryan Prinzing grounded out to the shortstop, but plated Vincent.
The Blazers had a chance to take the lead later in the inning. With two outs and redshirt junior infielder Matt Morse pinch running for Williams on second, sophomore designated hitter Adam Lau hit a single to left field. Morse headed for home, looking for the go-ahead run, but was thrown out to end the frame.
Jacksonville State would rebound in the ninth inning and pull ahead 5-4 after a bases-loaded single. UAB would not give up, though. With senior outfielder Ivan De Jesus on third and one out, junior first baseman Jeff Schalk hit a sacrifice fly to center field to tie the game and force extra innings.
Game Two: UAB (14-4, 2-1) exploded for a season-high 14 runs in the second contest of the day en route to a 14-9 victory against Jacksonville State (10-6, 3-0). Freshman right-handed pitcher Ronnie Smith earned his first win of the year, pitching three innings of relief, allowing one earned run.
The host-Gamecocks jumped out to an early lead in the first inning. With runners on the corners, JSU freshman infielder Joe McGuire attempted to steal second. Vincent, now catching for UAB, made an errant throw to second, allowing a JSU run to score.
UAB broke through for five runs in the top of the second inning With runners on first and second, sophomore infielder Adam Smith singled up the middle to score one. Junior outfielder Chase Davis came up next and doubled to left center, adding two more runs to the board. De Jesus then hit a single to score his fellow outfielder. The San Juan, Puerto Rico native stole third, and then advanced home after a single from Prinzing.
JSU cut into the Blazers’ lead in the bottom of the second inning. Senior catcher Cal Lambert hit a two-run home run to trim the Green and Gold’s advantage to 5-3. Redshirt freshman left-handed pitcher Adam Lamar filled in for starter redshirt senior right-handed pitcher Ben Bullard in the frame, striking out the first batter he saw to end the inning.
The Gamecocks tallied two runs off Lamar in the bottom of the fourth inning to tie things up, 5-5. In the next inning, JSU would pull ahead after an RBI double from freshman outfielder Peyton Williams.
UAB would rally in the sixth. Smith started things off with a single. Davis then smacked an RBI triple to right center field for his third RBI of the contest, tying the game. Prinzing walked, putting runners on the corners. The Blazers employed on a double steal and scored Davis from third. Redshirt freshman catcher Jacob Armstrong added a run with an RBI single, giving UAB an 8-6 lead.
The game would continue to be a back-and-forth affair. Jacksonville State would score three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning after a four-hit frame, including three extra-base hits.
With the bases loaded in the top of the seventh inning, Prinzing drew a walk to plate Smith and knot the score, 9-9. Redshirt sophomore outfielder Griffin Gum would then hit a sacrifice fly to center to push UAB ahead. Armstrong then clubbed a two RBI single and Schalk scored as a result of a throwing error, giving the Green and Gold a 13-9 advantage.
UAB would tally its 14th and final run of the night in the eighth. With runners on first and second, De Jesus would hit into a fielder’s choice. The JSU second baseman, looking to convert the double play, made an errant throw, allowing Smith to score from third.
The UAB baseball team is back in action on Friday when it hits the road for a three-game series against Old Dominion. First pitch is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. CT in Norfolk, Va.
Notes: The UAB baseball team played its first extra-inning game of 2014 in the first game of the night … Junior outfielder Chase Davis set a career-best with three RBI in the second contest against Jacksonville State … Redshirt freshman catcher Jacob Armstrong tallied three RBI, setting a career-high, in the late contest against the Gamecocks … Redshirt senior right-handed pitcher Ben Bullard struck out two against Jacksonville State in the second game to move into fifth place on the UAB career strikeouts list (172) … Senior outfielder Ivan De Jesus matched his career-best swiping two bags in the nightcap.
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