March 14, 2003
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - With the score tied at four in the bottom of the eighth inning, third baseman Steve Martin reached first base on an error by first baseman Jon DeLuca, allowing catcher Eugene Rodriguez to score and lift UAB (16-2, 1-0 Conference USA) to a 5-4 win over Cincinnati (5-10, 0-1 C-USA) in Conference USA baseball action Friday evening at Young Memorial Field. Both teams were playing their C-USA opener.
UAB took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning on a solo home run to left center field by shortstop Seth Rollin.
Cincinnati tied the score in the top of the third inning when third baseman Brad Dorrmann grounded out to the shortstop, scoring center fielder Justin Niefer.
The Bearcats took a 4-1 lead in the top of the fifth inning. DeLuca doubled to center field to score Niefer. Later in the inning, left fielder Jake Smith singled through the right side, scoring DeLuca.
UAB answered with a run in the bottom of the fifth when center fielder Sam Clark tripled to center field, scoring second baseman Drew Goneke.
The Blazers tied the score in the bottom of the seventh inning. Clark doubled down the left field line to score Martin. Later in the inning, first baseman Daniel Hill singled to left field, scoring Clark.
Jeff Brown (2-0) picked up the win for UAB after coming on in relief of Blazer starter Lucas Trotter. Brown worked four and one-third innings and allowed no runs on four hits. He walked two and struck out five. Trotter pitched four and two-third innings and allowed four runs, only one of which was earned, on four hits. He walked four and struck out six.
"To win a Friday night game is very, very important," said UAB head coach Larry Giangrosso
. "It sets the tone for the weekend. It puts you in position to win the series pretty quick. I didn't think we were in synch early. Lucas (Trotter) was struggling a little bit and we had some breakdowns defensively, but we kept hanging around and battling back. Overall, we did some good things, but we were out of synch and it caused us to struggle, so we feel very fortunate to win."
Bearcat reliever Byran Wood (0-2) took the loss for Cincinnati after pitching one and one-third innings and allowing one run, which was unearned, on one hit. Bearcat starter Nate Bouldin went five innings and allowed two runs on three hits. He walked two and struck out six.
UAB and Cincinnati will meet in the second of the three-game series Saturday at 2 p.m.