March 15, 2013
AURBURNDALE, Fla. ----- Tanner Bryant pitched seven scoreless innings, taking a perfect game into the sixth, to lead UAB baseball to a 1-0 win against Valparaiso at the RussMatt Invitational.
Bryant (2-1) retired the first 15 Valparaiso (7-11) batters he faced Friday morning, before a leadoff single by the Crusaders in the sixth inning ended his no-hit bid. That hit was the only allowed by Bryant in his seven innings of work, finishing with no walks and five strikeouts.
“Tanner was great. Today you had two strike throwers and a very generous umpire, and it’s going to be tough to generate offense with that combination. I thought everyone that pitched was good, we were just a touch better,” said UAB head coach Brian Shoop.
In a game dominated by pitching, UAB (9-9) scored its first and only run in the bottom of the fourth inning. Ivan De Jesus doubled down the left field line for the Blazers’ first hit with one out in the inning. After stealing third base, De Jesus scored on a wild pitch.
Chase Mallard came on in relief of Bryant in the eighth, pitching two innings and allowing two hits, one walk, and striking out three.
The Blazers got into a jam in the top of the ninth when the first two Crusaders reached base. With Valparaiso trying to sacrifice the runners over with a bunt, Mallard made a good play to get the lead runner at third for the innings first out.
During the same at-bat, Jacob German caught the Crusaders’ runner trying to steal third on a failed hit and run attempt. Mallard got the final batter to strikeout swinging to earn his second save of the season.
“It’s the second errorless game in a row and on a tough field to do it, which I am happy about. It wasn’t exactly how we drew it up but we are thankful to get out of here with a win,” added Shoop.
Cole Webb (2-3) picked up the loss for the Crusaders, surrendering one run on three hits, one walk, and seven strikeouts over eight innings.
UAB return to action on Saturday afternoon when it takes on No. 24 Indiana. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. CT at Chain of Lakes Park Stadium in Winter Haven, Fla.