March 15, 2014
Box Score (PDF)
NORFOLK, Va. – The UAB baseball team sealed its sixth consecutive three-game series with an 8-6 victory at Old Dominion on Saturday afternoon. It marked the first time since 2011 that UAB had won its first two Conference USA series.
The last five batters in the UAB lineup all had at least one RBI on the afternoon. Junior first baseman Jeff Schalk had two RBI on a sixth inning-home run, while sophomore infielder Evan Peterson knocked in two runs and had two doubles on Saturday.
“That’s exciting, isn’t it,” head coach Brian Shoop said. “Baseball is a team game. It is not an individual game, it is a team game. We’ve executed pretty well. I am proud of us. That’s a really good win for us.”
Freshman left-handed pitcher Thomas Lowery recorded his second win of the year at Old Dominion. The first-year pitcher pitched two innings of relief and gave up one earned run. Sophomore right-handed pitcher Adam Lau earned his third save of 2014, registering the final two outs.
UAB (16-4, 4-1) jumped out to an early advantage on Saturday afternoon at Old Dominion (11-8, 1-4). With runners on second and third and one out in the second inning, redshirt junior infielder Matt Morse singled to right field to score Schalk. The very UAB batter, sophomore infielder Adam Smith, hit a sacrifice bunt, plating Peterson, and giving the Blazers a 2-0 lead.
Old Dominion rebounded with a run of its own in the bottom of the second inning. ODU senior infielder Tyler Urps was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, cutting the UAB advantage to 2-1.
The host-Monarchs would take the lead in the bottom of the fifth. ODU junior outfielder Josh Eldridge hit an RBI single off UAB junior right-handed pitcher Alex Luna to tie the game. Luna, UAB’s starter on Saturday, would be replaced, after giving up another single, by Lowery. Lowery would give up a bases-loaded walk, but got UAB out of the jam down one run.
UAB would not stay down for long. In their next at bats, the Blazers would record two runs. Senior designated hitter Ryan Prinzing drew a walk to begin the sixth inning. Two batters later, Schalk crushed a home run to right field, hitting it off the scoreboard, giving UAB a 4-3 lead.
“We don’t hit many,” added Shoop. “It was exciting. It was only our second one of the year. It was a big two runs, but only two. It looked like it would take seven or eight to win. Thankfully, we did and it was enough.”
Old Dominion knotted things up in its next time up. Freshman infielder Nick Walker hit an RBI single to center field off Lowery, scoring sophomore outfielder Connor Myers.
The back-and-forth contest continued in the seventh inning. UAB pushed ahead 5-4 after Prinzing hit an RBI single to plate Davis.
In the ninth inning, UAB would get insurance on three additional runs. Peterson hit a two RBI double to deep right field, and then scored after a single from sophomore catcher Mitch Williams.
Senior left-handed pitcher Turner Lee came in for the bottom of the ninth and gave up one earned run after giving up a single and double, respectively. Adam Lau filled in for Lee and retired two Monarchs to seal the Conference USA series for the Blazers.
The three-game series comes to a conclusion on Sunday at the Bud Metheny Baseball Complex. First pitch is slated for 10 a.m. CT in Norfolk, Va.
Notes: Through 20 games, the 2014 UAB baseball team holds an overall record of 16-4, its best start to a season since 2005 … For the first time since 2011, UAB won its first two Conference USA series … Junior first baseman Jeff Schalk hit his second home run of the year at Old Dominion ... Junior outfielder Chase Davis extended his hitting streak to five games with a single to lead off the contest … Sophomore infielder Evan Peterson matched his career-best with two RBI … Peterson also became the second Blazer, joining Davis, to have two doubles in a single game in 2014.
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