John Frost drove in UAB's first run in the fourth inning and scored the go-ahead run in the eighth.
March 18, 2011
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- The UAB baseball team used a three-run eighth inning to rally past UT Martin for a 4-2 victory in Friday's series opener at Young Memorial Field.
UAB starter Ryan Woolley held the UT Martin bats in check for eight innings until the Blazers broke through to snap a five-game losing streak. Jamal Austin and Harry Clark each had a pair of hits for UAB.
"Obviously, scoring is proving to be difficult for us right now," UAB head coach Brian Shoop said. "When that's the case, you're thankful to score however you can. Woolley kept us in the game until we were finally able to generate some offense late."
The Blazers (9-8) and Skyhawks (4-13) will continue their three-game set on Saturday with a 2 p.m. CT first pitch.
Woolley allowed just two runs, both of which were unearned, while striking out six batters without a walk to earn his third win of the season.
UT Martin grabbed the lead early, scoring those two runs in the second inning with the help of two UAB errors and an RBI single from Matt Milligan to grab an early 2-0 lead.
The Blazers got one run back in the fourth when Jamal Austin singled, stole second, moved to third on a Ryan Ussery flyout and scored on a John Frost groundout. But that was the only run UAB could muster against UT Martin starter Dan Tobik, who left after seven innings with a 2-1 lead but wound up with a no-decision.
After stranding runners in scoring position in each of Tobik's final three innings, UAB rallied against reliever Alec Mills in the eighth. Austin got things started again with a one-out double and scored to tie the game when UT Martin shortstop Cody Terry couldn't handle a sharply hit ground ball from Patrick Palmeiro.
Frost then fought off a breaking ball for a single to right field to give the Blazers two base runners, still with one out. Ivan De Jesus followed with the go-ahead single to score Palmeiro, and Harry Clark singled two batters later to plate Frost and give UAB a 4-2 lead.
Ryan Nance came on to pitch the ninth inning and allowed a pair of UT Martin base runners with one out before inducing a ground ball out from Matt Young and striking out pinch hitter Ben Brewer to end the game.
Nance earned his third save of the season and still has not allowed a run in 10.2 innings of relief. He struck out two of the five batters he faced Friday and owns 15 strikeouts on the year.
Woolley and Nance combined to hold UT Martin to seven hits, all of which came from three players. Milligan had a game-high three hits, while Terry and Phil Sorensen had two hits each.