— UAB Baseball (@UAB_Baseball) March 19, 2017
Final Stats (PDF)
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Thomas Lowery was spectacular for the UAB baseball team in the rubber match on Sunday versus Western Kentucky. Lowery threw the first UAB one-hitter in over 10 years as the Blazers shutout the Hilltoppers 5-0 to win their first Conference USA series of the season. The Green & Gold stand at 13-7 overall and 2-1 in conference while WKU is now 7-14 and 1-2 in C-USA.
Lowery’s one-hitter was the first since Mitch Kloskowski did so on March 2, 2007 in an 8-0 win over Central Arkansas. Lowery, who was only one batter above the minimum possible to face, did not concede a base on balls while tying his career-best with six strikeouts. He needed just 87 pitches to get through the game.
The win coincidentally was UAB head coach Brian Shoop’s 995th of his career. It was Shoop’s 695th win on Kloskowski’s one-hitter in ’07.
“That’s as dominant as you can be,” said Shoop. “87 pitches, nine innings, faced one over the minimum, just in total, dominating control of that game.”
Each team was kept off-balance by the starting pitchers to start as the lone hit through the first three innings was the one hit in the game by WKU coming in the third inning.
The Blazers heated up at the plate in the fifth and sixth innings. Catcher Stephen Dobbs walked to lead-off the fifth and was ultimately moved to third following a sacrifice from Riley McCown and single by Luke Eigsti. Dobbs was then plated on a single by Price Visintainer as UAB took a 1-0 lead.
The sixth inning began with three straight hits by the Blazers. Tyler Tolbert started things off with the first extra-base hit of his career, a double to left center. Brewer Hicklen followed with a single on the next pitch to score Tolbert and then Carter Pharis doubled and brought Hicklen home to jump ahead 3-0. Dobbs walked two batters later and a wild pitch put Pharis on third base. McCown would groundout but it was enough to score Pharis from third. Eigsti then stepped to the plate and notched another hit that scored Dobbs as the Blazers led 5-0.
Lowery was remarkable in the final four innings. The only batter he allowed in that time came on a hit-by-pitch in the seventh inning but he immediately induced a 463 double play. It took the lefty just 39 pitches to get through the final four frames.
Lowery improved to 1-1 on the season. The senior took sole possession of fourth for pitching appearances (79) in Blazers history. Lowery, making his third start of the season, matched his career starts entering the year.
“Today was Thomas Lowery but some very good defense behind him as well,” said Shoop as the infield committed no errors today. “Antonio Ralat continues to make some very good plays for us and I’m proud of him. Good day for us.”
Evan Acosta earned the loss after starting and going five innings with six hits allowed, four runs, one walk, and three strikeouts.
Pharis finished 2-for-4 with one run and one RBI. It’s the seventh game in the last eight in which the sophomore first baseman has had a multi-hit effort.
The Blazers are set for a difficult week ahead as they host in-state rival Alabama on Tuesday, March 21 before welcoming Florida Atlantic for a weekend series.”
“Very challenging week,” stated Shoop. “We’re excited though to host Alabama and a very good Florida Atlantic team.”
For more information on the UAB baseball team, follow the Blazers on Twitter (@UAB_Baseball). For more on all Blazer sports teams follow the official social media accounts of UAB Athletics on Twitter (@UAB_Athletics), on Facebook (Facebook.com/UAB.Blazers), on Instagram (@uab_athletics) or on Snapchat (@uabathletics).