March 21, 2006
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Zac Ward had two hits on the night, and Danny Sawyer pushed his team-high hitting streak to 14 games, but it wasn't enough, as the UAB baseball team was defeated by the No. 1 Mississippi State Bulldogs 10-3 at Dudy Noble Field in Starkville Tuesday night.
The loss drops the Blazers to 13-8 on the year, as they open up conference play this weekend at Young Memorial Field against Southern Miss.
Sophomore Brandon Flaherty took the loss for head coach Larry Giangrosso's squad, working 2.1 innings in his first start of the year. The product of Clay, Ala., ran into some trouble early, surrendering an early lead to the Bulldogs. The righthander fanned two hitters during his tenure on the bump. Senior Jacob Legg emerged to relieve Flaherty, throwing a season-high 3.1 innings. The reliable lefty kept the Bulldogs in check, allowing only two earned runs while punching out four. Mitch Thorn was next to get the nod, throwing 1.1 innings of shutout ball. Drew Murray would close things out for the Blazers, striking out the side in his one frame.
The Bulldogs jumped out early on UAB, plating two runs in their first at bat. The Blazers would strike back, as John Wayne Donahue homered to start the second inning. The junior from Quinlan, Texas launched his fourth home run of the season, a mammoth blast over the center field wall to close the gap to 2-1.
Ward then singled on the next pitch, and came around to score three hitters later on an RBI-smash through the left side by Ryan Metcalf
. Metcalf's 12th RBI tied the game up at 2. The Blazers would not stop there, as Phillip Bell
ripped a double down the left field line to score Billy Lichtner
and give UAB its first lead of the night, 3-2.
State continued to attack, as both teams traded punches offensively. This time around State would score three runs in their half of the second to reclaim the lead 5-3. They would continue to widen the lead, scoring four runs in the bottom of the third to stretch it out to a 9-3 advantage. The Bulldogs added a run in the bottom of the fifth, pushing the margin to 10-3.
UAB would attempt to rally in the sixth, loading the bases on a single by Ryne Lovdahl, a walk to Metcalf and Jorge Gutierrez reaching by error. The Bulldogs would quiet the attempt, as Bell was retired on a fielders' choice to end the threat.
The Blazers would continue to litter the basepaths with singles, but were unable to advance runners across home plate. UAB totaled seven hits on the evening.
The Blazers return home to open C-USA play, hosting the Southern Miss Golden Eagles this weekend in a three-game set at Young Memorial Field. First pitch Friday is set for 7 p.m., and can be followed live on gametracker on UAB's website, www.uabsports.com.