March 21, 2014
Box Score (PDF)
HONOLULU, Hawaii – The University of Hawaii baseball team scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to hand UAB a 5-4 loss on Thursday night.
“It was a great game, a great college game,” head coach Brian Shoop said. “It was fun to watch. It was tightly contested. It came down to the last hitter. You have to give credit to the Hawaii kids for hanging in there until the end.”
Senior right-handed pitcher Chase Mallard kept his solid start to the 2014 alive, recording his sixth quality start in his sixth start of the year. Mallard went 7.0 innings; allowed two runs; one earned, scattered four hits; and struck out four. The Cullman, Ala. native did not factor into the decision.
“It was amazing,” commented Shoop. “He pitched good enough to win again.”
UAB (16-6, 4-2) got on the board early, tallying a run in the top of the second inning. Junior first baseman led off the frame with a single through the right side of the infield, then advanced to second after sophomore infielder Evan Peterson hit a sacrifice bunt. Sophomore catcher Mitch Williams crushed a double to deep right center field, scoring Schalk.
Hawaii (10-11, 0-0) knotted things up in the sixth inning. Rainbow Warriors senior outfielder Adam Hurley reached on a fielding error by UAB infielder Matt Morse, to start things off for the host team. After advancing to second after a Hawaii groundout, UH senior infielder Austin Wobrock hit a single up the middle to plate Hurley.
The host-Rainbow Warriors pulled ahead in the seventh inning. With two outs and no men on, senior first baseman Marc Flores hit a fly ball to right field off Mallard. The ball just cleared the right field fence, giving Hawaii its first lead of the contest, 2-1.
UAB immediately responded in the top of the eighth inning. Schalk started things off with a double over the centerfielder’s head. Peterson then grounded out to the catcher, but advanced Schalk to third. Williams walked to put runners on first and third. Junior infielder Nathan Vincent came in as pinch hitter, popping out. Sophomore outfielder Adam Lau filled in as a pinch hitter, as well, and blasted a three-run blast to left field, giving UAB a 4-2 advantage.
“At this place, it is almost impossible to hit a home run to left field,” added Shoop. “It was a great moment for him and I was very excited for him. I hoped that would be enough to stand up and get the win, but not quite.”
Freshman left-handed pitcher Thomas Lowery filled in for Mallard in the eighth inning. Lowery hit the first batter he saw, then struck out two and forced a ground out to end the eighth. In the ninth inning, Lowery allowed one run on two hits and a walk, before being replaced by sophomore right-handed pitcher Cory Eller.
Eller inherited runners on first and second with one out. The first batter he faced, sophomore outfielder Juliene Jones, hit a ground ball to Vincent at third. Vincent looked to turn the double play, but the Blazers could only get one out. Hawaii’s Hurley then hit an RBI single to tie the game. Two batters later, Wobrock hit an infield single, allowing the Rainbow Warriors to walk off with the 5-4 win.
The four-game series at Hawaii continues on Friday night. First pitch is slated for 11:35 p.m. CT in Honolulu.
Notes: Sophomore outfielder Adam Lau hit a pinch-hit home run in the seventh inning, his first home run of his collegiate career … Senior right-handed pitcher Chase Mallard recorded his sixth quality start in his sixth start of 2014 … Mallard is one strikeout shy of ninth place on the UAB career strikeouts list … Junior first baseman Jeff Schalk extended his hitting streak to five games.
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