March 23, 2014
Box Score (PDF)
HONOLULU, Hawaii – Hawaii broke a tie in the eighth inning to hand the UAB baseball team a 4-2 setback in the four-game series finale on Sunday afternoon. The Rainbow Warriors plated two runs in the eighth to take the four-game set against the Blazers.
“Their guy only walked one, we walked six,” head coach Brian Shoop said. “I told our kids coming into Hawaii; runs are at a premium at this park. It’s hard to score; it’s usually low-scoring games. A really good job by their guy. They only gave us one free runner and it makes it hard to score. We actually got runs in the opportunities we had, we just didn’t have that many opportunities.”
Junior outfielder Chase Davis and redshirt sophomore outfielder Griffin Gum each had two hits on the day for UAB (17-8, 4-2). Senior designated hitter Ryan Prinzing and junior infielder Nathan Vincent each had an RBI, as well.
“Four competitive games, we had a chance to win all four,” stated Shoop. “Luna was great again. I thought Lieske took a real step forward. I thought his stuff was almost unhittable. The only thing that got him in trouble was walks. I thought Adam Smith was really good in the field for us. We got to play in a lot of close games. The next close game you’re in, it’s not like you haven’t been there.
For the sixth time in 2014, UAB registered at least one run in the first inning of play. Davis led the contest off with a single up the middle, and then advanced to second after senior outfielder Ivan De Jesus grounded out to first. Prinzing singled to left field to plate Davis and give the Blazers a 1-0 edge. It marked Prinzing’s 14th RBI of the year.
Hawaii (12-12, 0-0) responded with a run of its own in the bottom of the frame. With a runner on second and two outs, Hawaii senior first baseman Marc Flores hit an RBI single up the middle off UAB starting pitcher Adam Lamar to knot score.
In the top of the fourth inning, UAB pulled back ahead. Gum and junior first baseman Jeff Schalk each had singles to lead off the inning. The pair each advanced one base after a sacrifice bunt from sophomore catcher Mitch Williams. Vincent then hit a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Gum, and giving UAB a 2-1 lead.
The Rainbow Warriors bounced back to tie the game in the fifth. Hawaii senior infielder Austin Wobrock drew a walk to lead off the inning, and then advanced to second on a balk from UAB redshirt senior right-handed pitcher Ben Bullard. Rainbow Warriors junior infielder Stephen Ventimilia smacked a double down the right field line to tie the contest.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, Hawaii pulled ahead for good. With a runner on second and one out, UH junior catcher Trevor Podratz singled to center field off UAB sophomore right-handed pitcher Cory Eller, giving the host team its first lead of the game. Two batters later, Hawaii freshman designated hitter Matt Miller had an RBI single to give the Rainbow Warriors a 4-2 lead.
Hawaii senior right-handed pitcher Scott Kuzminsky was one batter away from his second consecutive complete game. Kuzminsky allowed two earned runs, scattered seven hits, and struck out six in 8.2 innings of work.
The UAB baseball team is back in action on Friday, March 28 when it hosts FIU in a Conference USA three-game series. First pitch is slated for 6:30 p.m. at Young Memorial Field.
Notes: Redshirt freshman left-handed pitcher Adam Lamar made his first collegiate start on Sunday afternoon at Hawaii … Redshirt senior right-handed pitcher Ben Bullard moved into fourth place on the UAB career strikeouts list (174) … Senior designated hitter Ryan Prinzing collected his 14th RBI of the season on Sunday … Sophomore catcher Mitch Williams had a hit for the fifth straight game … Junior outfielder Chase Davis extended his hitting streak to four games at Hawaii … Davis also had his team-leading eighth double of the year on the day … Redshirt sophomore outfielder Griffin Gum registered his eighth multi-hit contest of 2014 at Hawaii.
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