Blazer Baseball Blanks Alabama, 1-0

LHP Sam Kelley fired five shut-out innings to earn the victory

March 26, 2013

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HOOVER, Ala. ---- Five UAB pitchers combined on a four-hit shutout to blank Alabama, 1-0, on a chilly Tuesday night at the Hoover Metropolitan Stadium.

Leading 1-0 in the top of the ninth, the Crimson Tide put the tying run in scoring position with two outs. But, reliever Jacob German induced a pop up to left for the game’s 27th and final out to preserve UAB’s fourth straight win against the in-state foe.

Tuesday’s contest also marked the second straight time UAB (10-14) earned a 1-0 victory vs. Alabama at the Hoover Met. Last season (March 27, 2012), the Blazers claimed the one-run victory in 12 innings.

“When you haven’t won in five games you are tickled to death to end the game on the winning side,” UAB head coach Brian Shoop said.  “I thought we played two pretty good games in a row. We lost one we could have won (vs. UCF this past Sunday) and won one we could have lost. In a 1-0 game it could go either way and in an extra-inning game it could go either way. I thought the guys were locked in and I’m tickled to walk away with a win tonight.”

UAB’s Sam Kelley (2-1) earned the start, and the Moundville, Ala., native produced five shutout frames, working into the sixth.  The southpaw allowed just two hits, both singles, and sent the first 11 batters down in order to start the ballgame, and 14 of the first 15, en route to collecting his second victory of the season.

The lone run of the game came in the third on screaming single to center off the bat of John Frost with the bases loaded and one out. However, Tucker Hawley (4-2), who was the tough-luck loser, induced an inning-ending double play to keep the game within a single run.

Coincidentally enough, Frost brought home the lone run in last season’s 1-0 victory, a walk-off single in the last of the 12th inning.

Alabama (16-10) had its best opportunity to score in the sixth. Kelley started the frame, allowing a leadoff single to Georgie Salem and was then lifted for righty Cory Eller. The freshman got a fly out before Ben Moore singled to left, but a misplay by a Blazer outfielder allowed both runners to move into scoring position.

UAB opted to load the bases, intentionally walking Tide cleanup hitter Brett Booth. The move paid off, as Eller recorded a strikeout a weak line out to third to dodge the threat.

Turner Lee and James Naile worked the next 2.2 innings, giving up just one single and recording four strikeouts prior to German entering with two outs in the ninth to earn his first save of the season.

The Blazers finished with seven hits, all singles, as Frost and Ivan De Jesus each went 2-for-4, with Frost driving in the lone run.  Frost is hitting .500 (8-for-16) during his current four-game hit streak.

Moore paced the Alabama offense, collecting two of the Tide’s four hits on the night.

The shutout was UAB’s third 1-0 victory of the season and snapped a five-game losing streak.

The Blazers return to the diamond, with a trip to Charleston, W.Va. to play the Marshall Thundering Herd this weekend. Game one is slated for Friday at 6:05 p.m. CT.