March 29, 2003
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - After trailing 3-0, UAB (20-6, 5-2 Conference USA) used a five-run sixth inning to take the lead and hold on for a 7-4 victory over Memphis (7-17, 1-7 C-USA) in Conference USA baseball action Saturday afternoon at Young Memorial Field.
Blazer reliever Cody Cillo struck out three of the four batters he faced in the top of the ninth inning to pick up his third save of the season.
Memphis took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning on a sacrifice fly to center field by catcher Kurt Welch that scored left fielder Chad House.
The Tigers added a run in the top of the third inning on a triple to center field by center fielder Kevin House that scored second baseman Michael Lewis.
Memphis took a 3-0 lead in the top of the sixth inning when first baseman Kyle Sledd hit a sacrifice fly to left field that scored Welch.
UAB then took the lead in the sixth inning. First baseman Daniel Hill started the scoring for the Blazers with a single up the middle that scored third baseman Steve Martin. Later in the inning with the bases loaded and two outs, Drew Connell, who was pinch hitting for catcher Brett Tilley, doubled down the left field line, scoring right fielder Kyle Leon and Hill. Second baseman Seth Rollin later scored on a wild pitch by Stephen Gostowski. After Josh Miljavac walked, left fielder Mitch Jones singled through the left side, scoring Connell. UAB led 5-3.
The Tigers answered with one run in the top of the seventh inning when Lewis singled through the right side, scoring Chad House.
Blazer starter Jon Burgett (4-0) got the win for UAB to remain unbeaten on the year. He worked six and two-third innings and allowed four runs, only one of which was earned, on seven hits. Burgett walked one and struck out three. Cillo came on in relief of Burgett in the top of the seventh inning and pitched two and one-third hitless innings and recorded six strikeouts and gave up two walks.
"We have a lot of confidence in Drew (Connell) and he swung early in the count and got a double there in the sixth," said UAB head coach Larry Giangrosso. "That was big time for us. Josh's (Miljavac) hit in the seventh was huge for us as well.
"I thought Jon (Burgett) pitched really well and really in some adverse situations. He made a few good defensive plays and he kept his pitch count down. Cody (Cillo) came in and I thought he just slammed the door on them. It was a great performance. We started off kind of slow and it looked like we were not in sync. In the innings we scored, we had the right people in place and our lineup rolled over correctly for us."
Gostowski (0-2) took the loss for Memphis after starting the game and working five and two-thirds innings and allowing five runs on eight hits. He walked four and struck out five.
UAB will try for the three-game series sweep Sunday at 1 p.m. at Young Memorial Field.