March 28, 2006
JACKSONVILLE, Ala. - The UAB baseball team started off its longest road trip of the year on a sour note, losing to in-state rival Jacksonville State 5-1 Tuesday at Rudy Abbott Field.
This loss put UAB's season record at 13-12, with the Blazers having lost five in a row. Tuesday's game marks the start of the longest road trek of the season for head coach Larry Giangrosso's squad. The nine-game road venture consists of trips to Louisiana Tech and Rice for weekend series, along with single-game matchups at Kennesaw State and Alabama.
Freshman Derek Hanks took the loss for UAB, hurling 3.1 innings in his first career start. The native of Saraland, Ala., gave up five earned runs before being relieved by Jacob Legg. Legg had another solid outing, pitching 2.1 innings and allowing no runs. The UAB bullpen was sound as a whole, throwing 4.2 innings of shutout ball against the Gamecocks, with Legg, Mitch Thorn and Drew Murray keeping the Jacksonville State offense in check.
Danny Sawyer led the Blazer bats, going 1-for-3 with an RBI double. Levi Patmon, Ryan Metcalf and John Wayne Donahue also had hits for UAB.
The Green and Gold jumped to an early lead, as Patmon kicked off the contest with a line drive double in the left center field gap. Two batters later, Sawyer brought him home on a double of his own, a rocket down the left field line to give UAB a 1-0 lead. Jacksonville State would respond, scoring five runs in the next three innings to reclaim the lead.
After the early barrage of runs, both pitching staffs dominated the remainder of the contest. Lead by Legg and company, UAB went toe-to-toe with Gamecock starter Josh Forrest, who went 5.2 innings for Jacksonville State.
The Blazers were unable to put any more runs on the board, as rallies never panned out for the UAB offense. Lee Drinkard closed things out for Jacksonville State, tossing a scoreless ninth to capture the win for his team.
Giangrosso's squad hits the road again on Wednesday, traveling to Kennesaw State for a single game at 6:30 p.m. Eastern time. For complete coverage of UAB baseball, check www.uabsports.com.