Blazers Top Jax State, 8-2, In Rain Shortened Contest

James Naile (3-3) pitched three scoreless innings in relief of Chase Mallard to pick up the win

April 3, 2013

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ---- After surrendering a run in the top of the first inning, the UAB baseball team came back with three runs in each of its first two innings en route to an 8-2 win over Jacksonville State on Wednesday at Young Memorial Field.

Chase Mallard got the start for UAB in a game that saw consistent rain from start to finish. Mallard pitched four innings, surrendering two runs on two hits and three walks but didn't factor into the decision. He struck out four batters.

James Naile (3-3) picked up the win for UAB. In relief of Mallard, Naile pitched three innings and allowed two hits while striking out two.

"I thought Chase has been sharper this year. His pitch count was really high, he always gives us a chance to win. He is really good about moving on to the next pitch, if something doesn't go well. We have a ton of confidence when he is on the mound," said UAB head coach Brian Shoop. "I thought James pitched pretty good and commanded the strike zone extremely well considering the conditions.

UAB did most its damage early, scoring three runs in each of the first two innings.

After Jacksonville State took an early lead in the top of the first on a sac fly, UAB responded with three runs to take a 3-1 lead. 

John Frost and Ryan Prinzing each reached on Gamecock errors with two outs. Tanner Bryant then reached on a fielder's choice and picked up an RBI when Prinzing was able to beat the throw to second, allowing Frost to score.

Tyler Mims kept the inning going with an RBI single to right field to plate a third run for the Blazers.

Jeff Schalk and Jacob German led off the bottom of the second inning with back-to-back singles. After Wes Kent laid down a successful sacrifice bunt to move the runners over, Ivan De Jesus came through with a single up the middle to add on a fourth run for UAB.

German scored and De Jesus moved over to third after two wild pitches by the JSU starter. Frost, who reached on a walk, was caught in a run down between first and second during the next at bat but avoided the tag long enough to allow De Jesus to score and push the UAB lead to 6-2.

The Blazers tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the sixth inning via a Kent single through the left side that scored Schalk and a RBI groundout by Lau that plated Kent.

The game was called after the top half of the seventh inning due to water beginning to accumulate on the field.

"Those were tough conditions to play in today," said Shoop. "I don't remember ever playing a game with every pitch being in the rain. We were in a predicament with no makeup dates available, so it was supposed to be light rain. So we agreed to give it a shot."

De Jesus finished 3-for-4 at the plate with a RBI and a run scored. Schalk also finished with multiple hits for the Blazers, going 2-for-3 with two runs scored.

Casey Antley falls to 4-3 on the season. He surrendered six runs, three earned, on four hits, one walk, and three wild pitches.

UAB will remain at Young Memorial Field this weekend when it takes on Savannah State in a non-conference series. First pitch of game one is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. CT on Friday.