April 4, 2014
Box Score (PDF)
RUSTON, La. – The UAB baseball team blasted three home runs on the night en route to an 8-1 victory at Louisiana Tech on Friday night. It marked the first time this season that the team had multiple home runs in a single game.
“We told our kids that the next game is the one you might break out of it and why not,” head coach Brian Shoop said. “It is only one game, but it is very encouraging. That was great to see. You have to play both sides of the ball to win.”
Junior first baseman Jeff Schalk powered the Green and Gold bats on Friday night at J.C. Love Field. Schalk was 3-for-4 from the plate, hit a two-run home run, and finished with three RBI against the Conference USA-foe. Sophomores Evan Peterson and Mitch Williams each had their first home runs of their UAB careers, as well.
Senior right-handed pitcher Chase Mallard continued his solid start to 2014 on the mound. The Cullman, Ala. native scattered four hits, allowed one earned run, struck out five, and walked two in 7.0 innings pitched. Mallard now ranks fifth on the UAB career strikeouts list and registered his 10th quality start in-a-row, which leads the nation.
“It wasn’t easy tonight,” added Shoop. “He really had to grind. I thought he settled in there in the middle. He gave us another great opportunity to win.”
For the seventh time in 2014, the UAB baseball team (20-10, 7-3) scored in the first inning of play. Junior outfielder Chase Davis and senior outfielder Ivan De Jesus led off the game with back-to-back singles. After senior designated hitter Ryan Prinzing popped out and redshirt sophomore outfielder Griffin Gum struck out, Schalk came up and lined a single to right center field, plating Davis and giving UAB a 1-0 advantage.
Louisiana Tech (9-19, 3-10) responded in the bottom of the second inning. Mallard allowed three consecutive hits to lead off the inning, allowing one Bulldog to cross home and knot the score.
UAB would not permit the score to be tied for long, plating another run in the fourth inning. Schalk led things off with his second hit of the game. Williams then replicated Schalk’s efforts with a single of his own. Junior infielder Nathan Vincent advanced the runners one base with a sacrifice bunt. Peterson then hit a deep sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Schalk and pushing the Blazers ahead 2-1.
In the fifth inning, UAB would extend its lead to 5-1. Davis opened the frame with a single, his second hit of the night. After a wild pitch, De Jesus moved Davis to third after a fly out to right field. Prinzing then grounded out to second, but recorded an RBI on the play as Davis crossed home. With two outs, Gum got on via a single through the left side. Schalk then crushed a home run to right center field for his team-leading third home run.
The Blazers would tally another run in the sixth. Vincent led off with a single, and then advanced to second after Peterson grounded out to the second baseman. Sophomore infielder Adam Smith then hit a ground ball to Louisiana Tech sophomore infielder Taylor Love. Love could not corral the ball and Vincent took advantage of the home error, scoring the visitors’ sixth run of the night.
In the eighth inning, UAB would add two more to the scoreboard. Williams led off the frame with a bomb to right field for his first home run of his UAB career. Two batters later, Peterson repeated William’s performance, hitting his first home run in a Green and Gold uniform.
The Conference USA three-game series comes to a conclusion on Saturday with a doubleheader. The first contest will begin at 1 p.m. at J.C. Love Field.
Notes: The UAB baseball team hit three home runs on Friday night, which marked the first time in 2014 the squad recorded multiple home runs in a single game … For the seventh time in 2014, UAB scored in the first inning … Senior right-handed pitcher Chase Mallard made his 66th appearance on the mound on Friday night, which ranks ninth in program history … Mallard also fanned five batters on the night, moving into fifth place on the UAB career strikeouts list … The Cullman, Ala. native had his 10th straight quality start, dating back to 2013, which leads the nation … Junior first baseman Jeff Schalk matched his career-best with three RBI on the night … Schalk now has 18 RBI on the year, which leads the team … Sophomores Evan Peterson and Mitch Williams each hit their first career home runs on Friday night at Louisiana Tech … Junior outfielder Chase Davis had multiple hits for the 10th time this season, which is the top mark on the squad.
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