April 5, 2006
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Mitch Thorn had a career outing for the UAB baseball team on Wednesday, throwing five strong innings in relief, but the Blazer bats fell short, losing to the No. 10 Alabama Crimson Tide in a mid-week clash at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.
This loss drops UAB's record to 13-17. Alabama, the No. 10 ranked team in the nation, moves to 23-9 with the win.
UAB used three pitchers on the evening, as Lyle Northington, Mitch Thorn and Drew Murray all took turns on the hill for the Blazers. Northington started the game, lasting only one inning before giving way to Thorn. Thorn threw a career-high five innings, and was relieved by Murray in the seventh. Murray went on to finish out the contest for head coach Larry Giangrosso.
The Green and Gold's offensive attack was kept in check most of the night, as they could manage only four hits against Alabama pitching. Steven Turner had a productive day at the plate for UAB, going 1-for-2 with two walks and accounting for all three runs the Blazers scored. J.R. Bond, Jorge Gutierrez and Ryan Metcalf also chipped in hits for UAB.
The Blazers wasted no time getting on the board, as Turner opened the game with a triple off the left center field wall. After galloping into third base, he scampered home on Gutierrez's sac fly to right to make it 1-0 UAB.
Alabama quickly responded, scoring three runs in its side of the first to reclaim the advantage at 3-1. Head coach Larry Giangrosso's
squad trimmed the margin to one in the top of the third, using speed and Crimson Tide miscues to push across a run. After Turner walked to start the frame, he stole second to get into scoring position. Two wild pitches did the trick, as Turner advanced to third and then crossed home to make it 3-2.
The pitchers settled in after that, as Thorn and Alabama starter Jake McCarter traded zeros on the scoreboard. During his five innings in relief, Thorn was dominant. The junior from Wetumpka, Ala., struck out five Tide hitters, another career mark, and allowed only two hits during his outing.
The pitcher's duel lasted until the bottom of the seventh, as the Crimson Tide put together back-to-back doubles to add another run, making the game 4-2. UAB clawed its way back in the eighth, as Turner worked a walk to open things up. A successful hit-and-run executed by Gutierrez pushed runners to first and third with no out. Danny Sawyer brought home Turner with an RBI groundout to close the gap to one. The Blazers failed to bring Gutierrez around, as Tide relief pitcher Jordan Davis enduced to groundouts to end the inning.
UAB attempted to mound a rally in its final at bat, but Davis retired the side to seal the win for Alabama.