April 5, 2013
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ---- Savannah State held a three-run lead after a half inning of play, but the UAB baseball team bounced back to score 12 unanswered runs to cruise to a 12-3 victory in non-conference action on Friday night at Young Memorial Field.
UAB (14-15), which has won three straight and five of its last six games, pounded out 14 hits as a club en route to tying a season-high with 12 runs. The top of the order really took care of business as leadoff man Ivan De Jesus and two-hole hitter Tyler Mims combined to go 8-for-10 with five runs scored and four RBI. The four hits marked a career-high for Mims, while De Jesus tied a personal best with his hit total on the night.
"It's good when your first two guys have eight hits, that usually gives you a really good chance (to win)," head coach Brian Shoop said. "You don't like to spot anybody three runs. But we bounced back and had a really great offensive night."
Behind Mims and De Jesus was John Frost, who scored twice, knocked in two and reached base three times hitting third. In fact the top four hitters, including cleanup slugger Ryan Prinzing, scored nine of UAB's 12 runs.
Lost behind the Blazer offensive prowess was the pitching of starter Sam Kelley and relievers Cameron Rose and Alex Luna. After giving up three runs in the first (one earned), Kelley settled down yielding only four base runners over the next four innings to earn the victory. Kelley, now 3-2 on the season, scattered six hits and three walks in five frames of work.
Rose pitched the sixth and seventh for UAB and was perfect, sending down all six batters he faced, fanning four. Luna gave up one hit over the last two frames, collecting three strikeouts.
Kelley, Rose and Luna combined to allow just one base runner, an eighth-inning double by Chris Arnold, over the last 17 batters faced in the ballgame.
"Cameron was really good and Luna pitched the way we think he can. Luna's ball had a ton of movement and it was great to see both of those guys pitch well for us," Shoop said.
UAB, which trailed 3-0 heading into the bottom of the first, answered right back with three runs of its own to even the score. After posting single runs in the second and third frames, the Blazers utilized the big inning, touching home four times in the fifth and tacking on three more in the seventh to round out the scoring.
All nine starters for the Blazers either scored a run or knocked in a run with eight recording at least one hit in the win.
Savannah State (17-13) was led by Arnold, who went 2-for-4 and knocked in two for the Tigers, while leadoff hitter Todd Hagen finished 3-for-4.
Jay Mack (2-3) was tagged with the loss. The right-hander was roughed up for nine runs on eight hits in 4.2 innings of work.
Game two of the series is slated for Saturday at 2 p.m. CT at Young Memorial Field.