April 7, 2006
HOUSTON, Tx. - Jacob Legg threw the best game of his UAB career on Friday night, as the lefty hurled a complete game five hitter. Legg's heroics fell just short, however, as the Blazers dropped game one of a C-USA weekend series to Rice at Reckling Park 2-1.
This setback drops UAB's season record to 13-18, and puts them at 0-4 in C-USA play. Rice now moves to 26-8 on the year, and 6-1 in conference.
Legg, in his first start of 2006, hurled the second complete game of the season for head coach Larry Giangrosso's squad. Legg's eight innings are a career high for him, and mark the second time in the past week that UAB has had a pitcher throw eight innings in an outing.
UAB outhit the Owls eight to five in the contest, with three Blazer hitters have two hits on the night. Danny Sawyer, Ryne Lovdahl and J.R. Bond all posted two singles during the game. Jorge Gutierrez's single in the sixth inning extended his hitting streak to six games.
Rice scored early, plating a run in its first at bat. Three consecutive singles off Legg made it 1-0 Owls. Legg would settle down after that, putting zeroes on the scoreboard for the next five frames.
The Blazers pulled even in the sixth, using timely hitting and a Rice miscue to tie the game. Gutierrez singled to open up the rally, putting the lead off man on for UAB. Lovdahl than hit a bullet into right field for his second hit of the evening, and Gutierrez rounded the bag with his eye on third. Rice right fielder Chad Lembeck uncorked a wild throw, scoring Gutierrez to knot the contest at one.
It remained that way until the seventh, when Lembeck redeemed himself, homering to left to regain the lead for Rice.
Cole St. Clair was summoned from the Rice bullpen, and the lefthander closed out the game for the Owls. UAB mounted a threat in both the eighth and ninth frames, but St. Clair closed the door in both occasions to pick up his fifth save of the season.
These two teams will face each other again on Saturday, as Heath Tapscott will try to pull UAB even in the series. Follow the game online with gametracker, available at the Rice Owls website, www.riceowls.com. For complete postgame coverage, check www.uabsports.com.