April 9, 2006
HOUSTON, Texas -- Ryan Metcalf continued his hot hitting on Sunday, adding two more singles to his solid weekend at the plate, but Rice proved its lofty No. 3 ranked was worthy, completing a sweep of UAB 7-3, here Sunday at Reckling Park.
Sunday's defeat drops UAB's record to 13-20 on the season, and 0-6 in Conference USA play. The Blazers fell in all three games against the Owls, and have been beaten in four straight games to teams ranked in the top 10 in the country.
Grant Addison took the mound for head coach Larry Giangrosso, his first start of the season. The junior tossed a season high four innings, allowing two earned runs while punching out two Owl hitters. He was relieved by Jim Crew, who hurled 2.2 innings for the Blazers, allowing only one run on one hit while striking out two. Drew Murray, Derek Hanks and Mitch Thorn also threw in the contest for UAB.
UAB's bats managed only five hits on the day, with Metcalf leading the way going 2-for-3. Jorge Gutierrez picked up a singled in the sixth, extending his hitting streak to eight. Danny Sawyer and Phillip Bell added hits for the Blazers.
Rice jumped to the lead early, scoring one in the bottom half of the first inning. They tacked on another run in the second, to take a 2-0 advantage.
The Blazers struck back in the top of the third, as Metcalf singled to open up the frame. He then put his legs to work, stealing second and advancing to third on a balk. The Pelham, Ala., native then took home on a Steven Turner groundout, bringing the Green and Gold to within one at 2-1.
UAB tied the game in the fifth, as a two-out rally plated a run. After a Gutierrez smash single up the middle, Sawyer hit a missile down the right field line for an RBI triple. Sawyer's first triple of the season completed the Blazer comeback, knotting the game at two.
Crew held the Owls in check after that, and kept them at bay long enough for UAB to take its first lead of the game in the seventh. After J.R. Bond worked a walk, Phillip Bell singled through the left side to put runners on first and second with only one out. Robert Brewster was summoned to pinch run for Bond, and he scored on a RBI single to left center by Metcalf. Metcalf's second hit of the contest pushed the Blazers out in front by a 3-2 score.
The lead was short lived, however, as Rice came back to tie in its half of the seventh. A home run by Greg Buchanan chased Crew from the game, and evened up the contest for the third time at 3-3. Rice took the advantage for good in the bottom of the eighth, as the Owls scored four runs against the UAB bullpen to stretch out a 7-3 margin.
UAB failed to rally in the ninth, as Cole St. Clair slammed the door for Rice.