April 9, 2014
Box Score (PDF)
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The UAB baseball team recorded a 2-1 victory against No. 16 Alabama on Wednesday night on the road. It marked the second nationally ranked opponent UAB has defeated in 2014.
“This is a friendly rivalry, it’s not a heated rivalry,” head coach Brian Shoop commented. “I want Alabama to do well in 54 of their games. I wouldn’t make more of it. It was a good win.”
UAB (23-10, 9-3) has now won five of the past six contests against Alabama (22-10, 8-4). Redshirt sophomore outfielder Griffin Gum led the way for the Blazers offensively, matching his career-high with three hits and registering the game-winning RBI. Redshirt freshman left-handed pitcher Adam Lamar scored his first win on the year and sophomore right-handed pitcher Adam Lau got his fourth save of 2014. The duo was two of eight Blazer pitchers to throw on the night.
“That’s our only choice,” said Shoop. “We have three games this weekend. We have to have all of those guys available in two days. We had no option other than to do it that way.”
Neither team could muster much offense early in this mid-week contest. Alabama recorded the first hit of the game in the bottom of the fourth inning, while Gum scored an infield single in the top of the fifth, the first base-knock for UAB.
Alabama did threaten in the second, fourth, and fifth. The Crimson Tide had a runner on second in the second and fourth and a man on third in the fifth. Alabama could not plate a run despite the scoring opportunities.
The Blazers recorded the first run of the night in the sixth inning. With two outs, sophomore infielder Adam Smith smacked a single to center field. Junior outfielder Chase Davis then drew a walk, not before Smith swiped two bags. With runners on first and third, sophomore infielder Evan Peterson came to the plate. Peterson struck out swinging, but the third strike was wild and Peterson reached safely and Smith crossed home.
UAB had the chance to extend its lead in the seventh, but could not convert. Gum led off the inning with a single and then advanced to second after a sacrifice bunt from junior outfielder Jeff Schalk. Junior infielder Nathan Vincent drew a walk and sophomore catcher Mitch Williams singled to load the bases. Redshirt junior first baseman Tyler Mims struck out and Smith flew out to center to end the threat.
The Crimson Tide would not go quietly. With two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning, Alabama senior first baseman Austen Smith turned on a pitch thrown by UAB redshirt freshman left-handed pitcher Adam Lamar and sent it over the left field wall, tying the contest.
UAB used some small ball to take the lead back in the eighth. Davis led off with a walk then moved over to second after a Peterson sacrifice bunt. Senior designated hitter Ryan Prinzing hit a grounder back up the middle, the Alabama pitcher snagged it, threw him out, but Davis advanced to third. Gum came up, with two outs, and converted. The redshirt sophomore outfielder hit a single through the left side of the infield, plating Davis to give the visitors a 2-1 edge.
Alabama came right back in the bottom of the frame, looking to tie it up. Crimson Tide freshman outfielder Hunter Webb drew a walk by senior left-handed pitcher Turner Lee to start things off. After a strikeout and groundout, Webb was on second with one out. Alabama junior outfielder Ben Moore then hit a single to right field. Schalk came up throwing and fired a laser to home, getting a streaking Webb to preserve the UAB lead.
“It was a big throw,” praised Shoop. “That was the first game Schalk played in right field all year. He played that his first two years here. He has thrown guys out. He has a very good arm.”
Lau came on for the final inning and earned his fourth save of the year. The sophomore right-handed pitcher put the Alabama batters down in order to give UAB the 2-1 victory.
The Green and Gold are back in action on Friday night when they host Conference USA-foe Southern Miss at Young Memorial Field. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m.
Notes: The UAB baseball team took on its second nationally ranked opponent when it faced No. 16 Alabama … UAB has won five of its past six meetings with in-state foe Alabama … UAB has matched its win total from 2013 in 33 games played this year … Redshirt sophomore outfielder Griffin Gum recorded his 11th multi-hit game of 2014 on Wednesday, which leads the squad … Gum matched his career-best with three hits on the night … Redshirt freshman left-handed pitcher Adam Lamar recorded his first win of his career … Sophomore right-handed pitcher Adam Lau scored his team-leading fourth save of 2014.
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