April 11, 2006
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - For the third time in four games, the UAB baseball team was on the wrong side of a one run game. Steven Turner had two hits and an RBI, but it wasn't enough for the Blazers to taste victory, as UAB fell 5-4 to Jacksonville State at Young Memorial Field on Tuesday.
This loss drops the Blazers to 13-21 on the year, and still searching for its first conference win of the season. Jacksonville State moves to 16-17 with Tuesday's victory.
Three pitchers threw for UAB in the contest, with senior lefthander Lyle Northington taking the loss. The native of Detroit, Ala., hurled 5.2 innings in relief of Blazer starter Jim Crew. Northington had the only strikeouts of the night for head coach Larry Giangrosso's squad, punching out three Gamecock hitters. Drew Murray finished out the game for the Blazers, tossing the final 1.1 frames.
The Blazer bats managed eight hits on the night, with two extra base knocks. Turner led the charge, going 2-for-5 with an RBI single. Six UAB hitters also had one hit on the evening, including junior Jorge Gutierrez, who's single in the third inning extended his hitting streak to a team-high nine games.
Jacksonville State jumped out early on UAB, scoring two runs in the top of the second to take the first advantage. The Blazers tied the game in the bottom of the fourth, stringing hits together with Gamecock walks to push across runs.
J.R. Bond opened the frame with a mammoth double high off the center field wall, putting a runner in scoring position with no one out. After Billy Lichtner was hit by a pitch and Ryan Metcalf walked, Turned ripped a line drive through the left side for UAB's first run of the evening. Gutierrez then drew a bases loaded walk, forcing home Lichtner and knotting the contest at two.
The Gamecocks responded, scoring three unanswered runs during the final four innings to reclaim the lead. UAB inched closer in the ninth, nearly completing a dramatic comeback in its final at bat.
Zac Ward walked to open things up, and he moved to second after Ryne Lovdahl also worked a free pass. Phillip Bell then ignited the UAB faithful, smashing a line drive double deep into the right field corner to score Ward and make it 5-3. A baserunning blunder netted the second out, but the Blazers scored again when a Lichtner ground ball was misplayed, allowing Bell to race home and bring his team to within one.
The rally ended there for UAB, however, as Mitch Miller retired Metcalf for the final out of the game.
UAB looks to break into the win column in C-USA action this weekend, as the Blazers host Marshall in a three-game set at Young Memorial Field. First pitch Friday is set for 7 p.m., and the game can be followed online with gametracker. Gametracker is available on the UAB website, www.uabsports.com.