April 11, 2014
Box Score (PDF)
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Southern Miss recorded two runs in the ninth inning to hand the UAB baseball team its fourth loss in Conference USA action, 3-2, on Friday night at Young Memorial Field. The loss snapped UAB's four-game win streak, its second longest streak of the 2014 season.
"It was a good college game," head coach Brian Shoop said. "Chase did his part again. There is always a fine line between winning and losing. Mitch's ball was only a couple of inches foul in the first inning, Nathan's ball was a couple feet short of a two-run home run."
After senior left-handed pitcher Turner Lee hit two Southern Miss batters and gave up a pinch hit single the game was tied, 2-2, in the top of the ninth inning. Sophomore right-handed pitcher Adam Lau filled in for Lee, walked the bases loaded, and then walked USM sophomore outfielder Breck Kline to allow the winning run to cross home for Southern Miss (20-15, 9-4).
"When you hit two batters and walk two in a inning, someone is going to score," added Shoop. "When it's a one-run game, you can't walk two and hit two in the same inning."
Senior right-handed pitcher Chase Mallard recorded his 11th consecutive quality start, dating back to 2013. In his shortest outing of the year, Mallard went 6.1 innings, allowed one earned run, gave up six hits, struck out five, and did not walk one.
UAB (23-11, 9-4) scored a run in the first inning for the ninth time this season. After back-to-back singles from junior outfielder Chase Davis and sophomore infielder Evan Peterson, junior infielder Nathan Vincent smacked a single through the left side of the infield to plate Davis and give UAB a 1-0 advantage.
In the fifth inning, UAB provided Mallard with an insurance run. Senior designated hitter Ryan Prinzing and sophomore infielder Adam Smith started things off with two straight singles. Davis placed a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners to second and third. UAB then used a move out of the playbook, executing a perfect squeeze bunt. Peterson bunted the ball down the first base line, getting out on the play, but scored Prinzing from third.
"It was a real easy pitch to bunt," said Shoop. "He did a good job. With Chase on the mound, we were trying to get one more run for our club and put us up two. We hoped it would be enough, tonight it wasn't."
UAB looked like it would add two more in the sixth. Junior first baseman Jeff Schalk led the frame off with a single. Vincent came up to the plate with Schalk on first. Vincent hit a towering fly ball deep to right field. Southern Miss junior outfielder Mason Robbins leapt at the wall and took away what would have been a two-run home run.
Mallard hit some trouble in the seventh inning. Southern Miss plated its first run of the night in the frame. Junior first baseman Bradley Roney hit a double to left center, and then scored after freshman outfielder Dylan Burdeaux hit an RBI single.
Sophomore right-handed pitcher Cory Eller replaced Mallard after he gave up the single to Burdeaux. Eller immediately got UAB out of the inning, forcing a fly out and ground out. In the eighth, he walked one, but was perfect otherwise.
After taking the lead in the ninth, Southern Miss senior right-handed pitcher Sean Buchholz came on to preserve the advantage. UAB sophomore catcher Mitch Williams looked to get a rally going, hitting a lead-off single. Senior outfielder Ivan De Jesus had a great at-bat, but ultimately grounded into a double play, squelching UAB's scoring opportunity. Prinzing grounded out to end the game.
The Conference USA three-game series resumes on Saturday afternoon. First pitch is slated for 2 p.m. at Young Memorial Field.
Notes: The UAB baseball team had its four-game win streak snapped on Friday night ... Senior right-handed pitcher Chase Mallard extended his streak to 11 consecutive quality starts, which is the longest active streak in the nation ... Sophomore infielder Adam Smith matched his career-high with two hits on the night.
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