April 12, 2013
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ---- The UAB offense put together some strong at bats on Friday night against Memphis ace Sam Moll, but the Blazers were unable to string anything together, falling 6-3, on Friday night at Young Memorial Field.
UAB (15-19, 2-5 C-USA) will look to rebound on Saturday, taking on Memphis (21-13, 6-4) in a doubleheader set to begin at 2 p.m. CT.
“I thought we had tremendous at bats tonight,” UAB head coach Brian Shoop said. “I thought it was phenomenal offense night with the stands full of scouts here to watch (Sam) Moll pitch. I thought we squared some balls. And all though we didn’t win, I thought it was good night and the guys competed their guts out.”
The contest was scoreless heading into the top of the second when UAB starter Tanner Bryant (2-4) fell into trouble. The Tigers loaded the bases by way of a double, fielder’s choice and hit by pitch with one out. Bryant induced a pop up to first by 9-hole hitter Austin Hatfield for the second out. Next up was leadoff hitter Zach Willis. During Willis’ at bat, it appeared that catcher Jacob German caught Memphis’ Keaton Aldridge napping on the base paths at third base on a pick off to end the inning.
Unfortunately the call did not go in favor of the Blazers, leading to a Willis bases loaded walk and a Ethan Gross two-run single to left to put Memphis up 3-0.
UAB pulled within a run by putting up two-spot in the last of the third. The bottom of the order got things cooking for the Blazers, as Tyler Hamby drew a one-out walk, followed by Wes Kent reaching an error. A passed ball allowed the Hamby to scamper home with UAB’s first run of the night. Later in the frame, John Frost rocketed a RBI single to right, making the score 3-2 in favor of the Tigers.
Memphis scored single runs in the fifth and sixth frames to expand its lead to 5-2. In the fifth, UAB turned a double play with the bases loaded, but Carter White scored on the twin killing. A Colton Simbeck solo blast to start the sixth accounted for the other Tiger run.
In the seventh, pinch hitter Ryan Prinzing was plunked by a pitch and would come all the way around and score from first on an Ivan De Jesus ringing triple to right-center. However, De Jesus would be stranded at third.
The Tigers added an insurance run in the top of the ninth, thanks to a two-out RBI single by Tucker Tubbs, to make the Memphis lead 6-3.
Jonathan Van Eaton pitched the final two frames, in relief of Moll, to earn his seventh save to become the all-time leader in Memphis history in saves.
Moll (6-2) finished with a quality start, going seven innings, allowing three runs (one earned) off three hits along with five strikeouts.
Bryant suffered the loss, going six innings giving up five runs off seven hits. He walked five and struck out three.
Cory Eller pitched well in relief of Bryant, allowing just one hit and one run with a two punch outs over the final three innings.
Frost’s RBI single in the third extended his current hitting streak to 14 games.