April 15, 2006
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - After a Friday night slugfest that saw 30 runs cross the board, Saturday's matchup proved to be a pitchers' duel as Marshall pitcher Chris Koutsavlis threw a complete game to defeat UAB 9-2 in a Conference USA game at Young Memorial Field.
The Blazers fall to 13-23 on the season, and remain winless in conference play. Marshall is now 3-8 in C-USA games and 15-16 overall.
Mitch Thorn made his first start in his UAB career on Saturday, but didn't fare well against the Marshall attack. Thorn lasted just 1.2 innings, giving up six earned runs while striking out one. Jim Crew came on for head coach Larry Giangrosso, hurling 5.2 innings in relief of the starter. Crew punched out five Herd hitters, while allowing only three earned runs. Drew Murray came on to work a scoreless 1.2 frames to end the game.
UAB's offense had trouble mounting offense against the lefty Koutsavlis, as he mixed speeds and kept Blazer hitters off balance all game. The Blazers managed seven hits on the day, with J.R. Bond, Levi Patmon and Ryne Lovdahl all having two hits in the contest. Lovdahl also launched his fourth home run of the year, which would account for the only Blazer run of the ballgame.
Marshall again fired early, scoring six runs in its first two plate appearances. The Blazer pitching staff had no answer, as the Herd took its second lead in as many games.
That would be all Koutsavlis needed, as his dominant performance on the mound stymied any attempt at the comeback. UAB got on the board in the bottom of the fifth via the long ball, as Lovdahl's blast over the right center field wall brought the game to 6-1. Marshall would add three more runs during the course of the contest, stretching out to a 9-1 margin.
The Blazers added the final run of the game in the bottom of the eighth, as a Danny Sawyer RBI groundout scored Jorge Gutierrez.
The finale of the series is set for tomorrow at 1 p.m., as Grant Addison will take the hill in hopes of salvaging the final game of the set. Follow every pitch live online with gametracker, available through UAB's athletics website, www.uabsports.com.