April 15, 2012
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ---- The UAB baseball team recorded 10 hits by 10 different players, but it could not overcome the strong play of the Tulane offense, falling 9-3 on Sunday afternoon at Young Memorial Field.
The UAB loss gave the Green Wave the series as the teams split the first two contests, which were concluded on Saturday.
"I thought we were outplayed in every capacity," head coach Brian Shoop said. "We were outpitched, outhit, outcoached and Tulane had more energy. On this day, Tulane was the better team and I was really disappointed in our play."
Tulane (25-11, 5-4 C-USA) was retired in order in each of the first two innings by Blazer starter Michael Busby (2-2), before the right-hander fell into trouble in the third.
After the UAB infield spun its second 4-6-3 double play in as many innings, ninth place hitter Troy McCartney connected on a solo blast to left, his first of the season. Tulane added another two-out run when Garrett Cannizaro lined a RBI double to right-center to give the visitors the 2-0 advantage.
Green Wave starter Kyle McKenzie (3-1) worked around the Blazer lineup, blanking the Green and Gold through the first four frames in which UAB stranded a runner in three of the four innings.
UAB finally cracked a run on the scoreboard in the fifth, McKenzie's final inning of work. Sam Kelley dunked a base hit just out of the reach of shortstop Cannizaro for his first collegiate hit. He was lifted for pinch-runner Chase Davis, who eventually came around to touch home for UAB on a two-out single from Todd Wilkinson. With runners on second and third, McKenzie was able to record a strikeout, his third of the game, to allow the Green Wave to be clinging to a one-run lead.
In the next half inning, Tulane answered with a four-run frame, knocking out Busby from the game and putting the contest seeming out of reach.
Heading into the bottom of the ninth, Tulane had tacked on three more runs, including homers from Brandon Bourdeaux and Jeremy Schaffer for a 9-1 lead. Bourdeaux led the Green Wave offense going 4-for-5 with four runs scored, while Shaffer had three hits and three RBI.
UAB would not go quietly in the home half of the ninth, as Tyler Mims sparked a rally with a one-out single to center. Shoop then sent four pinch hitters in a row to the plate in Harry Clark, Wes Kent, Coy Arrowood and Matt Morse, all of which singled with the exception of Kent who was hit by a pitch. Arrowood and Morse each brought in a run, to make the score 9-3. Tulane brought in right-hander Andrew Garner to record the last two outs with the bases loaded and halt the attempted comeback from the home squad.
The Blazers play a home-and-home series with cross-town rival Samford on Tuesday and Wednesday. Tuesday's game will be played at Young Memorial Field, with first pitched slated for 6:30 p.m. CT. The game will air locally on WJOX-AM 690 with David Crane and Ryan Keedy on the call.