Final Stats (PDF)
TROY, Ala. – A big win and milestone for the UAB baseball team was achieved in strong fashion in Tuesday night. The Blazers defeated Troy on the road 6-1 to end a six-game losing streak and improve to 17-20 on the year. The Trojans fell to 18-17 this season.
UAB walked nobody on the night as the Green & Gold head coach Brian Shoop earned his 300th career win with the Blazers and 999th in his career.
“We have a lot of guys playing hurt, so the main thing was it’s nice to see our guys smiling at the end of the night,” said Shoop. “It had been a while.”
The Trojans took an early lead with a solo home run in the third inning but it would be the only run they would score in the game. Troy had no other extra-base hits in the game and only put two runners in scoring position the rest of the game.
UAB didn’t trail long, scoring two runs in the top of the fourth inning. Price Visintainer scored after leading the inning off with a single as he was plated by a Pierce Ressmeyer double. Carter Pharis then scored on a fielder’s choice put into play by Antonio Ralat.
The Blazers lead would continue to grow as they scored in each of the next three innings. Thomas Johns and Luke Eigsti began the fifth with back-to-back hits with the latter being a double to put both runners in scoring position. Johns eventually scored on a RBI groundout by Visintainer.
The game jumped to a 5-1 advantage for the Blazers off one swing of the bat by Riley McCown. The senior left fielder crushed a high pitch over the right field wall with Ralat on-base. It was McCown’s first homer of the season and the second of his career.
UAB tacked on an insurance run in the seventh inning with two outs. Brewer Hicklen doubled to right centerfield and came around to scoring a fielding error the next at-bat to push the lead to 6-1.
The Blazers pitching staff was lights out. Austin Thomas earned the win after throwing five innings of one-run ball. The senior righty tied a season-high with five innings pitched and tied his career-best with four strikeouts to earn the victory and move to 1-0.
Matthew Calvert came out of the bullpen and yielded just one hit while tying a career-high with four strikeouts for the second straight appearance. He faced just seven batters as did Carson Jones who finished the game for the Blazers, as he threw two innings in relief and didn’t allow a hit while striking out two batters.
“Pitcher’s night to throw,” stated Shoop. “It was the biggest zone we’ve seen this year. AT took advantage of it, Matty was really good and Carson was back to being Carson. I told our guys in the second inning ‘look this is a big, big zone.’ We’re not going to change our approach, move on when there is a strike called you don’t like. You’re going to get one in the at-bat.”
McCown finished the day 1-for-4 with one run and two RBI. Ressmeyer was the lone Blazer with multiple-hits as he went 2-for-4 at the plate with an RBI.
Hicklen and Visintainer each extended double-digit on-base streaks to 23 and 12 games, respectively.
Shoop is now just one victory shy of becoming the 80th head coach in Division I baseball history to reach 1,000 career wins. The Blazers will go for that mark on Friday night when they play the first of three games at Louisiana Tech beginning at 6 p.m.
For more information on the UAB baseball team, follow the Blazers on Twitter (@UAB_Baseball). For more on all Blazer sports teams follow the official social media accounts of UAB Athletics on Twitter (@UAB_Athletics), on Facebook (Facebook.com/UAB.Blazers), on Instagram (@uab_athletics) or on Snapchat (@uabathletics).