April 21, 2012
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ---- Ben Bullard and Ryan Nance combined to give up just one run, while Ivan De Jesus and Patrick Palmeiro each went deep to propel the UAB baseball team past Gardner-Webb, 5-1, on Saturday afternoon at Young Memorial Field.
The Blazers will try for their second home series sweep of the season on Sunday against the Runnin’ Bulldog. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. CT.
The win on Saturday upped UAB’s record to 23-17 as GWU fell to an even 20-20 for the season.
Bullard (4-4) recorded his seventh quality start of the season, scattering six hits (five singles) in six innings on the UAB mound. In the outing, Bullard also notched his third appearance of fanning 10-or-more batters. Of his 10 strikeouts on Saturday, nine were swinging as the righty did not walk a batter.
Out of the bullpen, Ryan Nance fired the last three innings to earn his seventh save of year and move into second place all-time at UAB with 15. Nance kept the Bulldogs off the scoreboard, giving up only three hits with a pair of strikeouts.
“Bullard and Nance were great for us today,” head coach Brian Shoop said. “When you pitch well on the mound, you are going to be successful; it’s a simple formula. Their pitcher was good too, but we hit two solo home runs and took advantage of the one mistake they made in the three-run seventh inning.”
The Blazers used power to score their first two runs, with Palmeiro and De Jesus being the suppliers. In the bottom of the second, Palmeiro rocketed his second homer of the season, a solo shot, to put UAB on the board. An inning later, De Jesus answered his teammate with a solo bomb of his own to take a 2-0 lead. It was also De Jesus’ second round tripper in 2012.
Bullard had been in complete control, until the top of the sixth, when GWU broke up a string of five straight zeros on the scoreboard. Scott Coleman brought home Dusty Quattlebaum on a RBI single, but Bullard escaped with the lead still intact by inducing a ground out with the tying run on base.
Still leading 2-1, UAB added three runs in the seventh to round out the scoring for the day. Jacob German started the rally with a one-out single to left, which was followed by a bunt single by Keith DePew. The next batter, De Jesus, hit a slow roller to shortstop and beat the throw, but an errant toss allowed everyone to move up a base, sending pinch runner Todd Wilkinson home.
With runners now on second and third, GWU opted to intentionally walk John Frost to load the bases. The move proved costly as Jeff Schalk drew a walk to bring home the fourth run of the day. Cleanup hitter Michael Busby knocked in the final run on a sac fly to center field.
Palmeiro and De Jesus each went 2-for-4 with a solo homer, and combined to score three of UAB’s five runs on the day.