April 23, 2006
ORLANDO, Fla. - The UAB baseball team made it two in a row on Sunday, defeating UCF 16-4 to secure its first conference series win of the season. The Blazers pounded out 15 hits en route to the clinching victory against the Golden Knights at Jay Bergman Field.
This win ups the Green and Gold to 15-26 on the season, and 2-10 in league games. UCF drops in second in a row, and is now 22-21 and 5-6 in C-USA.
UAB's bats continued to sizzle, as the Blazers scored a season high in runs with 16. The offense had 15 hits in the contest, with six hitters posting two hits or more. Jorge Gutierrez led the way, going 3-for-5 with an RBI. Danny Sawyer had a big day as well, going 3-for-4 with his fourth home run and four RBIs. Steven Turner, Levi Patmon and Ryne Lovdahl also had two hits for UAB.
On the mound, Lyle Northington was the story for the Blazers. The senior from Detroit, Ala., pitched magnificently in relief for head coach Larry Giangrosso, throwing eight innings and allowing only one run. Northington was touched for only five hits during his outing, while striking out three.
The Blazers wasted no time getting ahead, scoring two runs in the top of the first to jump out to a lead. Gutierrez kicked off the contest with a solid single to center, moving to second on a perfectly executed sacrifice by Patmon.
Sawyer then connected for an RBI single up the middle, plating Gutierrez for the first run of the game. Sawyer came around just two batters later, as Ryne Lovdahl connected on his first triple of the season to score another run and make it 2-0 UAB.
A two-out rally tied the game, as a walk by Turner followed by his eighth stolen base of the season set the stage. Gutierrez answered the call, smashing a line drive to left field to score the speedy Turner and knot the contest at three.
Senior lefthander Lyle Northington entered for head coach Larry Giangrosso, pitching effectively in the rest of the game. That gave UAB a chance to reclaim the lead, and they did in their very next opportunity.
A lead off walk to Danny Sawyer opened the top of the third inning for the Blazers, and one hitter later it would be 4-3 UAB. Phillip Bell tattooed a double down the left field line, bringing Sawyer home from first to score.
Northington continued to pitch well, throwing eight scoreless innings in relief. The lefthander retired 13 out of 14 Golden Knight hitters during the middle frames, striking out one in that span.
UAB tacked on more runs in the sixth, putting up four to make it 8-3. Back-to-back singles by Turner and Gutierrez got things started, with Patmon's RBI singled to right center scoring Turner and pushing the lead to two. Sawyer took care of the rest, launching a home run deep to right to score three. The Suwanee, Ga., native's fourth home run of the season pushed the lead to 8-3 Blazers.
Central Florida cut the margin to four in the bottom of the sixth, as a double and a single plated one to make it 8-4 UAB. Northington escaped further trouble, getting a fly out to right field to end the UCF threat.
More UAB runs came across in the seventh, as the Blazers put the game out of reach with a five spot. Ward reached by error, and then Turner was hit by a pitch to begin the rally. Gutierrez's attempt at a sac bunt was thrown away by UCF, scoring Ward. Patmon followed with an RBI groundout, scoring Turner to make it 10-4. Bell then squeezed home Gutierrez to add the 11th run. Donnie Muth provided the final blow of the inning, a two-run single through the right side.
The Blazers added three in the ninth, as a Patmon home run and an RBI single by Lovdahl closed the scoring.