April 23, 2011
Game 1 Box | PDF Box Score | Game 2 Box | PDF Box Score
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Ryan Woolley pitched a complete game in Saturday's first contest and Keith DePew drove in five runs, including the game-winner in extra innings, in the nightcap as the UAB baseball team completed a doubleheader sweep of No. 19 Rice.
The Blazers took control of the first game in the fifth inning on the way to an 7-2 win and rallied from four runs down on two occasions for an 8-7, 12-inning victory in game two to claim their fourth series win in five Conference USA weekends. UAB improved to 23-17 (8-7 C-USA) on the year, while Rice dropped to 28-16 (9-6 C-USA).
Jamal Austin and Coy Arrowood each tallied five hits over the two games for UAB, which posted its second straight series victory over Rice in Birmingham. The Blazers also took two of three games from a No. 4-ranked Owls squad at Young Memorial Field in the last weekend of the 2009 season.
Game 1 Recap
Woolley fired his second complete game in his past three starts and Austin went 4-for-4 at the plate in a 7-2 UAB victory in Saturday's first game. The Blazers opened the scoring with four runs in the fifth inning and never looked back.
Rice managed just single runs in the seventh and ninth innings against Woolley, who earned his team-leading sixth win of the season while allowing just three hits and striking out six batters. The only hit he surrendered over the final six frames was a solo home run to Rice's Anthony Rendon in the ninth when UAB already had a 7-1 lead.
"We really needed Ryan to go deep into the game because we were shorthanded with what pitchers we had left," UAB head coach Brian Shoop said. "It was a heck of a performance, really a dominating performance, and that game was all him."
Austin started UAB's four-run fifth inning with an RBI single and John Frost followed with a single of his own that plated two more runs. Harry Clark's well-executed squeeze bunt two batters later gave the Blazers a 4-0 lead on Rice starter Matthew Reckling, who took the loss.
After Rice managed one run without the benefit of a hit in the seventh inning, UAB blew the game open with three unearned runs in the eighth against Owl relievers Taylor Wall and Tyler Spurlin. Nick Crawford drew a bases-loaded walk and Austin drove in two more runs with his fourth hit of the game to give the Blazers a six-run lead.
Austin reached base in all five of his plate appearances and drove in three runs in the game, while Arrowood added a pair of hits.
Game 2 Recap
DePew's bases-loaded, high-hopping single over the head of Rice shortstop Derek Hamilton in the 12th inning marked the first scoring for either team since the fifth and gave UAB an 8-7 win in Saturday's nightcap.
It was the third hit and career-best fifth RBI for DePew, who also tied the game seven innings earlier with a bases-clearing double as part of a four-run fifth for the Blazers. UAB used the benefit of a pair of Rice errors in that inning to force starting pitcher John Simms from the game and tie things up at 7-7.
From there it was a bullpen battle between UAB's duo of Ben Bullard and Ryan Nance, which held Rice scoreless over the final eight innings, and the Owls' tandem of Abe Gonzalez and Tony Cingrani, which allowed just two Blazer hits from the sixth frame through the 11th.
Rice had chances to make some things happen late by putting the leadoff runner on in both the ninth and 10th innings, but the UAB defense thwarted both chances. Clark caught Rendon stealing on a failed hit and run in the ninth, and Arrowood cut down J.T. Chargois trying to stretch a leadoff single into a double from left field in the 10th.
UAB got a runner to third base in the 10th inning and another to second with two outs in the 11th before finally breaking through in the 12th. The Blazers loaded the bases with no outs on a single by Arrowood, a Rice error on a nice sac bunt by Matt Morse and a Ryan Ussery walk before DePew's game-winning hit.
"Tonight was a great team win," Shoop said. "Almost every guy played and made a contribution, and I love that as a coach. It was also really a great day for Keith."
Nance earned the win for UAB, throwing the final 3.1 innings and allowing only one hit. Holt McNair, Rice's fourth pitcher of the day, allowed the first three runners of the 12th to reach base and was charged with the loss.
Rice did its offensive damage early with four runs in the first inning and three in the fourth. Michael Ratterree drove in runs in both innings and finished with three RBI in the game for the Owls.