April 26, 2006
HOOVER, Ala. - UAB sprung out to an early lead against the University of Alabama, but the Crimson Tide rallied late to defeat the Blazers 14-8 in a non-conference game held at the Hoover Met on Wednesday. The Blazers pounded out eight runs against Tide pitching, but couldn't hold the lead late as the Tide scored nine unanswered runs to close out the contest.
This loss drops the Blazers to 15-27 on the year. The No. 6 ranked Crimson Tide moves to 32-12 with the victory, as both teams return to conference play this weekend.
UAB went through seven pitchers on the evening, but were unable to keep Tide hitters from putting runs on the board. Senior Randy Mills started the ballgame, throwing a season-high five innings, while allowing only two earned runs. Jacob Legg, Mitch Thorn and Drew Murray followed, with Murray taking the loss in the relief. Brandon Flaherty and Ben Styes closed out the game for the Blazers.
The Green and Gold offense managed seven hits, with Phillip Bell leading the way with a 2-for-4 effort. Donny Muth added two RBIs, while Steven Turner and Ryne Lovdahl scored two runs apiece.
A pitcher's duel ensued at the beginning of the contest, as Mills and Alabama starter Jake McCarter took turns shutting out opposing hitters. Both were tagged for only one run during their first three frames, as the game was tied at one until the bottom of the fourth. UAB then struck for two runs, taking its first lead of the night at 3-1.
Bell lead off with a single, and then stole second base to get into scoring position. Lovdahl then worked a walk, and both were sent home on a Ryan Metcalf
single, with Lovdahl coming all the way around on an error by the left fielder. Alabama responded quickly, plating two in the top of the fifth to tie the score.
UAB then pushed one run across in the bottom of the sixth, as Muth's sacrifice fly scored Bell, whose line drive double of the left field wall opened the inning. Again the lead was short lived, as the Crimson Tide roared back with two runs in the top of seventh to reclaim the lead at 5-4.
Head coach Larry Giangrosso's squad responded with a rally of its own, putting together a four-run seventh to take its last advantage of the evening. Alabama miscues and timely Blazer hitting contributed to the effort, as the Crimson Tide committed three errors in the frame. Muth delivered the big blow, an RBI single to left center to push the margin to 8-5.
From there, Alabama rose to the challenge, mounting a roaring comeback that featured nine runs in its final two at-bats. The Crimson Tide smashed 10 hits in that span, and put the game out of reach at 14-8.
The Blazers will welcome No. 13 Houston to Young Memorial Field this weekend, as the two teams get together for a three-game Conference USA series. First pitch on Friday is set for 7 p.m., and follow every pitch online with gametracker, available at UAB's athletics website, www.uabsports.com