April 26, 2014
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Junior infielder Nathan Vincent crushed a single to the left field wall to plate the game-winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning as the UAB baseball team defeated Marshall, 3-2, on Saturday afternoon at Regions Field. It marked the first time the squad had won in extra innings this season.
“Pretty neat for Nathan Vincent, a guy that has struggled to get a feel out there coming back from a broken ankle,” head coach Brian Shoop said. “He really hit some balls hard today. I am happy for him and to get a walk-off win.”
With runners on the corners and two outs in the 10th inning, Vincent hit a rocket to left field off Marshall junior right-handed pitcher Clint Wilson. Thundering Herd redshirt sophomore outfielder Robert Fajardo attempted to run down the ball, but the ball hit off the wall and UAB senior designated hitter Ryan Prinzing scored the game-winning run from third.
Vincent was 2-for-5 from the plate with his sixth double of the year, a run scored, and the game-winning RBI. The Russellville, Ala. native is currently on a four-game hitting streak and has at least one run batted in in every contest during that stretch.
For the 10th time this season, UAB (26-16, 12-8) got ahead early, scoring a run in the first inning. Junior outfielder Chase Davis led off with a walk. Prinzing hit a ground ball to Marshall sophomore infielder Aaron Bossi. Bossi looked to turn two, but threw the ball into the outfield. With runners on the corners, redshirt sophomore outfielder Griffin Gum hit a sacrifice fly to left field to give the Blazers a 1-0 lead.
In the fourth, UAB plated another run. Vincent led off with his sixth double of the year, which ranks second on the team. After sophomore catcher Mitch Williams flew out left field and a wild pitch, Vincent was on third. Senior outfielder Ivan De Jesus hit a single up the middle to score Vincent, pushing the advantage to 2-0.
Junior right-handed pitcher Alex Luna cruised through the first five innings of play. Luna only allowed one hit, struck out three, did not walk one, and hit one batter in that time. He only faced two above the minimum, as well.
Marshall (18-23, 8-11) tied things up in the sixth off Luna. Luna hit the first batter of the frame then gave up a triple to Marshall freshman outfielder Corey Bird. With the lead at 2-1, Thundering Herd junior infielder Sergio Leon singled to left to tie the game.
Sophomore right-handed pitcher Cory Eller came on in relief of Luna in the sixth. Eller was spectacular in relief, facing one above the minimum in 4.2 innings on the hill. The Niceville, Fla. native allowed one hit, struck out three, and did not walk one en route to his second win of the year.
Saturday’s contest was the Strike Out Cancer event. UAB partnered with the Vs. Cancer Foundation in its fight against childhood cancer. After the game, players shaved their heads in support of the cause.
“More than anything, look at our kids shaving their heads,” commented Shoop. “I was so excited to see the young man who threw out the first pitch. What our guys have meant to him and how they have picked his life up and encouraged him. That’s even better. That’s the biggest win of the day.”
UAB looks for the three-game series sweep on Sunday afternoon against Conference USA-foe Marshall. First pitch is slated for 1 p.m. at Regions Field.
Notes: For the first time this season, the UAB baseball team won in extra innings … UAB has won 12 games in conference play this season, matching the most under head coach Brian Shoop … Junior infielder Nathan Vincent had his sixth double of the year, which ranks second on the team … Vincent is on a four-game hitting streak and has recorded at least one run batted in in each of those contests … Sophomore right-handed pitcher Cory Eller won his second game of the year in relief, allowing one hit, striking out three, and did not walk one in 4.2 innings of work.
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