April 27, 2014
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Redshirt sophomore outfielder Griffin Gum hit an inside the park grand slam in the bottom of the eighth inning to guide the UAB baseball team to a 5-2 victory against Marshall on Sunday night at Young Memorial Field. With the win, UAB earned its second sweep in Conference USA play in 2014.
"I told him he had the green light on the first pitch," volunteer assistant coach Ron Polk said. "He swung at a really bad breaking ball and that upset me. Thankfully, for us he got a hold of one. To get an inside the park home run, I don't think I have seen that in 48 years of college coaching."
UAB (27-16, 13-8) had the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the eighth inning. Gum came to the plate and hit a fly ball over Marshall freshman outfielder Corey Bird. The Charlotte, N.C. native cleared the bases and made it to home himself. It marked the first grand slam hit by a Blazer since Ryan Prinzing did so on May 3, 2013 against Rice.
"In summer ball, I hit a walk-off grand slam one time," added Gum. "It doesn't really count though because it was summer ball. This was way more awesome than that and for it to count in an actual game like this. A huge credit to all those guys that had quality at bats in front of me, getting on base, and giving me a shot to do that."
After inclement weather moved the game to Young Memorial Field and delayed the start until 5 p.m., the Blazers took an early 1-0 lead in the third inning. Senior outfielder Ivan De Jesus led off with a double to left field. Redshirt junior infielder Matt Morse hit a sacrifice bunt to move De Jesus to third. Sophomore infielder Adam Smith then hit a sacrifice fly to plate De Jesus.
Redshirt junior right-handed pitcher Johnny Lieske retired seven straight batters until he hit trouble in the sixth inning. Lieske allowed a double and walked one to lead off the frame. A sacrifice bunt from Marshall junior infielder Sergio Leon moved the runners over to second and third. The trying run came in on a Lieske wild pitch on the next play.
After loading the bases, senior left-handed pitcher Turner Lee was called in. Lee hit the first batter he saw, giving Marshall (18-24, 8-12) a 2-1 advantage. A Lee strikeout on the next batter got UAB out of the inning.
With a man on second and two outs, redshirt senior right-handed pitcher Ben Bullard checked in. Bullard forced a ground out and then struck out the side in the top of the eighth to set the scene for Gum.
Sophomore right-handed pitcher Adam Lau came in for the top of the ninth inning for the save. Lau put them down in order for his fifth save of the year.
The UAB baseball team is back in action on Tuesday night at in-state foe Troy. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.
Notes: The UAB baseball team swept Marshall for its second sweep in Conference USA play in 2014 ... It marked the first sweep in conference play at home since April 27-29, 2012 against Houston ... Redshirt sophomore outfielder Griffin Gum hit an inside the park grand slam in the bottom of the eighth inning ... It marked the first grand slam by a Blazer since Ryan Prinzing did so against Rice on May 3, 2013 ... Gum became the first Blazer with four RBI in a game this season ... Redshirt senior right-handed pitcher Ben Bullard earned his 17th win of his collegiate career, moving into fourth place in UAB program history.
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