April 29, 2006
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- A five-run eighth inning sparked a UAB comeback, as the Blazers rallied to defeat Houston 7-4 in the first game of a doubleheader Saturday at Young Memorial Field. Head coach Larry Giangrosso's squad erased a two-run deficit to claim its third victory in league play.
Jim Crew threw the first complete game of his career, going the distance and allowing only four earned runs. Crew battled throughout, surrendering only four hits en route to his fifth win of the season.
At the plate, Phillip Bell lead the way for the Blazers, going 3-for-4 with an RBI. Danny Sawer added his fifth home run of the season, a two-run blast to left.
Houston jumped ahead early, scoring a run off Crew in the first inning. UAB quickly rebounded, plating two in the bottom half of the frame to take its first advantage of the game. Levi Patmon, who reached on a fielder's choice, was brought around when Sawyer took a hanging slider and deposited it over the left field wall for 2-1 Blazer lead.
The Cougars continued to be aggressive, scoring single runs in the third, sixth and seventh innings to regain the advantage. Crew avoided further damage, enducing outs and keeping UAB within reach of a comeback. The Blazers bats did just that, as the bottom of the eighth proved to be the turning point in the game.
The frame began with a hit by pitch, as Steven Turner was plunked to begin the inning. Jorge Gutierrez then ripped a single, putting two runners on base. Turner than stole third, and crossed home on an RBI groundout by Patmon. After a Sawyer walk, Bell provided a clutch RBI double, tying the game at four.
A new pitcher could not stop the bleeding, as Lovdahl welcomed the new hurler with another double, a two-run shot deep into right center to give UAB a 6-4 lead. Zac Ward followed with a single of his own next, scoring Lovdahl to put an insurance run on the board. Crew finished out the rest, retiring the Cougars in the ninth to seal the win.