April 30, 2013
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ----- In a back-and-forth contest, the UAB baseball team was on the wrong end of a 4-3 decision against Samford on Tuesday night at Young Memorial Field. The Blazers will play their final home series of the season beginning Friday night against Rice.
After falling behind early, UAB (17-29) came back to take a 3-2 lead with a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. But seven walks and four Blazer errors would come back to haunt UAB, as Samford (24-21) scored two runs in the top of the seventh to retake the lead.
Cory Eller (2-2) took the loss for the Blazers, allowing two runs on one hit and three walks in 1.1 innings. Parker Curry (1-2) was credited with the win, pitching 1.1 innings of hitless relief. Andres Garcia picked up the six-out save for Samford.
“Not to take anything away from Samford, but we made four errors that led to all four of their runs,” head coach Brian Shoop said. “We lots of chances, to late base running mistakes and it was another game we could have won.”
Samford struck first with a run in the top of the first inning. The Bulldogs’ Phillip Ervin reached on a single to right field before stealing second and advanced to third on an errant throw by catcher Jacob German. He came around to score on a wild pitch by Alex Luna during the next at-bat.
With Samford threatening again in the second inning with a runner on third and one out, Chase Davis made a good throw from center to hold the runner at third. The Blazers got out of the inning when the next batter grounded out to third to keep the deficit at one.
The Blazers converted their first scoring opportunity in the bottom of the second. Ivan De Jesus led off the inning with a double down the right field line. After being sacrificed to third, Jacob German hit an RBI groundout to plate De Jesus and tie the game, 1-1.
Samford retook the lead in the top of the third on a RBI single by Christiaan Durdaller to score Ervin. It could have been worse for the Blazers but De Jesus made a diving catch in left and then threw out the runner at second for the inning ending double play.
UAB took advantage of a big Samford error in the bottom of the fifth inning. With one out and German on first, Tyler Hamby laid down a sac bunt but the Bulldog pitcher overthrew first base allowing German to came around and score and Hamby to move over to third. Davis singled to right center in the next at-bat to plate Hamby and give the Blazers a 3-2 lead.
The Blazers got out of a bases-loaded jam in the top of the sixth when Eller came in to relieve Luna and got the Samford batter to ground into an inning-ending double play.
Facing its second bases-loaded jam in as many innings, UAB was able to get the force at second on a ground ball to second but, when trying to turn the tough double play, the throw to first was wild allowing Samford to score two runs on the play and take a 4-3 lead. After the Bulldogs reloaded the bases, Chase Mallard came in to pitch and got a strikeout to end the inning.
UAB had one last chance in the bottom of the ninth, with one out and Tyler Mims on first, Davis was able to move Mims over to third on a single to right center but was thrown out trying to advance to second when the right fielder bobbled the ball. With John Frost up to bat, the senior put down a two-out bunt, attempting to tie the game, but Samford third baseman Tommy Corbin charged in and made a great fielding play to end the ballgame.
Luna, who started for the Blazers, allowed only two runs, both unearned, off four hits in 5.1 innings on the bump. Mallard did a solid job in relief, going 2.1 innings, striking out four and allowing only one hit.
“I thought Cory, Alex and Chase all pitched great for us,” Shoop said. “If we don’t make four errors, we win 3-0. And if you score the runs you had a chance to score you win six or seven to nothing.”
Davis led the UAB offense, going 3-for-5 with one RBI.
Samford was paced by Ervin, who recorded two hits, scoring twice and knocking in a run.