May 2, 2006
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - After holding a 4-2 advantage for five innings, a three-run ninth-inning rally by Birmingham-Southern catapulted the Panthers to a 5-4 victory over UAB at Striplin Field on Tuesday night.
This heartbreaking loss drops the Blazers to 16-30 on the season, and knots the season series between the two schools at 1-1. UAB defeated Birmingham Southern 3-2 on March 7th.
Drew Murray made his first career start for head coach Larry Giangrosso's squad, tossing three innings. The freshman from LaGrange, Ga., allowed only one earned run, while striking out one batter.
Randy Mills relieved Murray, hurling four strong frames for the Blazers. Mills mowed down the Panthers for four innings, and failed to give up a run during his outing. Mitch Thorn picked up the loss, as the junior was tagged for one earned run while on the hill.
BSC jumped out to an early advantage, scoring two in the bottom of the third to take the first lead of the ballgame. The Blazers responded immediately, plating four in the top of the fourth to forge ahead 4-2. UAB used a two-out rally to get on the board, having all four runners cross home plate with two outs in the inning.
Ryne Lovdahl opened the frame with a solid single to right, and advanced to second on a line drive up the middle by Zac Ward. The party was just getting started, as senior Ryan Metcalf ripped a drive to left, scoring Lovdahl to make it 2-1. Steven Turner then smashed an RBI single of his own, bringing Ward around to tie the game.
Jorge Gutierrez followed with the crushing blow, a double down the right field line to clear the bases and give UAB its first lead of the night. Gutierrez's rocket into the right field corner was his sixth double of the year, with RBIs number 19 and 20 crossing home plate.
Mills cruised after that, retiring the Panthers in four straight frames. The senior worked through the BSC lineup, at one point retiring seven out of eight batters he faced. The margin failed to hold, however, as the Panthers connected for two hits and a sac fly in its final at-bat to win the contest.
UAB returns to Conference USA action this weekend, as the Blazers head to Memphis, Tenn., for a three-game set with the Tigers. The Green and Gold are three games back of the sixth spot in league play, and will look to add wins to the C-USA total against Memphis. For complete coverage of UAB baseball, check the Blazers athletics website, www.uabsports.com.