May 6, 2008
JACKSONVILLE, Ala. - The UAB baseball team got six hits and seven RBI from the middle of its batting order Tuesday night at Jacksonville State, but it wasn't enough to overcome the Gamecocks as the Blazers lost, 11-9. First baseman Ryan Keedy was 2-for-3 with two RBI, two walks and a double in the game to pace the Blazers.
UAB falls to 19-28 with the loss, while Jacksonville State, the Ohio Valley Conference leader, improves to 28-18.
Brian Booth (7-0) earned a relief win on the mound for Jacksonville State after finishing the final 3.2 innings in which he gave up just one run and struck out eight batters.
James Oliver (4-4) got the loss on the mound after throwing one inning in which he gave up seven runs on six hits.
Keedy's double Tuesday night moves him up to fourth all-time at UAB in single-season doubles with 22 and has him just two away from matching the school record of 24.
Third baseman Luke Stewart continued his offensive tear against Jacksonville State as he was 2-for-5 with three RBI and a home run. Center fielder Cody McMurry, shortstop Jonathan Merritt and second baseman Nick Crawford all finished with two hits as well.
Right fielder Clay Whittemore, this week's Ohio Valley Conference Hitter of the Week, led Jacksonville State by going 3-for-4 with three RBI.
Jacksonville State built an early lead after scoring seven runs in the first two innings and led, 7-6, in the bottom of the fourth when a sacrifice fly to right field by JSU first baseman Brian Piazza scored third baseman Steven Leach and then later in the inning, a single through the left side by center fielder Daniel Adamson scored Whittemore to give the Gamecocks a 9-6 advantage.
UAB came back to cut the deficit to 9-8 in the top of the sixth when Stewart launched his team-leading 11th home run of the season over the right field wall for a two-run shot that scored Keedy who walked to reach base.
The Gamecocks answered by scoring one run in both the sixth and seventh innings to pad an 11-8 lead.
Trailing by three and down to their last at bat, the Blazers got a rally going in the ninth when left fielder Austin Taylor was hit by a pitch and then scored on a fielder's choice ground out by shortstop Jonathan Merritt to make it 11-9. But the Blazers weren't able to do any further damage in the inning as the Gamecocks got a game-ending strikeout with two runners left on.
UAB and Jacksonville State will meet again on Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. at Young Memorial Field. The teams will first complete their suspended game from April 22 with UAB leading 7-3 in the bottom of the fifth before playing the regularly scheduled nine-inning contest.