May 9, 2012
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ---- Seven UAB pitchers combined to hold the Jacksonville State offense to one run on five hits as the Blazers clipped the Gamecocks, 4-1, on Wednesday night at Young Memorial Field.
David Hayes (1-0) started the staff effort for UAB (27-23) pitching two scoreless innings, while Ruben Tresgallo, Tanner Bryant, Dylan Munger, Jacob German, Dillon Napoleon and Ryan Nance all worked out of the pen. The seven pitchers used tied a season-high for the Blazers and marked the most used in a victory in 2012.
Nance fired a perfect ninth to record his eighth save of the season and the 16th of his career, to send the Blazers off winners before heading to Houston, Texas to play No. 5 Rice for a three-game series. Game one against the Owls is set for Friday at 6:30 p.m. CT.
JSU (22-24) was led by Erik Underwood’s two-hit day at the plate.
UAB put up a two-spot on the scoreboard in the bottom half of the first against JSU lefty Casey Antley (1-2). Davis roped his first of two hits on the evening with one out to start the rally. Following a pair of wild pitches uncorked by Antley and a walk to Jeff Schalk, the Blazers were in business with two runners in scoring position.
Ivan De Jesus stepped to the plate out of the cleanup spot and played fundamental baseball, hitting a ground ball to second with the JSU infield set back to bring home the first run. John Frost, the next batter in the UAB order, hit a ball between first and second that was knocked down by Gamecocks’ second baseman Coty Blanchard, but allowed Schalk to race home on the infield single.
After expanding its lead to 3-0, by adding an unearned run in the third, UAB dodged some bullets from the JSU offense. In the fifth, reliever Tanner Bryant fell into trouble as the Gamecocks loaded the bases on a single and back-to-back walks with one down. Lefty reliever Dylan Munger was called upon out of the pen, and the freshman rose to the occasion.
Munger, who was given the task of facing the three and four-hole hitters in the JSU lineup, struck out Sam Eberle and induced a ground out from Ben Waldrip to keep the Gamecocks scoreless.
“I didn’t think we threw great, but we competed and made some pitches when we had too,” head coach Brian Shoop said. “We were in some jams and some guys stepped up and made some key pitches in big moments.”
An inning later, the visiting team scored on a Coty Blanchard fielder’s choice. However, JSU loaded the bases again for the second straight frame, but reliever Jacob German ended the threat with a punch out.
JSU had multiple chances to score throughout the night, stranding a total 10 runners on base.
In the last of the sixth, UAB answered JSU’s lone run when Palmeiro tattooed a solo blast to left, his third of the season, to round out the night’s scoring.