May 10, 2014
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The UAB baseball team clinched its seventh Conference USA three-game series of 2014 with a 7-2 victory against Tulane on Saturday afternoon at Young Memorial Field. With the win, UAB has won its ninth consecutive contest for its longest win streak of the season.
“We pieced some hits together and got some good at bats against a good guy,” head coach Brian Shoop said. “A good win for our club.”
The first batters in the UAB (33-16, 18-8) lineup all had multiple hits on the day. Junior first baseman Jeff Schalk led the squad with three runs batted in, while classmate outfielder Chase Davis had three hits, including two doubles.
Junior right-handed pitcher Alex Luna was the second Blazer starting pitcher to have a dominant outing in the three-game set with Tulane (21-27, 8-16). The Huntsville, Ala. native gave up one unearned run, scattered three hits, struck out four, and walked two in 7.0 innings of work. Luna holds a perfect 7-0 record on the year and holds a 1.41 ERA.
“One run gives your team a great, great chance to win a game,” added Shoop.
Prior to the start of the game, the Blazers recognized their seven seniors for their contributions to the program. UAB was able to deliver for its senior class in one of its final home games of the 2014 season.
“It’s a special group,” commented Shoop. “We have accomplished a lot on the field, but they are just great people. They have done a great job in the classroom. I love them, appreciate them, grateful for them. I am very privileged to have coached some of them for only two years and Bullard all the way through five years.
Tulane broke through for the run of the day in the first inning. Luna hit the first batter he faced, sophomore outfielder Richard Carthon, and then the runner moved over via a passed ball. A single would move Carthon over to third and a fielder’s choice would him, but the run would be unearned.
In the bottom of the third, UAB combated with four runs of its own. After redshirt junior infielder Matt Morse singled and Davis recorded his first double, runners were on second and third with two outs for senior designated hitter Ryan Prinzing. Prinzing hit a ball to Tulane freshman infielder Stephen Alemais. Alemais could not field it cleanly and Morse would score from third. Redshirt sophomore outfielder Griffin Gum then singled to right field, scoring Davis from third. Schalk came to the plate and singled through the right side, plating Prinzing and Gum.
UAB put two more on the board in the fifth inning. Sophomore infielder Adam Smith led things off with a single and then Davis registered his second double of the contest. Prinzing singled down the left field line to push Smith across. Davis then scored via a wild pitch to give the Blazers a 6-1 advantage.
In the seventh, UAB recorded its final run of the day. Davis led off with his third hit of the game, a single up the middle. Prinzing laid down a bunt in a sacrifice attempt. Tulane freshman catcher Jake Rogers threw out Davis at second, but Alemais threw the ball away in an attempt to get Prinzing. With Prinzing now on second, Gum singled to move the senior designated hitter over to third. Schalk singled to center field for his third RBI on Saturday.
Senior left-handed pitcher Turner Lee filled in for Luna for the final two innings. Lee cruised through the eighth, putting Tulane down in order. In the ninth, Lee allowed one run to score off three hits, but held on to secure the win.
The UAB baseball team looks for the sweep on Sunday afternoon against Tulane. First pitch is slated for 1 p.m. at Young Memorial Field.
Notes: The UAB baseball team won its ninth straight game, its longest win streak of the season … UAB won its 18th conference contest, a program record … The Blazers recorded its 33rd victory of 2014, their most during head coach Brian Shoop’s stay as the UAB head coach … Junior right-handed pitcher Alex Luna won his seventh decision of the season, which ranks one shy of ninth place in program history … Junior first baseman Jeff Schalk had three runs batted in on the day and leads the squad with 28 RBI on the year … Junior outfielder Chase Davis recorded two doubles in a game for the second time this season.
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