May 10, 2011
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JACKSONVILLE, Ala. -- The UAB baseball team posted season-highs for hits and runs Tuesday night and withstood a major rally from Jacksonville State to hold on for a 14-11 victory at Rudy Abbott Field.
The Blazers (26-22) pounded out 17 hits, including a career-high four by Andrew Manning, and built a nine-run lead before watching it nearly evaporate completely when Jacksonville State (28-19) exploded for eight runs in the seventh. Chase Mallard managed to get the Blazers out of that inning clinging to a one-run lead, and UAB picked up a couple of late insurance runs.
Manning finished the game 4-for-6 at the plate with a double, a home run and two RBI. Nick Crawford went 3-for-4 with a triple, three stolen bases and a career-high four runs scored, while Coy Arrowood drove in a season-best four runs.
"It was like the old bats were back in play tonight," UAB head coach Brian Shoop said. "It was almost strange how many balls were hit hard and in the gaps. We've primarily won with our pitching this year, so I know our hitters feel good to get an offensive win tonight."
UAB and Jacksonville State will play again Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. CT at Young Memorial Field in Birmingham. It will be the fourth meeting between the teams this season with UAB having won two of the first three. Wednesday's game will air live in the Birmingham area on WJOX-AM 690.
Michael Busby earned the win on Tuesday for UAB in his first start in a month as he tossed the first three innings before leaving on a pitch count. Daniel Watts suffered the loss for Jacksonville State.
UAB used a pair of big innings to help build its lead, scoring five runs in the third and four in the sixth. The Blazers took a 12-3 advantage into the bottom of the seventh inning, and that's when Jacksonville State got things going.
The Gamecocks sent 13 batters to the plate in the seventh, recorded seven hits and four doubles and did all their damage with two outs. Coty Blanchard's two-RBI double brought JSU within one run at 12-11, and the Gamecocks still had runners at second and third. Mallard, who had entered the game three batters earlier, then got a ground ball from Jake Sharrock to get out of the inning and maintain the lead.
Mallard went on to pitch a scoreless eighth inning, and closer Ryan Nance kept Jacksonville State off the scoreboard in the ninth to earn the save. UAB tacked on a pair of ninth-inning runs on a double from Arrowood.
Every batter in the UAB lineup recorded a hit in the game, and the Blazers were active on the basepaths with a season-high seven stolen bases as a team.
For Jacksonville State, Sam Eberle finished 3-for-4 at the plate, while Michael Bishop also added three hits and Erik Underwoond drove in a team-high three runs. The Gamecocks committed seven errors in the game, but those errors led to only three unearned runs.