May 16, 2003
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - UAB (26-26, 11-17 Conference USA) used 12 runs on 15 hits to claim a 12-4 victory over Saint Louis (18-31, 6-23 C-USA) in Conference USA baseball action Friday evening at Young Memorial Field.
UAB took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning on a home run to right field by designated hitter Matt Womble.
The Blazers added two runs in the bottom of the third inning. Second baseman Drew Goneke tripled to right center field, allowing left fielder Mitch Jones to score the Blazers' first run of the inning. Right fielder Kyle Leon followed with a sacrifice fly to left field, scoring Goneke.
Saint Louis answered with a run in the top of the fourth inning. Designated hitter Ryan Murphy scored from third base when third baseman Don Rogers grounded into a double play. UAB led 3-1.
UAB got two runs in the bottom of the fourth. Third baseman Drew Connell scored the Blazers' first run of the inning when center fielder Sam Clark reached on an error by Saint Louis second baseman Jake Friederich. Goneke later singled through the left side, scoring Clark.
The Billikens got a run in the top of the fifth inning when second baseman Jake Friederich scored on a wild pitch by Blazer starter Jon Burgett.
Saint Louis cut the Blazer lead to two in the top of the sixth inning on center fielder Kyle Wort's sacrifice fly to left field that scored first baseman Corey Lawson.
The Blazers added two more insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth inning on Connell's two-RBI double to right center field that scored Jeremy Moran, who pinch hit for Hill, and Blake Green, who pinch hit for Womble. UAB led 12-3.
The Billikens' final run of the game came in the top of the ninth when John Bridges, who was pinch hitting for Friederich, grounded out to third base, allowing Steve Moss, who pinch hit for shortstop Aaron Thompson, to score.
Cody Cillo (6-5) picked up the win for UAB after coming on in relief of Burgett in the top of the fifth inning. Cillo worked four and one-third innings and allowed two unearned runs on two hits. He walked three and struck out seven. Burgett pitched four and two-thirds innings and gave up two runs, only one of which was earned, on four hits. He walked two and struck out eight.
"Cody (Cillo) came on tonight and did well for us," said UAB head coach Larry Giangrosso. "Jon (Burgett) gave us three shut-out innings, but we felt like he was losing it, so we went ahead and brought in Cody. I thought Daniel's (Hill) hit in the sixth was big. That seemed to break the game open. We had some good at bats and we got good pitching."
Billiken starter Ben Hutton (0-9) took the loss after pitching five and two-thirds innings and allowing eight runs, six of which were earned, on 10 hits. He walked one and struck out seven.
UAB will try for the three-game sweep of Saint Louis in the final game of the three-game series Saturday at 1 p.m. at Young Memorial Field. The Blazers must win the game to have a chance at clenching a C-USA Tournament berth.
Saturday's game has been designated Senior Day. The Blazer baseball team will honor its nine seniors, which include pitchers Scott Gibson, Lucas Trotter, Kevin Brannon, Burgett, Cillo, outfielder Quincy Williams, catcher Pete Giangrosso, Jones and Leon.