May 18, 2007
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Senior right-hander Grant Addison backed up his complete game last weekend with another stellar outing on the mound Friday night, leading the UAB Blazers to a narrow 3-2 victory over No. 29 East Carolina at Young Memorial Field. The win gives the Blazers a 2-0 lead in the series with the final game to be played Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m.
UAB improves to 25-30 (12-11) with the win, while East Carolina drops to 35-20 (13-9 C-USA). UAB has assured itself of at least a .500 record in league play with Friday's win, marking the first time since 1998 the club finished at .500 or better in Conference USA.
Addison (3-1), who threw an 8.0 inning complete game without allowing an earned run last weekend at Marshall, ran his total to 15.1 straight innings without an earned run Friday night until the Pirates got a run across in the eighth.
"I'm hitting my spots really well right now with my fastball," said Addison on his recent success. "It feels good (to beat a team of East Carolina's caliber) and it definitely helps to know I can do that against a good team. These last two weeks have helped my confidence a lot."
Junior right-hander Brandon Wallace earned his fourth save of the season after completing the final 1.2 innings on the hill, allowing one earned run on three hits.
ECU lefty Dustin Sasser (5-4) was tabbed with the loss after going 6.1 innings, allowing all three runs, while striking out six.
UAB was led offensively by junior outfielder Phil Bell who went 2-for-2 with two runs scored in the game. Bell is now 4-for-4 with four runs scored in the series. Senior catcher Danny Sawyer was also strong at the plate Friday night, going 1-for-3 with two RBI.
The Pirates were paced by second baseman Drew Schieber and his two hits in four at bats. Schieber drove in one of ECU's runs.
UAB scored its first run of the game in the first when Sawyer drew a bases loaded walk that scored Bell.
After a one-two-three second inning, Sawyer once again brought Bell home in the third, this time with a RBI-single to left field to make it 2-0, and then, senior third baseman Ryne Lovdahl lofted a sacrifice fly to right field to score senior outfielder J.R. Bond to take the 3-0 lead.
Addison continued to mow down the ECU hitters to allow UAB to take its 3-0 lead into the eighth. The Pirates finally got on the scoreboard in the eighth when first baseman Stephen Batts singled home shortstop Ryan Wood to make it 3-1.
In the ninth, ECU left fielder Jamie Ray led off the inning with a double down the left field line and then scored on a single up the middle by Schieber to make it 3-2. The Pirates would eventually load the bases with two outs before Wallace got pinch-hitting Mark Letchworth to pop out to Bond in center field to end the game.
The two teams will square-off in the final game of the three-game series Saturday at 1 p.m. Prior to Saturday's game, the Blazers will be paying tribute to their eight seniors who will be playing their final home game at UAB.