May 17, 2013
NEW ORLEANS ---- Tyler Mims and Harry Clark each ripped two-out RBI singles in the top of the ninth to break a 2-2 tie and Chase Mallardproduced a standout performance on the mound to lead the UAB baseball team past Tulane, 4-2, on Friday night at Turchin Stadium.
With the victory the magic number for the Blazers to compete in the Conference USA Tournament is one. A victory in the series finale on Saturday against the Green Wave, which is set for 1 p.m. CT, would secure a spot in the conference tourney as Marshall lost at No. 20 Rice, 13-0, in Houston on Friday evening.
Prior to the ninth inning heroics from Mims and Clark, the game was a stalemate with UAB (21-34, 6-17 C-USA) stranding 11 base runners through the first eight innings and hitting 1-for-13 with runners on base, loading the bases four times and scoring its two runs on a hit by pitch and passed ball.
Reliever Andrew Garner (1-2) recorded two quick outs in the top of the ninth before walking John Frost. Tanner Bryantfollowed with an infield single, setting the stage for Mims. The Hoover native roped a RBI single to left to break a 2-2 tie. Next up was pinch hitter Clark, who served a RBI single to left for an insurance run.
"We had lots of chances, but we finally pulled through in the top of the ninth," UAB head coach Brian Shoopsaid. "Tyler came up with a big hit and Harry came up after sitting on the bench for three hours and delivered a `Harry special' single to left to add another run for us."
Cory Eller(4-2) picked up the win in relieve of Mallard, pitching the final 2.2 innings, walking one and striking out four.
Mallard went the first 6.1 innings for the Blazers, yielding two earned runs on five hits. The righty walked three and struck out four in his first C-USA start of the season. For his career Mallard has feasted on the Green Wave batters, giving up only four earned runs in 17 total innings spanning four appearances.
"Mallard was great tonight and we thought he would be, which is why we started him," Shoop said. "He pitched his last inning without stuff, just on guts, which he's got a lot of and Eller was really great out of the pen again."
"Nothing really seemed to be working for me, but I felt better after the third inning because I found my rhythm," Chase Mallardsaid. "Our scouting report was really good coming into the game. Pitching coach Josh Hooper does a really good job with us and we were ready coming into tonight's game."
Tulane (28-26, 11-12) had an early opportunity to push across some runs against Mallard as Brandon Boudreaux doubled with Nick DiMaggio on first to put runners on second and third with one out. Mallard was able to gear up and get a strikeout and ground out to keep Tulane off the scoreboard.
UAB put together its first real threat against Green Wave starter David Napoli in the top of the third. Tyler Hamby began the frame with a single to center. Napoli recorded back-to-back punch outs before hitting Adam Lau and walking Ryan Prinzingto put the bases full of Blazers.
Up stepped John Frost, the Blazers leading RBI man and the Decatur, Ala., native found a way to get a run home. After falling behind in the count, Frost was hit by a pitch to bring in the first run of the day. Napoli avoided a big inning by the Blazers, getting a ground out to end the top of the third.
Tulane responded scoring twice in the bottom half of the third. Richard Carthon dunked a double off the left field line with one out to get things going. Later Boudreaux roped a RBI single and a throwing error on a steal by Tulane allowed another run to score to give the home squad a 2-1 lead.
Both squads were blanked in the fourth, until the Blazers loaded the bases in the fifth chasing Napoli from the game. Tulane went to its bullpen and called on Andrew Reeves with the sacks packed and one down.
A passed ball by Tulane as the pitcher and catcher were crossed up sent Griffin Gum, who doubled to lead off the inning, racing home with the game-tying run.
Neither team could scratch a run across, until UAB's two-out lightning in the ninth to pick up the win.
Three Blazers - Bryant, Gum and Mims - each finished with two hits and Ryan Prinzingwalked four times in five plate appearances in the win.
The Green Wave was held to just five hits, as Carthon and Boudreaux earch recorded two base knocks.