May 18, 2013
NEW ORLEANS ---- James Naile pitched six scoreless innings of relief and Harry Clark knocked in three runs, all with two outs, to lead the UAB baseball team to a 6-3 victory against Tulane at Turchin Stadium on Saturday afternoon in the regular season finale.
UAB (22-34, 7-17 C-USA) advanced to next week's Conference USA Tournament at Rice, thanks to the victory over the Green Wave. The Blazers will be the No. 8 seed, with the postseason tournament taking place from May 22-26 in Houston, Texas at Reckling Park.
The Blazers trailed Tulane (28-27, 11-13) 3-0 through five innings, as Green Wave starter Randy LeBlanc kept the Green and Gold in check until the sixth.
In the top of the sixth, things started to unravel for the right-hander and turn in favor of the Blazers after LeBlanc recorded two quick outs. Ryan Prinzing laced a low liner to left field that eluded left fielder Richard Carthon going all the way to the wall for a standup triple. John Frostfollowed by knocking a RBI single to center.
"Prinzing's triple doesn't mean anything if Frost doesn't come up with a single after," head coach Brian Shoopsaid. "I really hope Frost makes first team all-conference. I believe he has earned it and he saved us two runs on defense today also at third base. All and all it was a good weekend for us."
Clark singled and Jeff Schalk walked to load the bases. With Tanner Bryant at the dish, Shoop rolled the dice and sent Frost home on a straight steal of home, sliding across the plate with ease, to pull the Blazers within a run. Green Wave reliever Kyle McKenzie (3-3) dodged further damage, getting Tyler Mimsto line out to second base.
LeBlanc went 5.2 innings, allowing two earned runs off six hits with three walks in a no decision.
Naile allowed two base runners in the bottom of the sixth, but kept Tulane off the scoreboard to send the UAB defense back into the dugout to keep the offensive momentum rolling.
In the top of the seventh, UAB loaded the bases with one out for Frost. The senior hit a cue shot to shortstop that allowed the tying run to cross. Clark came up next and produced another clutch two-out hit, lining a two-run single to center on the 13th pitch of the at bat to give the Blazers the lead, 5-3.
"That might have been the best at bat of the year by Harry Clark," Shoop said. "When you have a long at bat, the odds keep tilting towards the batter's favor. It was a great at bat by Harry and came in a key situation with two outs in a tie game and it was done by a senior who is an incredible kid."
The Blazers added an insurance run in the top of the ninth on another two-out single from Clark to round out the scoring on the day.
Naile picked up his second win of the week, improving to 7-5 overall, by putting up zeros over the last six frames for the Blazers. The right-hander surrendered just two hits, walked three and struck out four in the win.
At the plate, the Blazers received three-hit games from Clark and Ivan De Jesus. Clark knocked in three, while fellow senior Frost knocked in a pair and scored twice. Prinzing added two hits and touched home two times in the win.