May 19, 2006
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - UAB once again found itself in the midst of tight ballgame late against No. 15 Tulane, but the Green Wave attack scored 10 unanswered runs in the final three innings to defeat the Blazers 17-8 in game two of the C-USA series at Young Memorial Field Friday night.
The loss drops the Green and Gold to 18-36 on the year, and 5-18 in conference play. Due to a UCF loss against Southern Miss, the Blazers still retained the No. 8 seed going into the conference tournament next week in Houston, Texas as of today. Tulane (39-16, 15-8 C-USA) picks up its 10th straight victory and guarantees a series win over UAB for the second season in a row.
Six UAB pitchers took the hill on the night, but were unable to keep the Tulane offense in check, surrendering 18 hits and 17 runs in the contest. Jim Crew took the loss, lasting only two innings while allowing three earned runs. Randy Mills, Jacob Legg, Mitch Thorn, Kasey Croft and Derek Hanks all saw time on the bump for the Blazers.
Tonight's matchup proved to be a tale of three halves, as each three innings of the game were dominated by either UAB or Tulane. The Green Wave jumped out first, scoring six runs in the first three innings to take a 6-0 lead. Head coach Larry Giangrosso's squad got on the board in the third, as RBI singles by Phillip Bell and Ryne Lovdahl closed the gap to 6-2.
That proved to be the start of a short period of Blazer dominance, as the second three innings saw UAB outscore Tulane 6-1. Three-run rallies in the fourth and sixth lead the charge, as the Green and Gold took its first advantage of the night at 8-7. Danny Sawyer did the damage, hitting a two-run single in the fourth and a towering two-run home run to right in the sixth to help his reclaim the lead.
Tulane refused to back down, putting its stamp on the final three frames to claim the victory. After tying the game in the top of the seventh, the Green Wave proceeded to score ten runs over their final nine outs, taking a tight 8-7 score and turning it into a 17-8 one-sided contest. A two-run blast by Ty Wallace was the key blow, and put Tulane in front for the rest of the way.
The series finale takes place at 1 p.m. tomorrow, as UAB coaches and fans will honor the five members of the 2006 senior class before the game. Saturday's contest will be pivotal, as the postseason fate of the Blazers will be decided as they take on Tulane. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. at Young Memorial Field. Follow every at-bat live on gametracker, available at the UAB athletics website, www.uabsports.com.