May 25, 2006
HOUSTON, TEXAS - A complete game by Memphis starter Scott McGregor along with a potent Tiger attack eliminated UAB from the Conference USA Baseball Championship, 13-2, on Thursday. The Blazers, who finish the season with a 19-38 record, mustered only five hits during a contest that was ended after seven innings due to the mercy rule.
Jim Crew took the loss for UAB, falling to 6-4 on the year. The junior from Birmingham, Ala., lasted three innings, allowing six runs while striking out one. Brandon Flaherty, Mitch Thorn and Grant Addison combined to throw the remainder of the contest for the Blazers.
Five hitters posted a single on the day for UAB. Ryan Metcalf and Ryne Lovdahl scored the lone runs on the contest, with J.R. Bond picking up an RBI. Steven Turner's 1-for-2 performance guaranteed the junior a .300 season, as he finished the year with a .304 batting average.
Memphis (31-27) wasted no time getting on the board, scoring three in its first at-bat to jump out to the lead. Three Tiger hits coupled with two UAB miscues contributed to the rally, and McGregor was staked to a three-run advantage before he even took the mound. The freshman hurler, tabbed second-team all-conference by the league's coaches, mowed down the Blazer lineup, facing only one hitter above the minimum in the first five innings.
The Tigers added to the advantage in the fourth, plating three runners to make it 6-0. UAB put its first run on the board in the bottom of the fifth, as a Bond fielder's choice scored Lovdahl to close the gap to five. Lovdahl opened the frame with a double to right field, the first hit of the contest for the Blazers. Zac Ward then singled through the left side, pushing Lovdahl into scoring position. Bond brought him home, as the Green and Gold got on the board.
Head coach Larry Giangrosso's
squad could not keep the Tiger bats from roaring, as Memphis scored five runs in the top of the sixth to put the game out of reach. Two more crossed home in the top of the seventh, making it 13-1 Memphis. The Blazers added one in the bottom of the seventh, when Metcalf, who opened the frame with a single, scored on a wild pitch. The game was called after the seventh due to the 10-run mercy rule.
This concludes the season for UAB, as the Blazers finish up with a 19-38 record overall. The Green and Gold advanced to its third straight conference tournament, and its six wins in conference play qualified them as the eighth seed in the championship.