March 4, 2010
UAB Game Notes | Friday Gametracker | Watch Live
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Eastern Illinois invades Young Memorial Field this weekend as the UAB baseball team continues non-conference play with a three-game set against the Panthers.
The Blazers continue a nine-game homestand with Friday's series opener at 3 p.m. CT, and the series continues with games Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m.
UAB (4-2) enters Friday's game in search of its fifth straight win. The Blazers took the final three games of a four-game series from Ball State last weekend and then continued their hot play with a 10-2 win Wednesday over Kennesaw State.
Through six games this season, second baseman Nick Crawford is leading UAB with a .381 batting average, a .552 on-base percentage, eight runs scored and five stolen bases. Shortstop Jonathan Merritt and designated hitter John Frost top the team with eight RBI each. Frost, a freshman, has recorded multiple RBI in three of his first six collegiate games.
The UAB pitching staff owns a team ERA of 4.50 and has combined for 51 strikeouts and just 23 walks. Blazer pitchers are holding opponents to a .258 batting average, led by Sunday starter Beau Pender, who is allowing opponents to hit just .133 against him.
UAB's Shay Crawford is scheduled to take the mound for his second consecutive Friday start. The left-hander took a no-decision in his start last weekend, allowing four runs in five innings.
Eastern Illinois (0-6) comes into this weekend's series in search of its first win of the year after being swept by Southeastern Louisiana and Belmont on the road to open the 2010 campaign. Four of Eastern Illinois' six losses, however, have come by one run.
The Panthers are led offensively by second baseman Daniel Rowe, who is batting .400 with a .640 slugging percentage as the team's leadoff hitter. Third baseman Zach Borenstein owns a team-high six RBI, and catcher Gerik Wallsten has driven in five. As a team, the Panthers are hitting .236 through their first two weekends.
On the mound, Eastern Illinois owns a team ERA of 7.07, but the Panther pitching staff has also been victimized by 18 errors from its defense. EIU pitchers have struck out 36 batters and walked 38. Friday starter Josh Mueller leads the staff with a 3.38 ERA and a team-high nine strikeouts in 10 and two-thirds innings.
UAB and Eastern Illinois have played nine times in series history with all nine meetings coming in Birmingham and the Blazers winning eight of them. The teams last played in 2003 with UAB earning a 10-4 victory in a single game at Young Memorial Field.
Fans can follow all of this weekend's action through Gametracker live stats and All-Access streaming video at uabsports.com.