BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The UAB baseball team welcomes in-state rival Alabama on Tuesday night. The Blazers enter with a 13-7 record and winners in seven of their last nine games while the Crimson Tide are 10-10 on the season and have dropped four straight games.
First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at Regions Field. The first 150 students in attendance will receive a free t-shirt as part of the Blazers Gold Rush. The pitching matchup is listed as TBA for each side.
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QUICK RECAP – BLAZERS TOP WKU IN CONFERENCE-OPENING SERIES
UAB took two games of its opening three-game Conference USA series against WKU. The first day was highlighted by a total of 14 runs for the Blazers, as they were able to take the second game by the score of 8-4. Brewer Hicklen had two solo home runs in game one and also collected a double and triple in game two while Carter Pharis added five hits and five RBI.
Thomas Lowery then dominated in his start on Sunday, throwing a complete game one-hitter. It was just the ninth such game in C-USA history. Making just his sixth career start, Lowery tied a career-high six strikeouts. He needed just 87 pitches to get through the contest and faced one above the minimum number of batters to get through a game, as the Hilltoppers had just 28 plate appearances.
Brewer Hicklen has crushed the ball lately. The sophomore is on a nine-game hitting streak and is hitting .500 over that span. He additionally has added 14 runs, two doubles, three triples, three home runs, seven RBI, 35 total bases, and seven stolen bases in that span. He currently leads the team with .352 average, 25 hits, 17 runs, five triples, and 48 total bases (only player on the team above 30). Nationally, he is one of two players with five-or-more triples.
Hicklen earned Conference USA Co-Hitter of the Week honors last week after batting .600 over five games. Hicklen totaled eight runs including the game-winning runs in each of the last two games versus ULM. He added 12 hits, one double, two triples, the first home run of the UAB season, three RBI, 20 total bases, and four steals this past week while batting a perfect 4-for-4 with runners in scoring position.
Hicklen returned to center field for the Blazers after starting all 55 games a year ago as a freshman. He batted .289 with a team-high 37 runs, four triples, 38 walks, and 22 stolen bases. Hicklen is also a member of the UAB football team and spent the fall practicing with both sports. In football, the 6’2”, 208 lbs. athlete is a wide receiver. D1Baseball.com recongized his gifted athletic ability, recently tabbing him the seventh-best overall prospect and fourth-best position player in Conference USA. Hicklen is already nearing the UAB record books as he has 26 career steals, eight shy of the top ten in UAB history.
LOWERY SELECTED C-USA PITCHER OF THE WEEK
Thomas Lowery was recognized by Conference USA as Pitcher of the Week on March 20 for his dominant performance on Sunday in a 5-0 win at WKU. The senior hurled the ninth complete game, one-hitter in league history. Lowery’s sensational performance came in the rubber match of the C-USA opening weekend for both the Blazers and Hilltoppers. The lefty needed just 87 pitches to get through the game and faced 28 batters, one above the minimum to get through a game. Lowery walked none and tied his career-best with six strikeouts.
It was the first UAB one-hitter since the season-opener in 2014 in which Lowery combined with Chase Mallard versus UT-Martin in a 5-0 win. Lowery picked up the save in the game throwing the final two frames. Lowery did not allow a single base runner to get into scoring position on his own doing, as the only Hilltopper to reach second base did so following an error and passed ball. He finished just one hit, one hit by pitch, and one error shy of a perfect game. Lowery was remarkable in the final four innings. The only batter he allowed in that time came on a hit-by-pitch in the seventh inning but he immediately induced a 4-6-3 double play. It took the lefty just 39 pitches to get through the final four frames.
Lowery has been a dynamic force for UAB over his career. The senior currently ranks second in saves (18 - eight behind Jay Cole), second in relief appearances (73 - 23 behind Chris Mason) and fourth in pitching appearances (79) in UAB history. He is tenth all-time in C-USA in saves.
The Crimson Tide opened SEC play this past weekend and was swept by Missouri at home. This is the first time the Tide has left the friendly confines of Tuscaloosa, Ala., this season.
Cobie Vance leads the team at the plate with a .360 average and 17 RBI. The second baseman went 2-for-4 with a run and RBI in Sunday’s finale against Missouri.
The two teams split their meetings last season with the Blazers winning 8-0 in the first contest before losing in a close 7-6 battle in the latter matchup.
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Blazers Split Season Series with Alabama
A four-run seventh inning tied things up in Tuesday night’s game at Sewell-Thomas Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, but the UAB baseball team was bested 7-6 with a late-inning score by Alabama en route to a midweek loss.