March 28, 2013
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ---- Following a thrilling midweek win over instate foe Alabama, the UAB baseball team hits the road with a trip to Charleston, W.Va. to play a three-game Conference USA series against Marshall.
Series Information & Probable Starters
Location: Charleston, W.Va.
Stadium: Appalachian Power Park (4,500)
G1: Fri., 3 p.m. CT
UAB: RHP Tanner Bryant (2-2, 2.84)
MU: RHP Chase Boster (1-3, 3.72)
G2: Sat., 6:05 p.m. CT
MU: RHP Aaron Blair (3-1, 2.83)
G3: Sun., 12 p.m. CT
MU: RHP Michael Taylor (3-1, 1.45)
Twitter Updates: @UABathletics; @UABbaseball
Baseball Claims Rubber Match With Marshall, 5-1
The UAB baseball team scored four times in the bottom of the second, while Michael Busby allowed just one run over 7.2 innings to help capture the rubber match of the three-game series with Marshall, 5-1, at Young Memorial Field on Sunday afternoon.
UAB enters with a 10-14 overall record and 0-3 in league play, falling in all three games of in its conference opening series against UCF last weekend.
The Blazers snapped a five-game losing streak by claiming a 1-0 victory against in-state foe Alabama on Tuesday night at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium. It marked the second straight time UAB edged the Crimson Tide 1-0 at the Hoover Met, winning in 12 innings last season.
In both 1-0 victories vs. Alabama, John Frost knocked in the lone run in each game for UAB.
UAB now has three 1-0 shutouts this season, blanking Southern Illinois and Valparaiso prior to shutting out Alabama.
Sam Kelley (2-1) worked into the sixth inning, tossing five shutout frames to earn his second victory of the season. Cory Eller, Turner Lee, James Naile and Jacob German all worked out of the UAB bullpen to help preserve the 1-0 shutout and give the Blazers their fourth-straight win vs. the Tide.
In UAB's last C-USA game, the Blazer fell in 10 innings to UCF, 12-10. The Blazers trailed 10-7 heading into the bottom of the ninth, but rallied as Ivan De Jesus tied the game with a two-out RBI single. The Knights were able to answer, scoring twice in the top of the 10th and hang out and earn the series sweep.
3B John Frost has been a standout at the plate for the Blazers in his senior season. Frost is tied with UCF's Chris Taladay for the top batting average in C-USA, hitting at a .368 clip. The Decatur, Ala., native also ranks fourth in on-base percentage (.423), seventh in hits (32) and 10th in slugging percentage (.460) in the league.
Over his last nine games, Frost is hitting .484 (15-for-31) with seven RBI along with a slugging percentage of .581 and on-base percentage of .543.
DH Ryan Prinzing has also played his part for the Blazers at the top of the order, leading C-USA in on-base percentage (.440) and ranking seventh in batting average (.338).
Friday's starter Tanner Bryant has put together three consecutive quality starts for the Blazers, but is just 1-1 in those games. On the season, Bryant has held opponents under two earned runs in five of his six starts.
In last three starts, Bryant owns a 0.95 ERA, allowing just two earned runs in 19 innings on the bump with 12 strikeouts and only three walks. During that span he is holding opponents to a .176 batting average against him. On March 15 vs. Valparaiso, Bryant went seven shutout innings, giving up just one hit in a 1-0 victory.
If you take out one poor start at Georgia, Bryant has yielding only three earned runs in 28.2 innings (0.94 ERA) on the season with 23 strikeouts to five walks.
On The Thundering Herd
Marshall sits at 10-13 on the season with the Blazers being its first league opponent of the season. The Herd played at Radford last weekend, winning one of three.
The Herd features three players hitting above .300 on the season, led by INF Andrew Dundon's .341 average. He is followed by 1B Nathan Gomez (.316) and 3B Gray Stafford (.302) as Marshall is hitting .271 as a club. Gomez and Stafford are tied for the team lead with 13 RBI.
On the mound, the Herd is led by RHP Aaron Blair, who gets the start on Saturday night. A Golden Spikes Award Watch List recipient, Blair is one of the top pitchers in C-USA, sporting a 3-1 record and 2.83 ERA with 32 strikeouts in 28.2 innings. Blair is coming off six no-hit innings against West Virginia, fanning 11 en route to being named C-USA Pitcher of the Week.
Overall, Marshall has a team ERA of 3.99 and holding opponents to a .237 batting average.
UAB leads the all-time series 14-11, after taking two of three against Marshall at Young Memorial Field last season.
Head coach Brian Shoop is 7-2 all-time at Appalachian Power Park, winning all three series against Marshall on the road, including a three-game sweep in 2007.
Jeff Schalk hit .556 (5-for-9) against Marshall arms last season, scoring twice and walking twice. Schalk also accumulated a .636 on-base percentage in the series with the Herd.
G1: Marshall 7, UAB 4
G2: UAB 5, Marshall 1
G3: UAB 5, Marshall 1
UAB took two of three for the second consecutive season against Marshall, the last time coming at Young Memorial Field. After dropping game one of the series, 7-4, UAB held the Herd two just two runs over the next two games, claiming each by identical scores of 5-1.
In the series, UAB hit .294 as a team, scoring 14 runs off 30 hits. Marshall was held to just nine runs off 21 hits. The Blazer staff received back-to-back impressive starts from RHP Ben Bullard and RHP Michael Busby. Bullard fired a complete game five-hitter with seven strikeouts, followed by 7.2 innings from of Busby.
Last Meeting: UAB 5, Marshall 1 in Birmingham, Ala. (3/25/12)
UAB scored four runs in the second inning and received a quality start from RHP Michael Busby to earn the win and take two of three in the series against Marshall.
John Frost drove in three runs, while Busby went 7.2 innings scattering six hits and allowing just one earned run with no walks and eight strikeouts.
Last Series In Charleston
G1: UAB 3, Marshall 2
G2: Marshall 3, UAB 2
G3: UAB 2, Marshall 1 (14 innings)
Runs were difficult to come by the last time UAB and Marshall met at Appalachian Power Park. In the three game series, the two teams combined to score just 13 runs, seven by UAB, six by the Herd.
UAB hit just .211 for the series, but Marshall was held to a batting average of .181 over the three games.
The Blazer pitching staff posted an impressive 1.42 ERA, giving up five earned runs in 31.2 innings. The Herd staff was just a hair better, surrendering just five earned runs in 32 total innings (1.41 ERA).
In game two, Ryan Woolley was the tough-luck loser, giving up just two hits and two earned runs in 8.1 innings with 12 strikeouts.
The two teams split the first two games of the series, with each game being decided by a ninth-inning wild pitch and ending with identical 3-2 scores.
Last Meeting In Charleston
UAB 2, Marshall 1 (14 innings)
Ryan Nance knocked a RBI single in the top of the 14th inning to break a 1-1 tie and give the Blazers the series, winning two of three vs. Marshall.
In a game that only featured three runs, each team recorded 11 hits, with UAB stranding eight, compared to 13 by the Herd.
Nance, who knocked in both of UAB's runs, pitched a perfect ninth to earn his second save of the series.