UAB Entertains Savannah State For Weekend Series

Ivan De Jesus has recorded a .524 average (11-for-21) with seven runs scored and four RBI in last six games.

April 4, 2013

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ---- Winner of four of its last five games, the UAB baseball team will step outside of Conference USA action and host Savannah State for a three-game series at Young Memorial Field. Game one is slated to start at 6:30 p.m. CT on Friday.

Series Information & Probable Starters

Location: Birmingham, Ala.

Stadium: Young Memorial Field (1,000)

G1: Fri., 6:30 p.m. CT

SSU: RHP Jack May (2-2, 2.88)

UAB: LHP Sam Kelley (2-2, 2.15)

G2: Sat., 2 p.m. CT

SSU: RHP Kyle McGowin (7-0, 1.60)

UAB: RHP Tanner Bryant (2-2, 4.05)

G3: Sun., 1 p.m. CT

SSU: RHP Rexford Davis (4-0, 3.24)


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Inside the Series

All-Time Series: UAB leads, 3-0

Last Meeting: UAB 8, SSU 3 at Young Memorial Field (3/29/09)

UAB finished off a sweep of Savannah State with an 8-3 win in the series finale. The Blazers outscored the Tigers 39-10 in the series, including a 20-2 win in game two of the series.

Scouting UAB

UAB has turned the season around, winning four of its last five games after knocking off Jacksonville State on Wednesday by a score of 8-2 in a seven-inning contest.  Overall, UAB is 13-15 on the season and 2-4 in conference play.

The Blazers are averaging 3.8 runs per game off 8.3 hits for the season, hitting at a .257 average. Over the last six games, the UAB bats have heated up, swinging it at a .308 clip and averaging 7.0 runs off 10.3 hits.

During the last six games, which the Blazers are 4-2, Ivan De Jesus has really come on, recording a .524 average (11-for-21) with seven runs scored, two doubles, one homer and four RBI. During that stretch, John Frost is not far behind De Jesus, registering a .500 hitting clip (13-for-26) with four doubles and five RBI.

For the season, Frost, who is on an eight-game hit streak, tops the team and all of Conference USA with a .388 batting average. He also leads the Blazers and conference in on-base percentage (.453) and is third in hits (40), fourth in total bases (51) and eighth in RBI (19).

Ryan Prinzing has been another Blazer swinging it well this season, owning a .333 batting average and .440 on-base percentage, which ranks third in C-USA.

On the mound, the Blazers own a 4.36 ERA with 182 strikeouts, 102 walks in 245.2 total innings.

Sam Kelley, who will start the series opener on Friday, has carved up opposing lineups all season, owning a 2-2 record over seven total appearances, five of which were starts. Kelley's 2.15 ERA is the lowest on the Blazers, yielding only seven earned runs in 29.1 innings.  Opponents are hitting just .220 against the southpaw and he has allowed only two earned runs in his last three starts.

Tanner Bryant will start Saturday’s contest. This will be Bryant’s team-leading eighth start of the season. Bryant struggled in his last start at Marshall, allowing five runs in 1.2 innings. On the season, Bryant has allowed one or fewer earned runs in four of his seven starts.

Scouting Savannah State

The Tigers enter the weekend with an overall record of 17-12 and are 7-4 in Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference play. Savannah State is 6-6 away from Tiger Stadium this season.

Savannah State has lost its last two games, falling midweek to S.C. Beaufort by a score of 6-3, and dropping a series finale at Bethune-Cookman, 14-2. The Tigers started hot out of the gate to begin the season, winning eight of their first nine ballgames.

Offensively, the Tigers are hitting .274 as a club, averaging 5.3 runs and 8.7 hits per contest. Savannah State's most impressive stat includes its aggressiveness on the base path. As a team, the Tigers have stolen 71 bases on 89 attempts with six players recording eight or more steals. Antonio Scott tops Savannah State with 15 swipes on 17 tries.

On the bump, the Tigers own a 5.16 ERA with 155 strikeouts and 151 walks in 242.2 total innings. SSU will start RHP Jack May (2-2, 2.88) Friday, RHP Kyle McGowin (7-0, 1.60) on Saturday and RHP Rexford Davis (4-0, 3.24) in the series final on Sunday.  

Staff ace McGowin will start Saturday and comes in having allowed 10 earned runs in 56.1 innings. The righty has won all seven games he has started and picked up a save in his only relief appearance. He has shown pinpoint accuracy, striking out 67 to just six walks.