UAB, ECU Square Off For Important C-USA Series

Ryan Prinzing is hitting .355 in C-USA games

April 18, 2013

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ---- The UAB baseball team squares off against East Carolina for a three-game series, set to start on Friday at 6:30 p.m. CT on the friendly confines of Young Memorial Field.

UAB (16-21, 3-6 C-USA)
vs. East Carolina (17-20, 3-6 C-USA)

Series Information
Location: Birmingham, Ala.
Stadium: Young Memorial Field (1,000)

Video/Audio: All-Access (
Live Stats: GameTracker (
Twitter Updates: @UABbaseball; @UABathletics

Probable Starters
G1: Fri., 6:30 p.m. CT
ECU: RHP Jeff Hoffman (3-4, 2.77)
UAB: RHP Tanner Bryant (2-4, 4.73)

G2: Sat., 2 p.m. CT
ECU: RHP David Lucroy (3-1, 2.09)
UAB: LHP Sam Kelley (3-3, 2.70)

G3: Sun., 1 p.m. CT
ECU: RHP Ryan Williams (5-2, 4.24)

All-Time Series: ECU leads 26-5

Last Meeting: ECU 10, UAB 3 at C-USA Championship in Pearl, Miss. (5/26/12)
The Blazers were deadlocked at 3-all, when the Pirates scored once in the eighth and six times in the ninth to claim at 10-3 victory at the conference tournament.

UAB, which had already claimed a spot in the league title game, received two-hit performances from John Frost and Tyler Mims.  

On the mound, Sam Kelley pitched great in relief, giving up one run on three hits in 3.2 innings of work.

ECU's scheduled Friday night starter this weekend, Jeff Hoffman, earned the victory going seven innings, yielding three runs on six hits.

Last Series: ECU captured all three games in Greenville, N.C. at Clark-LeClair Stadium

G1: ECU 11, UAB 6
UAB led 6-2 before the Pirates exploded for nine unanswered runs over the final four innings of play. John Frost finished 3-for-5 with a homer and two RBI.

G2: ECU 12, UAB 2
Tyler Joyner fired a complete game four-hitter to help ECU claim game two of the series. Tyler Mims went 2-for-3 in the loss.

G3: ECU 6, UAB 5 (13 innings)
UAB held a 5-2 lead in the ninth, but ECU rallied to tie the game and eventually won in the 13th inning on walk-off sac fly.

Michael Busby's start was spoiled, going 7.2 innings and giving up only two runs.

Last Series in Birmingham: UAB took two of three from ECU at Young Memorial Field.

G1: UAB 4, ECU 1
UAB's Dillon Napoleon out-dueled ECU's Seth Maness going a complete game, allowing only one unearned run off five hits.

G2: UAB 5, ECU 3
A four-run third inning proved to be the difference as the Blazers prevailed 5-3.

G3: ECU 8, UAB 5
Leading 5-4 in the ninth, the Pirates rallied four four runs including a three-run homer by Zach Wright.

Loves Facing ECU
John Frost: .500 (8-for-16) last season with five runs, 1 homer and 3 RBI
Tyler Mims: .667 (4-for-6) 2 RBI
Ryan Prinzing: .750 (3-for-4) 2 runs, 1 double, 1 RBI

Who's Hot
Chase Davis: .432 (16-for-37) 7 runs, 3 doubles, 1 triple, 2 RBI - last 10 overall games
John Frost: .447 (17-for-38) 2 runs, 5 doubles, 1 triple, 9 RBI - in 9 C-USA games
Ryan Prinzing: .355 (11-for-31) 10 runs, 3 doubles, 1 home run, 9 RBI - in 9 C-USA games

UAB Scouting Report
The Blazers will look the right the ship this weekend against the ECU Pirates, as UAB has dropped five of its last six games.  The Green and Gold suffered a 7-4 loss to the hands of the Alabama Crimson Tide on Tuesday, snapping a four-game win streak against the in-state foe.

UAB, ECU and Marshall are all currently in a three-way tie for seventh place in the league standings. The Blazers own the tiebreaker over the Thundering Herd, taking two of three in a series earlier this season in Charleston, W.Va.

The Blazers will be looking to break a five-game losing streak to the Pirates.

On offense, the Blazers sport three hitters that boast batting averages above .300 for the season. Leading the charge is the top hitter in C-USA John Frost, who is hitting at a .372 clip for the season.  The senior also leads UAB in slugging percentage (.526), on-base percentage (.443), hits (51) and RBI (27). He is also hitting a league-best .447 in conference games and is currently on a 17-game hit streak.

Joining Frost with batting averages above .300 are Ryan Prinzing (.328) and Chase Davis (.317).  Prinzing tops the team in runs scored (24) and hit by pitches (11).

Overall, the Blazers are hitting .259 as a team, averaging an even four runs and 8.5 hits per game.

Tanner Bryant will get the starting nod on Friday for the Blazers, posting a 2-4 record with a 4.73 ERA.  Following the righty Bryant in the rotation will be Sam Kelley (3-3, 2.70 ERA). Kelley has pitched well in league play, sporting a 3.60 ERA in three starts, but has only received four runs of support in those appearances.

The Blazer defense has turned things around, registering a .982 fielding percentage over the last 10 games making only seven errors. On the season UAB owns a .966 fielding average.

ECU Scouting Report
The Pirates enter the weekend with a record of 17-20 after falling to No. 25 UNC Wilmington 7-2 at home on Tuesday. Last weekend, ECU took two of three against Tulane, with two games going to extra innings.

ECU has utilized the long ball this season, connecting for 22 round trippers as a squad, the second-most in C-USA.  Chase McDonald leads five Pirates with multiple homers on the season with five.

As a team, the Pirates are hitting at a .266 clip and averaging 4.8 runs off 9.2 hits per contest.

The three starting pitchers for ECU are all right-handed which is a change of pace for the UAB batters to see. Last week against Memphis, the Tigers started all southpaws.

Jeff Hoffman gets the ball on Friday night and is one of the top arms in the conference. The righty is 3-4 with a 2.77 ERA in nine appearances, all starts. He has pitched 65 innings, struck out 50 and is holding the opposition to a .216 batting average.

He is followed by David Lucroy, who has been just as impressive as Hoffman on the mound. Lucroy is 3-1 with 2.09 ERA and has 47 strikeouts in 47.1 innings on the bump.  Sunday's starter for ECU is Ryan Williams who tops the team with five wins on the season.

As a staff, ECU has a team ERA of 4.22 and has totaled 248 strikeouts and 151 walks in 339 total innings, holding opponents to a .263 batting average.

Frost's Hit Streak Reaches 17
John Frost has put together a standout senior season and is currently on a 17-game hitting streak entering the weekend series with East Carolina. In UAB's most recent game at Alabama, Frost went 2-for-4 with a double, homer and two RBI along with scoring two runs.

During the 17-game hit streak, Frost is hitting .409 (27-for-66) with nine runs scored, nine doubles, two triples, one homer and 14 RBI. He is slugging at a .652 clip and owns an on-base percentage of .494. He has also reached base in 18 consecutive games.

Prinzing Provides Walk Off
Last weekend in the series finale vs. Memphis, Ryan Prinzing hit a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the ninth to score Tyler Mims and give the Blazers a 9-8 victory. He finished the game 3-for-5 with four RBI.

Bryant Pitches & Plays The FIeld
Tanner Bryant not only is the Friday night starter for the Blazers, he is also the regular shortstop. In fact, Bryant is one of only 19 Division I players that is a weekend starting pitcher and a regular position player. He is the only one on this list from Conference USA.

Last Friday against Memphis, Bryant was the starting pitcher and hit for himself. Then he saw time at shortstop in the same contest.

Here is a list below of weekend pitcher/position players:
Charlie Law, Rutgers
A.J. Reed, Kentucky
C.K. Irby, Samford
Brett Cisper, Northern Kentucky
Alex Klonowski, Northern Illinois
Brian Hunter, Hartford
Mike Connolly, Maine
Tanner Bryant, UAB
Ryan Lowe, Davidson
Sean McLaughlin, Georgia
Clinton Freeman, ETSU
Nick Miller, Northern Colorado
Anthony Montefusco, George Mason
Marco Gonzales, Gonzaga
Louie Lechich, San Diego
Mike Ford, Princeton
Zach Morton, Northwestern
Jeff Campbell, North Dakota State
Brandon Gonnella, Towson