May 21, 2013
Late Surge Leads No. 18 Rice Past Baseball, 7-3
The UAB baseball team held a 3-2 lead after five innings, but No. 18 Rice responded, scoring five unanswered runs to take Sunday's series finale, 7-3, on Sunday morning at Young Memorial Field.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ---- The UAB baseball team will compete in the 2013 Conference USA Tournament Championship, hosted by the 19th-ranked Rice Owls, in Houston from May 22-26 at Reckling Park.
The Blazers will play three games in pool play format, starting off by facing top seed Rice on Wednesday at 7 p.m. CT. The other teams in UAB's pod are the fourth seed Memphis and fifth seed UCF.
C-USA Tournament Information
Location: Houston, Texas
Stadium: Reckling Park
Video: All-Access (UABsports.com)
Radio: WJOX-AM 690
Talent: David Crane (pxp)
Live Stats: GameTracker (UABsports.com)
Twitter Updates: @UABathletics; @UABbaseball
UAB's Tournament Schedule
G1: Wed., 7 p.m. CT
(8) UAB: RHP Chase Mallard (2-3, 3.83 ERA)
(1) RICE: RHP Austin Kubitza (7-4, 2.11 ERA)
G2: Thurs., 3 p.m. CT
(8) UAB: TBA
(4) MEMPHIS: TBA
G3: Fri., 7 p.m. CT
(8) UAB: TBA
(5) UCF: TBA
G4: Sun., 1 p.m. CT
Championship Game (if necessary)
TV: CBS Sports Network
All-Time C-USA Tournament Record: 14-24
Total Appearances: 14
‘96, ‘97, ‘98, ‘99, ‘00, ‘04, ‘05, ‘06, ‘07, ‘08, ‘09, ‘11, ‘12, 13
Championship Game Appearances: 1 (2012, W, 5-0 vs. Memphis)
Earned #8 Seed: ‘05, ‘06, ‘08, ‘11, ‘13
Record As #8 Seed: 3-8
CONFERENCE USA TOURNAMENT TID BITS
DEFENDING THE TITLE: UAB captured its first ever C-USA Championship in 2012 as the No. 7 seed. The Blazers blanked Memphis in the title game 5-0, advancing to a NCAA Regional for just the second time in program history and first since 1991.
SUCCESS AS LOW SEED: UAB became the lowest seed (No. 7) to not just win the C-USA Tournament in 2012, but to compete in the championship game.
DEJA VU: It will be deja vu for the Blazers at the 2013 C-USA Tournament, as UAB played the same three teams -- Rice, Memphis and UCF -- during the 2011 tournament in Pearl, Miss. UAB defeated then top seed Rice, before falling to both the Tigers and Knights. In fact, last season the Blazers defeated both UCF and Memphis to earn the tournament crown.
TOURNEY SUCCESS UNDER SHOOP: UAB is 7-9 all-time in the C-USA Tournament under head coach Brian Shoop, including winning the Blazers’ first tournament crown in 2012. Against the three teams in the Blazers pod, Shoop owns a record of 4-3 in tournament play.
The Blazers are 4-1 under Coach Shoop in their first games of the tournament with two of the victories coming as the No. 8 seed vs. No. 1 seed Rice. Furthermore, UAB has won four straight first-day tournament games.
2012 - (7) UAB 15, (2) UCF 1 (7 innings)
2011 - (8) UAB 9, (1) Rice 8
2010 - Did Not Qualify
2009 - (6) UAB 8, (3) Houston 3
2008 - (8) UAB 8, (1) Rice 2
2007 - (3) Southern Miss 9, (6) UAB 5
2013 Record: 22-34, 7-17 C-USA
2012 Record: 32-30, 9-15 C-USA
Head Coach: Brian Shoop
Alma Mater: Malone (Ohio) College, ‘80
Career Record: 885-517-1, 24th season
Record at UAB: 193-210, 7th season
Top Position Players:
3B John Frost (.332/.399/.467, 2 HR, 38 RBI)
DH Ryan Prinzing (.337/.446/.458, 3 HR, 30 RBI)
Top Pitcher: RHP Chase Mallard (2-3, 3.83 ERA, 3 SV, 51.2 IP, 49 K)
UAB Scouting Report
The Blazers claimed two of three at Tulane last weekend to earn the eighth and final playoff spot at the C-USA Tournament.
Last week, UAB sported a 3-1 record, defeated now nationally ranked Troy, before claiming the series in New Orleans. In the three victories, UAB hit at a .302 clip, while holding the opposition to a .170 batting average. The Blazers overcame deficits in all three wins.
The pitching staff tallied a 2.67 ERA in those three wins, with 21 strikeouts to 12 walks in 27 innings. The opponents only recorded 16 hits in those three games, compared to 29 by the Blazers.
The Blazers sport a potent one-two punch in the middle of their order in DH Ryan Prinzing and 3B John Frost. Prinzing is the reigning C-USA Hitter of the Week, hitting at a .636 average over four games to up his overall batting clip to .337 for the season. The Oswego, Ill., native tops the team in batting average, runs (37), homers (3) and on-base percentage (.446).
Frost is hitting an impressive .332 for the season, clubbing 23 extra-base hits, featuring 18 doubles, and has 100 total bases to his credit for the season.
On the mound, UAB received stellar performances from right-handers Chase Mallard, James Naile and Cory Eller last week.
Mallard, in his first C-USA start of the season, went 6.1 innings, yielding only two earned runs off five hits. For the season, he is 2-3 with a 3.83 ERA.
Naile earned two wins last week and is 7-5 on the season. He pitched six shutout innings of relief in a must-win Saturday contest against Tulane, giving up only two hits and striking out five.
Cory Eller picked up a win and a save last week, pitching 4.2 hitless innings, with five strikeouts and one walk.
#19 (1) Rice Owls
Head Coach: Wayne Graham
2013 Record: 37-17, 15-9 C-USA
All-Time Series: Rice leads, 19-9
2013 Series: W, 10-9/L, 5-4/L, 7-3
Last Tournament Meeting: UAB 9, Rice 8 (‘11)
Top Position Player: DH Michael Aquino (.336/.384/.522, 7 HR, 38 RBI)
Top Pitcher: RHP Austin Kubitza (7-4, 2.11 ERA, 85.1 IP, 110 K)
Loves Facing Rice
C Harry Clark: .300 (9-30) 1 2B, 5 RBI
OF Jeff Schalk: .300 (6-20) 5 R, 1 2B, 1 3B, 3 RBI
3B John Frost: .283 (17-60) 8 R, 3 2B, 1 HR, 14 RBI
(4) Memphis Tigers
Head Coach: Daron Schoenrock 2013 Record: 33-23, 14-10 C-USA
All-Time Series: Memphis leads, 44-42
2013 Series: L, 6-3/L, 7-1/W, 9-8
Last Tournament Meeting: UAB 5, Memphis 0 (‘12)
Top Position Player: 1B Tucker Tubbs (.330/.403/.419, 3 HR, 29 RBI)
Top Pitcher: LHP Erik Schoenrock (7-3, 2.51 ERA, 5 CG, 96.2 IP, 85 K)
Loves Facing Memphis
C Harry Clark: .364 (8-22) 1 R, 2 RBI
DH Ryan Prinzing: .318 (7-22) 3 R, 2 2B, 6 RBI
3B John Frost: .310 (18-58) 5 R, 2 2B, 12 RBI
SS Tanner Bryant: .292 (7-24) 1 2B, 2 RBI
(5) UCF Knights
Head Coach: Terry Rooney
2013 Record: 29-17, 13-11 C-USA
All-Time Series: UCF leads, 15-11
2013 Series: L, 8-0/L, 6-1/L, 12-10 (10)
Last Tournament Meeting: UAB 15, UCF 1 (‘12)
Top Position Player: 3B Chris Taladay (.361/.429/.477, 3 HR, 43 RBI)
Top Pitcher: RHP Ben Lively (7-4, 1.71 ERA, 2 CG, 100 IP, 95 K)
Loves Facing UCF
3B John Frost: .411 (23-56) 11 R, 3 2B, 1 3B, 9 RBI
DH Ryan Prinzing: .364 (4-11) 3 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI
SS Tanner Bryant: .360 (9-25) 3 R, 3 2B, 3 RBI
OF Ivan De Jesus: .308 (12-39) 8 R, 3 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 6 RBI
1B Tyler Mims: .292 (7-24) 2 R, 3 RBI
C Jacob German: .281 (9-32) 2 R, 2 2B, 4 RBI
Defending C-USA Tournament Champions
UAB is the defending Conference USA Tournament Champion, blanking Memphis 5-0 in the title game in 2012. The Blazers advanced to the NCAA Regionals for just the second time in program history and first since 1991.
All-Tournament Team Returners
In 2012, UAB had six players named to the C-USA All-Tournament Team, tied for the second most in league history. Of those all-tournament selections, three are back for the Blazers in John Frost, Jeff Schalk and Chase Mallard.
Past Tournament Success
3B John Frost is a career .517 (15-for-29) hitter with three doubles, eight RBI and a .545 on-base percentage in seven C-USA Tournament games. Frost has been named to the league’s all-tournament team each of the past two seasons.
RHP Chase Mallard, who will start on Wednesday, was outstanding in his first C-USA Tournament outing last season. Mallard was called into an emergency start/relief role against Tulane. RHP Ben Bullard was the scheduled starter, but during his final warmup pitches, felt an arm injury.
Following the injury to Bullard, Mallard was called into an emergency relief appearance. The Cullman, Ala., native was nothing short of spectacular, firing a then career-long 6.2 innings and holding the potent Tulane offense to just three runs (two earned) off five hits. Mallard added four strikeouts in the victory.
OF Jeff Schalk produced his best performance in the 2012 C-USA Tournament game when he went 2-for-4 with a two-run homer and RBI double to help the Blazers claim the title.
Career C-USA Tournament Stats
John Frost: .517 (15-29), 4 R, 3 2B, 8 RBI, 18 TB
Jacob German: .500 (5-10) 2 R, 2 RBI
Tanner Bryant: .462 (6-13) 2 R, 3 RBI
Ivan De Jesus: .438 (7-16) 4 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI
Harry Clark: .267 (4-15) 1 RBI
Ryan Prinzing: .125 (1-8) 1 R, 1 RBI
Wes Kent: .000 (0-2)
Tyler Hamby: .000 (0-1)
Chase Mallard: 1-0, 2.70 ERA, 6.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2ER, 1 BB 4 K
Sam Kelley: 0-1, 2.45 ERA, 3.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 0 K
Alex Luna: 0-0, 22.50 ERA, 2.0 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 0 K
C-USA Tournament History vs. 2013 Pod Opponents
vs. Rice (2-2)
5/24/06 L, 9-3 (No. 1 Rice, No. 8 UAB)
5/21/08 W, 5-4 (No. 1 Rice, No. 8 UAB)
5/21/09 L, 8-1 (No. 2 Rice, No. 6 UAB)
5/25/11 W, 9-8 (No. 1 Rice, No. 8 UAB)
Last Meeting in Tournament: UAB 9, Rice 8
Blazers Hang On: The Blazers exploded for seven runs in the first two innings and held a 9-1 lead after four complete frames. However, Rice responded with two in the fifth and five in the eighth as the Blazers escaped with 9-8 upset victory.
vs. Memphis (2-1)
5/27/04 W, 7-6 (No. 6 Memphis, No. 8 UAB)
5/27/11 L, 5-4 (No. 5 Memphis, No. 8 UAB)
5/27/12 W, 5-0 (No. 5 Memphis, No. 7 UAB) - C-USA Championship Game
Last Meeting in Tournament: UAB 5, Memphis 0
C-USA Tournament Champs: The UAB baseball team captured its first C-USA Tournament Championship in program history, when the Blazers blanked Memphis, 5-0 in the finals back on May 27. UAB, the seventh-seed, had lost seven straight contests to the Tigers, before claiming the tournament crown. The tournament championship marked the first for UAB since 1994, when the Blazers were members of the Great Midwest Conference.
Mississippi Men Tame Tigers: Seniors Ryan Nance and Michael Busby, products of Brandon and Vicksburg, Miss., respectively, combined to throw the first postseason shutout in program history in the C-USA title game against Memphis.
In just his second career start, Nance, pitched a career-long 6.1 innings with six strikeouts, also a personal best, before giving way to Busby, a fellow right-hander. Busby was called upon out of the Blazer bullpen with the bases loaded and one out to face the top of the Memphis order. Busby struck out both batters he faced, including C-USA Player of the Year Jacob Wilson looking to end the threat. Busby pitched the final 2.2 innings to earn the save and give UAB the C-USA title.
Schalk Busts Out Of Slump: Freshman Jeff Schalk busted out of a 2-for-35 (.057 batting average) slump in the tournament finals when he rocketed a two-run blast off the foul pole in right field to give UAB a 3-0 lead. Schalk, who had only knocked in one run in the previous 14 games, finished with a career-high three RBI.
vs. UCF (1-1)
5/26/11 L, 6-4 (No. 4 UCF, No. 8 UAB)
5/24/12 W, 15-1 (No. 2 UCF, No. 8 UAB)
Last Meeting in Tournament: UAB 15, UCF 1
Lucky #13: In the fifth inning against the No. 2 seed UCF, the Blazers scored a record-setting 13 times, to claim a 10-run rule victory. The record setting top half of the fifth lasted 49 minutes, featuring 18 batters coming to the plate, 13 consecutive batters reaching base, 13 runs, seven hits (six singles), six walks, four UCF pitchers, three wild pitches, two passed balls and two errors.
The 13 runs in one inning broke the school record of 11 set against Jackson State on April 3, 1985.
Blazers Heating Up
UAB enters the tournament winning three of its last four games, with all three victories being come-from-behind wins. The Blazers closed out the season taking two of three on the road at Tulane to secure a spot in the tournament. It marked just the second series UAB had won in 2013, the other being at Marshall.
Prinzing Named C-USA Hitter of The Week
DH Ryan Prinzing captured C-USA Hitter of the Week on Monday, May 19, by hiting .636 (7-for-11) as UAB went 3-1 for the week. Prinzing also drew seven walks to reach base 14 times and produced on-base percentage of .778 and slugged a .818 clip.
UAB Closes Out Home Schedule Winners
In the final home game at Young Memorial Field in 2013, the Blazers knocked off the Troy Trojans, 6-4, on May 14. UAB found itself in a 4-0 hole, but rallied to score four times in the bottom of the sixth and two more times in the seventh to earn the win. John Frost closed out his home career with a 2-for-4 effort, including two doubles and three RBI. Fellow senior Jacob German went 2-for-4 and added one RBI in the win.
The Blazer bullpen was lights out in the win, as Turner Lee, Adam Lau, James Naile and Cory Eller combined to work the last 5.1 innings, holding the Trojans hitless. The quartet struck out six and walked only one.
Mallard Steps Up In New Orleans
In his first C-USA start of the season, RHP Chase Mallard stepped up, firing 6.1 innings and holding the Tulane offense, which had scored 15 runs the night before, to just two runs on five hits. The righty struck out four and walked three, but did not figure in the decision on Friday as UAB won 4-2.
Electric Eller & Nailing Down Wins
Right-handers James Naile and Cory Eller were big performers last week out of the Blazer bullpen. Naile picked up a pair of victories, earning the win with a one inning stint against Troy, before pitching his best outing at UAB. Naile came in relief on Saturday at Tulane and fired six scoreless frames, yielding only two hits with five strikeouts.
Eller earned his first collegiate save against Troy, working two perfect innings. He followed that up by throwing 2.2 hitless frames to earn the victory in relief of Mallard in Friday's 4-2 win at Tulane.