Blazer baseball sweeps Tulane for tenth straight win
From the University of Alabama at Birmingham Athletics Department:
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The UAB baseball team recorded a 2-0 victory against Tulane for its third straight Conference USA three-game series sweep and 10th consecutive win on Sunday afternoon at Young Memorial Field. UAB also matched its program record with its ninth shutout of the 2014 season.
For the first time since 2005, UAB (34-16, 19-8) has won 10 straight contests. In addition, the Blazers swept its third straight conference opponent for the first time since 1992.
"We are a pitching dominated team," head coach Brian Shoop said. "We have defended amazing throughout this stretch. When you are pounding the bottom of the zone and are defending the field, you have a chance in every game."
Redshirt junior right-handed pitcher Johnny Lieske was a late scratch against Tulane (21-28, 8-17), but freshman left-handed pitcherThomas Lowery filled in admirably. Lowery came on in the second inning after redshirt senior right-handed pitcher Ben Bullard and cruised through a career-long 6.1 innings of work. The Pelham, Ala. native scattered two hits, matched a career-best with five strikeouts, and walked one.
"We have so much confidence in him, it doesn't catch us by surprise at all," added Shoop. "We thought bringing Thomas in on a 2-2 count, left-on-left situation was a good idea. He got a strikeout and got out of the jam. He really cruised the rest of the way."
UAB got all the run support it would need in the second inning of play. Sophomore catcher Mitch Williams singled up the middle to lead off the frame. Senior outfielder Ivan De Jesus, who also sang the National Anthem prior to the start of the game, singled through the left side. Redshirt junior infielder Matt Morse used a sacrifice bunt to move the runners over.
After sophomore infielder Adam Smith walked, the bases were loaded for junior outfielder Chase Davis. Davis hit a ball to second and Smith was out on the play. Tulane freshman infielder Stephen Alemais tried to turn two, but his throw was wild. Williams and De Jesus both came around and Davis recorded one RBI on the play.
Lowery was spectacular in relief. The sophomore right-handed pitcher retired the first five batters he faced before allowing a walk and single in the fourth inning. Lowery got back on track and put down the next 11 Tulane batters in order.
Sophomore right-handed pitcher Cory Eller replaced Lowery for the final three outs. The Niceville, Fla. native retired the side to seal the win for the Blazers and his fourth save of 2014.
UAB is back in action on Tuesday night when it heads to Auburn for a mid-week tilt. First pitch is set for 6:00 p.m.
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