March 26, 2013
HOOVER, Ala. - The Alabama baseball team was limited to four hits as the UAB Blazers defeated the Crimson Tide, 1-0, at the Hoover Met on Tuesday night. With the loss, Alabama falls to 16-10 overall, while the Blazers improved to 10-14.
"For whatever reason, in this game we have struggled to score runs and tonight was no different," Alabama head coach Mitch Gaspard said. "I thought the second through the lineup we started having some better at-bats, hit a few balls at them and made they a few plays. We had a shot there with the bases loaded and couldn't get the big hit."
Alabama starter Tucker Hawley (4-2) took the loss after surrendering the game's only run in the third inning. Hawley threw five innings, allowing one earned run on six hits with two walks and two strikeouts. Jay Shaw threw a scoreless inning in relief of Hawley, and Mike Oczypok allowed one hit in two innings to close out the game for Alabama.
"They pitched well, made quality pitches and had a lot of combinations," Gaspard said. "Their guys threw strikes and offensively we couldn't put anything together tonight. We certainly pitched it well enough and made some plays defensively. Oczypok pitched really well in the back of the game. We just couldn't get the hit to start an inning and just couldn't get the big hit."
Blazers starting pitcher Sam Kelley (2-1) earned the win after allowing two hits with a strikeout and two walks in five-plus innings. Jacob German got the last out of the game, retiring the only batter he faced, to record his first save of the season.
For the fourth time this season, Alabama was shutout by its opponent and saw its six-game winning streak come to an end. The four hits from the Tide came from three players, as Ben Moore was 2-for-4 and Georgie Salem and Austen Smith had one hit each.
The Blazers scored the game's only run when John Frost delivered a bases loaded single to center field with one out in the third. Hawley got the next hitter, Tyler Mims, to ground into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play, preventing further damage.
Alabama's best opportunity to score came in the sixth when it loaded the bases with one out. After Salem singled to open the inning, Moore's single to left field was misplayed by the UAB left fielder allowing the runner to advance to second and third. Brett Booth was walked intentionally to load the bases for Smith. Reliever Cory Eller struck out Smith swinging then Kyle Overstreet's soft liner to third base ended the threat.
Smith's only hit in the game came with one out in the ninth and pinch-runner Riley Colburn moved up to second on a ground out by Overstreet, putting the potential tying run in scoring position. German entered the game to face designated hitter Cameron Carlisle, who flied out to left field to end the game.
Alabama returns to Southeastern Conference action on Thursday with game one of a three-game series against the Auburn Tigers, with first pitch slated for 6 p.m. CST, from Plainsman Park. Game two will start at 6 p.m. CST on Friday, and the series wraps up on Sunday with a 3 p.m. CST start. Saturday's game will be televised on CSS with Matt Stewart and Joe Beckwith calling the action.
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