April 9, 2014
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - UAB used eight pitchers to hold ninth-ranked Alabama to one run, as the Crimson Tide fell to the Blazers, 2-1, in a Wednesday night matchup at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. With the loss Alabama falls to 22-10, while UAB improves to 23-10 on the year.
"A lot of credit goes to UAB, they threw a lot of different arms at us and gave us a lot of different looks," Alabama head coach Mitch Gaspard said. "Offensively, we never really got into a good rhythm. We certainly pitched well enough and Geoffrey Bramblett was really good in his first collegiate start."
Adam Lamar (1-0), the sixth of eight Blazers pitchers in the game, picked up the win after allowing a run on two hits with a strikeout, throwing two-thirds of an inning in the seventh. Adam Lau notched his fourth save of the season after striking out one in a perfect ninth. Griffin Gum accounted for half of the Blazers' six hits, including the game-winning RBI single in the eighth.
Jay Shaw (1-3) was charged with the loss for Alabama after giving up a run on three hits and two walks and a strikeout in 1.2 innings. In the first start of his career, Geoffrey Bramblett set a new career high with nine strikeouts in 6.1 innings, while holding the Blazers to a run on three hits with two walks.
Austen Smith led the Tide offensively with his fourth home run of the season. Chance Vincent was 2-for-3 with a single and a double, Mikey White singled and drew a walk and Ben Moore was 1-for-4, to account for the five Tide hits in the game.
Neither team was able to manufacture a hit through the first three innings. Bramblett limited the Blazers to a walk with 21 pitches over the first three frames. The Blazers' Thomas Lowery and Cameron Rose combined to scatter two walks over the first three innings.
Alabama's White singled to left in the bottom of the fourth to account for the first hit of the night, and after Bramblett worked another no-hit inning in the fourth, the Blazers got their first hit of the game in the fifth inning.
UAB broke the scoreless game in the sixth, scoring a run on a two-out, third-strike wild pitch. Adam Smith singled and then stole second and third, and after a walk put runners on the corners with two outs, Evan Peterson went down swinging on a would-be third out, but reached on a wild pitch, which allowed Smith to score the first run of the night.
The lead lasted until the next inning when Smith blasted a solo home run over the left field wall on an 0-2 pitcher off Lamar, tying the game at 1-1.
The Blazers took the lead back in the top of the eighth, this time with the leadoff batter walking and advancing to third on a sacrifice bunt and groundout. Gum came through with his third single of the night, just past a diving White at short to put UAB back up, 2-1.
"They got a big hit at the top of the eighth to go ahead," Gaspard said. "They made a big play in the eighth inning and threw us out on the plate. It was one of those tight games and offensively we just never really got into a rhythm and put any pressure on them. There in the eighth they made a play to hold the lead, and really that was the story of the game tonight."
Alabama threatened in the bottom of the frame, as Hunter Webb walked and moved to second on a White groundout. Moore singled to right field, but Webb was thrown out at home to end the inning. After Taylor Guilbeau struck out one in a clean ninth, the Tide went down in order in the bottom of the ninth to close the books on the ballgame.
The Alabama baseball team returns to action this Friday as it hosts the Auburn Tigers for a three-game Southeastern Conference weekend set. First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m. on Friday, 6:05 p.m. on Saturday, and 1:05 p.m. on Sunday.
Get all the latest information on the team by following AlabamaBSB on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. General athletic news can also be found at UA_Athletics on Twitter and Instagram and AlabamaAthletics on Facebook.
Alabama Game Notes
*After 66 all-time meetings between the two schools, Alabama has a 44-22 overall record against UAB, with a 25-8 home record against the Blazers.
*Alabama is 16-4 at home this season, and snapped a streak of seven consecutive wins at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.
*After eight relief outings to start the season, Geoffrey Bramblett made his first career appearance as a starter.
*Bramblett had a career-long outing of 6.1 innings while tallying a season-best nine strikeouts.
*Mikey White recorded a base hit in his seventh straight game, tying his career-best streak.
*Chance Vincent had two hits to extend his hitting streak to five games.
*With a 2-for-3 night, Vincent tallied his sixth multiple-hit game of the season and the ninth of his career.
*Austin Smith took the team lead with his fourth home run of the season, which was also the 19th of his career.
*Smith extended his hitting streak to five straight games.
*Hunter Webb reached base safely for the seventh straight game.