April 16, 2014
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The No 8-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide evened the season series against the UAB Blazers with a 5-2 win on Wednesday night from Regions Field. With the victory, Alabama improves to 26-11 overall, while the loss drops the Blazers' overall record to 24-13.
The Crimson Tide posted their 20th game of the season with at least 10 hits, collecting 13 hits against nine UAB pitchers. Seven of the nine Tide starters had at least one hit as Georgie Salem was 3-for-5 with two runs scored and Daniel Cucjen was 3-for-4 to notch his first career three-hit game. Wade Wass was 2-for4 with three RBI and Ben Moore was 2-for-3 with two runs scored.
"Offensively we did a good job and had the big inning to get three to get the lead. From there we put together some good swings," Alabama head coach Mitch Gaspard said. "Daniel Cucjen did a really good job stepping in for Smith and had three hits tonight. He's done a good job in the three games he's played, and Wade had some big hits tonight. We gave ourselves a lot of opportunities and later in the ball game we took advantage of them."
Alabama starting pitcher Geoffrey Bramblett (3-0) picked up the win after allowing a run on four hits with seven strikeouts in five innings. Bramblett also started against UAB last week where he threw 6.1 innings with nine strikeouts in a no decision. Jay Shaw threw two scoreless innings in relief of Bramblett and Eicholtz gave up a run in a third of an inning.
Thomas Burrows entered in the eighth inning with two runners aboard and one out. He would walk the first batter to load the bases, before a sacrifice fly and a strikeout ended the inning. He would hit one and walk one in the bottom of the ninth, but closed out the game for his sixth save of the season.
"Geoffrey had another really good start tonight and had five really good innings and Jay Shaw was really sharp in his two innings," Gaspard said. "We walked a few guys late and got into a couple jams, but Burrows did a nice job to close it down."
The Blazers had four hits in the game, as four different players had singles in the game. Ivan De Jesus was 1-for-3 with an RBI single in the bottom of the second inning.
UAB took a 1-0 lead in the second inning when Ivan De Jesus singled up the middle to drive in Ryan Prinzing from second. Prinzing reached on a fielder's choice and advanced to second on a wild pitch earlier in the De Jesus at-bat.
Alabama got on the scoreboard in the sixth inning, scoring three times in the inning. The first two runs scored on a bases loaded single up the middle by Wass, before Kyle Overstreet had an RBI single to make the score 3-1.
Bama added to its lead in the eighth, getting the first run of the inning on an RBI single by Wass that drove in Salem. Then after pinch hitter Hunter Webb was intentionally walked to load the bases, Chance Vincent drove in the second run of the inning with a sacrifice fly to left field, allowing Moore to score from third.
Nick Eicholtz entered in the eighth inning for the Tide and after getting the first out of the inning, he walked back-to-back hitters to end his night. Burrows entered and walked Griffith Gum to load the bases and Jeff Schalk delivered a sacrifice fly to left field to drive in a run, capping the scoring at 5-2.
The Crimson Tide returns to action on Friday with the first game of a three-game Southeastern Conference series at No. 29 Tennessee, with first pitch scheduled for 5 p.m. CT from Nelson Stadium. Game two of the series start at 3 p.m. CT on Saturday, and the series wraps up on Sunday with a 1 p.m. CT first pitch.
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Alabama Game Notes
*In a series that dates back to the 1977 season, Alabama is now 45-22 all-time against the Blazers.
*Alabama improved to 26-1 with it scores three or more runs in a game.
*Alabama had 12 hits in the game to post its fourth straight game with at least 10 hits, and the eighth in the last 10 games.
*The 12 hits also marked the 20th time this season the Tide had 10 hits or more in a game.
*Georgie Salem recorded his 15th multi-hit game of the season and 33rd of his career with two hits in the game.
*Daniel Cucjen tallied his second multiple-hit game of the season, the third of his career with his first career three-hit performance.