Miami Scores Unearned Run in Ninth for 5-4 Win


Friday, March 11, 2005

 Box Score

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The University of Alabama baseball team saw its eight-game winning streak come to an end Friday night as Miami University scored an unearned run in the ninth inning for a 5-4 win in the series opener.

Alabama (13-4) made two errors in the ninth inning, including one by losing pitcher David Robertson (2-1), as Miami scored the winning run.

Pinch-hitter Evan Armitage drew a lead off walk and then moved to second when Robertson dropped a pop-up on a bunt attempt by No. 7 hole hitter Brandon Hillier.  After a wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position, Eric Radley dribbled a ball under the glove of third baseman Rocky Scelfo for the second error of the inning as Armitage scored the go-ahead run.

Pinch-hitter Will Reynolds reached on a fielder's choice as Evan Bush threw out Hillier at the plate.  Hillier was ejected from the game by home plate umpire Owen Butts as lowered a shoulder into the chest of Kody Valverde.  Jason Brown hit into a inning-ending double play.

Alabama would get a one-out walk in the ninth against winning pitcher Graham Connor (2-1) before pinch-hitter Matt Bentley hit into the game-ending double play.  Alabama hit into three double plays in the loss and has at least one in four straight games.

The Redhawks didn't waste any time jumping on the Tide early, when third baseman Brian Canada hit a solo home run to left field to take an early 1-0 lead.

Miami (3-5) added insurance in the top of the fourth inning when right fielder Tyler Tabler hit a 3 run homer to left center, giving the Redhawks a 4-0 lead.

The Tide, however, would not go down without a fight. In the bottom of the fourth, with two outs and Allen Rice and Kody Valverde on base, shortstop Cale Iorg singled to left field to drive in two runs, and trim down Miami's lead to 4-2.

In the bottom of the seventh inning, Iorg added to his big night with his first career home run, making the score 4-3. Later in the inning, Scelfo drove in Greg Paiml with an RBI single to tie the game at 4-4.

Alabama takes on Miami again Saturday afternoon at "The Joe".  The first pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m. Junior right hander T.J. Large (4-0  0.68 ERA) will take the mound in game two.  The series concludes Sunday afternoon at 2 pm.


*Alabama had its eight-game winning streak snapped with a 5-4 loss to Miami University tonight here in Tuscaloosa.  The loss was Alabama's first since a 7-1 loss at UAB on Feb. 24.

*The loss also snapped Alabama's 11-game home winning streak.

*Miami won just its second game ever against Alabama with an unearned run in the top of the ninth inning.  Miami's only other series win came in 1974 at the Joe Sewell Classic in Tuscaloosa.  Alabama leads the all-time series with Miami, 5-2.

*The Crimson Tide made three errors in the loss on Friday night and has made eight errors in the last two games.  Alabama has made 32 errors this season in 17 games.  The 32 errors have led to 17 unearned runs, including the deciding run in the ninth inning.

*Freshman shortstop Cale Iorg (2-for-4, HR, 3 RBI) hit his first career home run to lead off the seventh inning.  Iorg smashed a 2-2 fastball to left to cut the Miami lead to 4-3.  Iorg had three of the Tide's four RBI in the loss as he added a two-run single in the fourth inning.

*Senior second baseman Allen Rice (1-for-4, R) extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a fourth-inning single.

*Alabama sophomore left-hander Wade LeBlanc picked up a no decision in the game on Friday, despite striking out 13 batters in six innings.  He allowed four runs and six hits in six innings, with two walks and 13 strikeouts.  He left the game with a 4-2 deficit. 

*In his last two starts, LeBlanc (4 GS, 2-1, 2.88 ERA) has recorded 30 strikeouts in 13 2/3 innings.  The Lake Charles, La., native has 48 strikeouts in 25 innings this season.

*Miami hit two home runs in the game off LeBlanc.  Brian Canada led off the second inning with a solo blast to left field to give MU a 1-0 lead.  The home run was the second of the season for Canada and the first allowed by LeBlanc this season. 

*Canada's solo home run was the first against Alabama since UAB's Cole Helms led off the eighth inning with a solo home run on Feb. 24.  The Crimson Tide went 74 innings without allowing a home run before Canada's blast in the second inning.

*Tyler Tabler hit a three-run home run in the fourth inning to give Miami a 4-0 lead.  Tabler, the son of former major league Pat Tabler, smashed a 1-1 pitch to left-center for his first home run of the season.

*Junior RHP Matt Downs threw 1 1/3 scoreless innings of relief for the Tide.  He has allowed only one run in his last 8 2/3 innings.

*Freshman David Robertson suffered his first career loss as he allowed an unearned run in the ninth inning against Miami.  Robertson worked 1 2/3 innings, with one walk and one strikeout.  He could not pitch around a pair of UA errors in the ninth, including one of his own as he dropped a pop-up on a bunt attempt that lead to the winning run for Miami.

*In seven appearances this season, Robertson has two wins, one loss and two saves for Alabama.