The UAB baseball team (6-6) bounced-back from a difficult loss in the ninth on Friday to earn a couple of 1-run victories over a good Kennesaw State (6-5) team.
Things looked really ugly in game one of the series as Kennesaw State jumped out to a 6-0 lead after five and a half innings, but the Blazers fought back with 5 runs in the bottom half of sixth and then tied it up in the bottom of the eighth. However, UAB pitching gave up two walks to start the top of the 9th that led to a 4-run outburst by the Owls to help them put the Blazers away 10-6.
In the loss, Carter Pharis and Kyle Davis each picked up 2 RBIs. Ryan Ruggles only gave up 2 hits and 2 walks in 5 innings with 5 strikeouts, but was hurt by his defense as he allowed 5 unearned runs.
Tanner Graham continues to get better every week as he allowed just 1 unearned run on 2 hits and a walk over 6 innings with 4 strikeouts picking up the win on Saturday.
The Blazers took a 4-1 lead after picking up 2 runs in the sixth, but the Owls answered with two of their own in the seventh, but Thomas Lowery was able to hold onto the one run lead in the eighth and ninth innings.
The pitching staff continued to work out of trouble on Sunday as they gave up 11 hits, but only allowed 1 run. Adam Lamar got the start and gave up 2 hits and a walk over 3 innings. Austin Thomas pitched 4.1 innings in relief allowing 6 hits and an earned run. Dylan Munger finished the game giving up 3 hits and a walk over 3.2 innings.
The Blazers’ offense only managed 2 hits through 10 innings, but in the bottom of the 11th Evan Peterson singled to left to bring home Brewer Hicklen for the 2-1 walk-off win!
This wasn’t exactly a well-play weekend for the Blazers as they committed 9 errors and walked 12 batters (eight of them were on Friday) over the weekend, which is a recipe for disaster and something that coach Brian Shoop and the team will need to correct before conference play begins.
However, the team showed a lot of fight and resiliency as they still managed to pick up a couple of wins against Kennesaw State.
The team will now take to the road for the first time this year on the weekend to face Creighton at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb., home of the College World Series.