UAB Baseball (14-22, 6-9) had an excellent weekend against the best team in Conference USA as they won took 2-of-3 from the Golden Eagles (27-10, 12-3) at Young Memorial Field, pushing them back into the Conference USA Tournament.
Things didn’t start out so great on Friday as the Blazers squandered some opportunities early and Southern Miss jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the fourth. But the Blazers tied the game up with three of their own in the bottom of the fifth, and took the lead with a run in the sixth. They added an insurance run in the seventh to seal the 5-3 win.
UAB picked up 16 hits in the game, including 11 off Southern Miss ace Cord Cockrell. Jared Nixon had the performance of the year hitting for the cycle. The three through six hitters in the UAB lineup all finished with two hits.
On the mound Tanner Graham battled through 5.1 innings, giving up just 1 earned run on 5 hits and a 2 walks. Garrett Whitlock and Thomas Lowery kept the Golden Eagles off the board the rest of the way.
On Saturday Southern Miss once again jumped out to an early lead scoring 2 runs in the top of the first, but UAB fought back again scoring 4 runs in the bottom half of the inning and two more in the second to take a commanding 6-2 lead.
However, this game would be far from over as Southern Miss scored two in the third, one in the sixth and two in the seventh to take a 1-run lead.
Brewer Hicklen doubled in the eighth with one out and moved to third on a ground out. Tresgallo was hit by a pitch, and then Griffin Gum got an RBI single to tie the game up. Then Carter Pharis singled in the go-ahead run that would prove to be the winning run for the Blazers.
UAB used six pitchers in a back-and-fourth game, and they were able to strand 14 Southern Miss runners on base. This was not a pretty game by the pitching staff, but it sure was an exciting game and a great win for the Blazers.
Sunday was a bit of a letdown as the Golden Eagles run ruled UAB in seven innings 11-0 to avoid the sweep.
Regardless, this was still a great weekend for UAB baseball as they moved into eighth place in the Conference USA standings, which puts them into the conference tournament.
UAB has already played four of the top five teams in the conference, so the playing field should a bit more even the rest of the way. And with the confidence from beating one of the best teams in Conference USA it could help boost this team’s performance the rest of the way to securely get them into the tournament.
UAB will not have a midweek game this week, but instead they will get prepared for another home weekend as they face Middle Tennessee State – who currently is sitting in last place in the conference. This could be a great opportunity for UAB to pick up a couple more wins and establish themselves as a contender.