Ants Allow UAB and Tulane to Play Saturday
Ants Allow UAB and Tulane to Play Saturday
After falling 13-6 in a continuation game from Friday night to the Tulane Green Wave, the Blazers bounced back to even the series with a 4-3 victory on Saturday afternoon at Young Memorial Field.The victory for the Blazers marked the team’s 10th one-run victory of the season, as the home squad sits at 21-15 and 4-7 in league play. The split puts Tulane at 24-11 and an even 4-4 in Conference USA action.
“It’s great to come back and get the split and it’s another Conference USA series for us that comes down to game three,” head coach Brian Shoop said. “It’s an ultra competitive league and just a great baseball conference. We have been in some real tough games that have come down to a pitch here or there.”
The series rubber match will take place on Sunday at 1 p.m. CT from Young Memorial Field. The game can be listened to on WJOX-AM 690 with David Crane on the call.
Game 1: Tulane 13, UAB 6
Tulane had built a 5-0 lead into the top of the third when the lights went out at Young Memorial Field on Friday night. The Green Wave did not let up on Saturday when the game continued, claiming a 13-6 victory.
Entering the bottom half of the third, UAB trailed 6-0, but fought back to make the game interesting. Patrick Palmeiro lined a RBI single in front of Ryan Ussery, who launched a three-run homer to get within a pair, 6-4.
Unfortunately, the Green Wave responded quickly as Sean Potkay connected for a three-run bomb of his own the next half inning and Tulane held onto the lead the rest of the way.
Jeff Schalk and Palmeiro each recorded a pair of hits, scored a run and had one RBI to pace the offense.
Tulane finished with 19 hits as a club as catcher Jeremy Shaffer finished a triple shy of the cycle in a 4-for-6 day at the plate. The Green Wave backstop scored four times and drove in three more.
Brandon Boudreaux laced three hits, including a pair of solo homers to help Tulane capture game one of the series.
Dillon Napoleon (4-2) was saddled with the loss, his first in league play, while Tyler Mapes (1-1) picked up the win in relief of Tulane starter Andrew Reeves.
Game 2: UAB 4, Tulane 3
Leading 4-3 in the top of the ninth, UAB saw Tulane load the bases with two outs. Head coach Brian Shoop brought in right-hander Ryan Nance for the challenging situation, and the senior delivered getting a ground out to John Frost at first to preserve the one-run victory.
The Blazers scored their first three runs in the bottom half of the second. Ussery led off the inning by tattooing his second round tripper of the day, and third of the season, to start things off. The Green and Gold then loaded the bases, but Tulane’s David Napoli (5-2) traded a run for two outs as the Green Wave infield spun a double play. The third run came in when Napoli uncorked a wild pitch to the backstop, allowing Palmeiro to jaunt home from third.
Again, Tulane responded a half inning later to a Blazer run-scoring surge. Potkay lined a RBI double to account for the first run, before Frank Florio hit a two-run blast to even up the score, 3-3.
The game remained tied until the sixth, when the only other run of the game would take place. Napoli walked his sixth and seventh batters of the afternoon with two outs before being lifted for D.J. Ponder to face Ivan De Jesus. The Blazer left fielder greeted the newcomer to the mound by scorching a single to left, plating Tyler Mims for what proved to be the winning run.
Ben Bullard (3-4) earned the victory, pitching the first 6.0 innings, allowing three runs, all in the third inning. The right-hander scattered six hits, walked three and struck out four, which featured striking out the side in the top of the first.
Bullard gave way to righty Chase Mallard in the seventh, as the Cullman, Ala., native worked the next two innings unscathed. He gave up one hit and walked a batter, and more importantly, kept the Green Wave off the scoreboard.
In the ninth, lefty Dylan Munger recorded two outs with a runner on first. Ninth place hitter Brennan Middleton dunked a single into centerfield and leadoff hitter Brandon Boudreaux drew a walk to load the bases. Shoop made the move and called upon Nance and the Brandon, Miss., product induced a weak grounder to first to end the ball game for his sixth save of the season.
De Jesus finished 2-for-3 with the game-winning RBI and fellow outfielder, Schalk, collected his fifth three-hit performance of the season.
Each team had plenty of scoring opportunities as the two squads combined to leave 19 men on base (UAB 11, Tulane eight). UAB was not retired in order in any of its eight at bats in the game, while Tulane put at least one runner on in eight of nine innings.
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