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Blazers were in the action
The Blazers opened up conference play over the weekend. Enroot to defend their 2012 conference championship; it did not start well for the 2013 Blazers against Central Florida.
Pitching was superior for the Knights to go along with offensive production. UCF combined to beat the Blazers 14-1 Friday and Saturday.
Ben Lively had a strong pitching performance Friday for UCF. Lively threw eight shutout innings, striking out nine Blazers, and only giving up one walk. “He is really good and he’s got a chance to pitch in the big leagues. His fastball command was unbelievable. We almost had to be perfect against him,” UAB head coach Brian Shoop said of Lively.
Sam Kelly received the start for the green and gold. Kelly went 3.1 innings giving up four hits, one run, and walking three. Most of the damage occurred when Cory Eller relieved Kelly and gave up five runs, six hits, and walking one.
John Frost and Ryan Prinzing led the Blazers offensively, both recorded two hits.
Frost started Saturday’s game with UAB’s lone run. Frost drove in Prinzing during the bottom of the first inning, but that was the only Blazer run in a 6-1 loss.
Chris Matulis pitched a career long eight innings for the Knights Saturday. Matulis struck out five, walking only three, and giving up only five hits. “It was a big win. I wanted to go out there and do the same thing Ben (Lively) did and match him. It was a little bit of here-and-there guessing game with what I was going to do out there,” Matulis said.
The Blazers recorded five total hits in Saturday’s loss – all by different batters. Frost, Mims, Schalk, German, and Bryant all produced hits. Tanner Bryant also started the game on the mound. Bryant gave up four runs (2 unearned), struck out five, and walked two. Jacob German relieved Tanner and had a similar stat line. German struck out three, walked one, and gave up two runs (one earned). Errors were the story for UAB – creating four during the game (Frost, Schalk, and Morse – twice).
UAB takes on Alabama and Marshall next week. The Alabama game will be Tuesday at 6:30 PM and will be played at the Hoover Met. The Blazers will travel to Charleston, West Virginia for a Friday-Sunday weekend series against the Thundering Herd.