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Blazers baseball thwarted by Georgia
The Blazers baseball team traveled to Athens, Georgia last weekend to take on the Georgia Bulldogs from the SEC. Georgia came into the series with a 2-6 overall record after suffering losses to Georgia Southern (twice), Kennesaw State, Belmont (twice), and Georgia State.
Friday night’s opening game showcased a hitting clinic for Georgia against UAB and the Bulldogs played as well as they have all season. Georgia’s offense came alive by producing 21 hits and scoring 14 runs. Sean McLaughlin and Blake Dieterich also gave Georgia support by pitching nine innings and giving up only eight hits and one earned run in Georgia’s 14-2 win Friday.
“We swung the bats well, and any time you can only use two guys on the mound on Friday, that sets you up for the rest of the weekend. We’ve been pretty good on Fridays,” said the two-time SEC champion Georgia manager, David Perno.
Sophomore pitcher, James Naile, received the pitching duties on Saturday for the Blazers. The Charleston, Missouri product came into the game with a 2-0 record on the year and has been a staple for the Blazers’ pitching staff on the young season.
The Bulldogs were able to score early in the game against Naile, scoring two runs in the third inning. “James wasn’t as good as he’s been but he hung in there and competed really good for us and kept us in the game. If they don’t get that bases clearing triple which was just feet away from Ivan (De Jesus) being able to make that play, then it’s a close game,” UAB manager Brian Shoop said.
After falling behind 6-0 through five innings, the Blazers were able to shutout the Bulldogs behind the pitching performances from Turner Lee and Alex Luna. They combined for five strikeouts, zero runs allowed, and gave up only three hits.
Tanner Bryant and Chase Davis both singled in the top of the eighth inning allowing Junior, Ryan Prinzing, to single and score Bryant. The single was one of two hits on the day for Bryant. Ivan De Jesus then hit into a fielder’s choice scoring Davis and that would be the final outcome as the Blazers fell 6-2 in Saturday’s game.
Georgia’s Patrick Boling pitched a gem securing a six run, run support from his offense. Boling pitched 5.1 scoreless innings, gave up only two hits, walking only two, and striking out four Blazers.
Geogia continued the hot hitting by notching thirteen runs on 15 hits.
Meanwhile the Shoop’s squad had problems stringing together hits as they had 8 hit but were only able to cross the plate twice.
The impressive hitting performance by the Bulldogs ended Chase Mallards day early as he lasted just three innings before he gave up three earned runs giving him his first loss of the season and bringing UAB to 4-7 on the year.
The Blazers play Tuesday and Wednesday this week (March 5-6) at Young Memorial Field against Saint Joseph’s. First pitch for both games will be at 3 PM. UAB then travels to Arkansas State for a three-game weekend series (March 8-10).