Freshman Ben Fultz was 3-for-3 with a walk and run scored
April 2, 2011
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - For the second-straight game a costly error spelled doom for East Carolina (19-7, 2-3 C-USA) as UAB (16-10, 4-1) claimed the Conference USA series with a 5-3 win Saturday afternoon at Young Memorial Field.
Just like Friday night, both teams offenses struggled in the first two frames as each left a runner on base, but in the bottom of the third, UAB pushed across four runs on three hits and used a Pirate error for a 4-0 advantage. Jacob German singled to center to lead off the third then took third on Ryan Nance's double to right center. After Nick Crawford walked to load the bases, Keith DePew sent a shot to Corey Thompson at third, who couldn't handle the grounder scoring both German and Nance for an early 2-0 lead.
The inning continued when Crawford and DePew executed a double steal to move into scoring position before Crawford crossed home on one of three Mike Wright wild pitches. Patrick Palmeiro capped the scoring at 4-0 with a single through the left side plating DePew in the bottom of the third.
Ryan (4-3) notched the win after allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits with four strikeouts and three walks in five innings of work. Ben Bullard pitched three innings of relief surrendering one runs on three hits and Ryan Nance picked up his seventh save of the year working a perfect ninth with a punch out.
ECU finally scored in the fifth cutting the lead to three, 4-1. Chris Gosik was hit by a Woolley pitch to start the stanza and took second on a wild pitch. Homan moved him to third on a ground out and Mike Ussery drove in his seventh run of the season on another ground out to second.
UAB got the run back when DePew scored on a wild pitch pushing the Blazers lead back to four, 5-1. With two outs, DePew struck out but reached on a wild pitch to keep the inning alive. Jamal Austin followed with a single through the right side and Palmeiro reached on a Thompson throwing error loading the bases. The second wild pitch of the frame scored DePew.
The Pirates scored a run in the sixth, 5-2, when Jack Reinheimer hit into a double play that scored Zach Wright, who reached on a strikeout passed ball. Ben Fultz moved him to this on a single to right setting up ECU's second run of the game.
In the eighth, ECU scratched across another run reducing UAB's lead to two, 5-3. Fultz singled to left center with one out, moved to second on Reinheimer's walk and took third on a wild pitch before Philip Clark's pinch hit ground out scored the Pirates' final run of the contest.
Offensively the Pirates out hit the Blazers 7-6, but stranded eight runners on the afternoon. The telling stat of the game for ECU was their one through four hitters were a combined 1-for-17, while the five through nine guys were 6-for-17. UAB's hurlers induced 10 ground outs, 11 fly outs and four first pitch outs.
ECU will look to salvage a game in the series when the two teams meet Sunday afternoon for the third and final game of the series with a 2 p.m. (EST) first pitch scheduled. UAB will send Michael Busby (0-1, 4.50 ERA) to the hill while ECU will counter with either Austin Chrismon (0-0, 1.35 ERA), Brad Mincey (4-1, 0.36 ERA) or Zach Woods (1-2, 3.98).