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9th Ranked 'Bama Goes Down 2-1 to UAB

The Alabama baseball team lost 2-1 for the fifth time this season. The UAB Blazers did just enough to defeat the Tide on Wednesday night in Tuscaloosa. The ninth ranked Tide fell to 22-10 on the season, while UAB improved to 23-10.

The Tide did not have enough players reach base last night
The Tide did not have enough players reach base last night

UAB used six singles, two sacrifice bunts, two stolen bases and eight pitchers to defeat Alabama 2-1 on Wednesday night, in a game rescheduled from Tuesday night. The Tide's Geoffrey Bramblett received the first start of his career on the mound, and pitched outstanding ball. The freshman right hander from Hoover pitched 6 and 1/3 innings, allowing three hits, walking two and striking out nine. The innings pitched and strikeout were both career highs.

The first hit for either team came in the bottom of the fourth when 'Bama shortstop Mikey White singled to left center. UAB finally registered their first hit in the top of the fifth when Griffin Gum beat out a bunt. Bramblett then struck out the next two batters, and catcher Wade Wass threw out Gum attempting to steal to end the inning.

The Blazers scored the first run of the game in the top of the sixth inning with an unusual two out rally. Bramblett got a strike out and a ground ball out to the first two batters of the inning, but then nine hole hitter Adam Smith lined a single. Smith then stole second and third base. Bramblett struck out Evan Peterson with a bouncing curve ball that Wass could not smother, and Smith scored on the wild pitch, with Peterson reaching first base. Bramblett then struck out Ryan Prinzing for his third K of the inning. The first batter of the seventh singled for UAB and was sacrificed to second. At that point Jay Shaw relieved Bramblett. After a walk and a bloop single loaded the bases, Shaw recored a strikeout and induced a fly ball to center field to stem the rally.

In the bottom of the seventh the listless Tide, who at that point only had three hits, tied the game on a long home run by first baseman Austen Smith on a two out, two strike pitch. Chance Vincent followed with a single, but he was stranded at first base as the inning ended on a strikeout. UAB scored the eventual winning run in the top of the eighth. The Blazers used a lead off walk and a perfect sacrifice bunt to put the winning run in scoring position. Gum's third hit of the game scored Chase Davis with the go ahead run.

The Tide had a chance in the bottom of the eighth, but could not capitalize. Reining SEC freshman of the week, Hunter Webb led off the inning by drawing a walk. 'Bama attempted to sacrifice bunt him to second, but did not succeed. Webb moved up to second on a ground out. With two outs Ben Moore riffled a single to right field, and the speedy Webb attempted to score, but was thrown out on a perfect throw to the plate by Jeff Schalk. Taylor Guilbeau relieved Shaw and pitched a perfect ninth inning with a strikeout. UAB's eighth pitcher of the night, Adam Lau, pitched a perfect ninth inning to record a save. Adam Lamar was the winning pitcher and Shaw absorbed the loss, dropping his record to 1-3.

UAB did just enough to win, and Alabama did just enough to lose. None of the eight UAB pitchers pitched more than 1 and 2/3 innings. The difference was the Blazer's being able to execute the sacrifice bunt to perfection, and some aggressive base running, to scratch out their two runs. Offensively the Tide never did get into a rhythm, and only recored five hits. Vincent had a single and a double, Smith blasted his home run, and Moore and White had one hit each. Bramblett certaintly pitched well enough to win, but just didn't get the support he needed. 'Bama was kept off balance by never seeing the same pitcher twice. Tide batters struck out seven times, walked three, and one reached by being hit. During the teams 18-5 run they have been able to squeeze out several last at bat wins, but could not come up with the big hit tonight. The Tide will have to put this one behind them quickly, as they host arch rival Auburn this weekend. The Friday game will be at 6:35 p.m. and will be preceded by a concert by the group August Ashe at 500 p.m. Alabama head football coach Nick Saban will throw out the ceremonial first pitch in the game. Saturdays game is set for 6:05 p.m. and the third game Sunday will be at 1:05 p.m.The rotation will remain Spencer Turnbull, Justin Kamplain and Jon Keller. None of this weekends games are to be televised. The team needs to bounce back and win this important SEC series. The Tide continues to be in overall first place in the conference with an 8-4 mark.

Bama Baseball Fever, Catch It!

Roll Tide Y'all   Roger

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