UAB (9-1) blew the game open after Bryan Ayers came in to relieve A-State’s Bradley Wallace in the bottom of the fifth inning with the Blazers leading 1-0. Ayers gave up a single, walk, single, and walk while giving up one run before he gave way to Colton Kibler.
Kibler struck out the first batter he faced after relieving Ayers, but gave up a one-run single before getting a fly out to left for the second out of the inning. Coulton Lee came in to relieve Kibler and gave up two RBI walks before a fly out ended the inning. UAB’s total damage for the inning was four runs as the Blazers took a 5-0 lead over the Red Wolves (5-5) into the sixth inning.
A-State’s Zach George extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a single in the top of the sixth inning and the Red Wolves got runners on the corners with two outs. The threat was quelled when Derek Birginske struck out to end the inning and Arkansas State would only manage one more hit the rest of the game.
Wallace took the loss for A-State after giving up one run on six hits in four innings of work, while also walking four and striking out three. UAB’s Chase Mallard gave up seven hits to the Red Wolves after only allowing two hits in his first 14 1/3 innings of the 2014 season. Mallard was able to scatter the seven A-State hits over seven innings and allowed no runs while striking out seven and only walking one.
Offensively, Zach Maggio led A-State with two hits and Stuart Levy extended his hitting streak to 11 games. The only other bright spot for the Red Wolves was reliever Cody Woodhouse, who came in to pitch three scoreless innings and only allowed two hits with one walk and two strikeouts.
The Red Wolves threatened early with a Lucas Feddersen single in the top of the third inning, but George hit a shot to right field that UAB’s right fielder Griffin Gum was able to make a great catch on. Once Gum caught the ball, he was able to double Feddersen off of first base to end the threat.
The Blazers struck first in the game with a one-out single in the bottom of the third when Mitch Williams singled to plate Griffin Gum. UAB still had runners on first and second after the single, but Bradley Wallace struck out the next two batters to limit the damage to one Blazer run.
A-State threatened again in the fourth inning and fifth innings by getting two runners on with less than two outs in both frames. Birginske grounded into a 1-6-3 double play to end the fourth inning, while Maggio was picked off and Feddersen flew out to right field to stop the Red Wolves’ threat in the fifth inning.
A-State continues its series with UAB at Regions Field with the second game of the three-game series set to begin at 1 p.m. Saturday afternoon. For in-game updates follow @AStateGameDay on Twitter and stay up to date with A-State baseball by following the team on Twitter (@AStateBaseball) and Facebook (Facebook.com/RedWolvesbaseball).
(Courtesy: ASU Sports Information)
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