May 9, 2014
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Freshman starting pitcher Corey Merrill of Tulane's baseball squad put together his fourth-straight solid outing, but it was not enough for the Green Wave, as they fell to UAB, 1-0, on an error in the bottom of the eighth at Young Memorial Field on Friday night.
With both teams scratching for a hit, let alone a run, UAB (32-16, 17-8) was able to reach home for the game's lone run on an error by the Tulane (21-26, 8-25) infield. Sophomore reliever Tim Yandel replaced Merrill to begin the eighth, and the native of Woodstock, Ga., walked leadoff hitter Chase Davis. UAB's Ryan Prinzing sacrificed Davis to second on a bunt down the third base line, and after Davis rounded second on his way to third, the Tulane infield threw over to an uncovered third base, allowing Davis to go all the way home to break the scoreless tie.
The one run by the Blazers was all that was needed, as Tulane only recorded two hits on the night off UAB starter Chase Mallard, who pitched a complete-game shutout. Only senior outfielder Andrew Garner and freshman third baseman Hunter Hope notched hits for the Green Wave on the evening.
The game was a true pitchers' duel, as Merrill and Mallard (9-1) kept the opposing batters at bay. Merrill pitched 7.0 innings of two-hit ball while striking out one. He did walk five in the contest while hitting one batter, but he got two double-play balls and kept the Blazers from scoring.
Mallard struck out five and allowed two walks while picking up his second complete game of the season.
Yandel (0-1) picked up his first career decision, as he was on the mound when the aforementioned error was made to allow the Blazers to score. He allowed one hit and walked one while striking out one.
UAB had a few opportunities to score early, as they had base runners at first and second in both the first and fourth innings, but Merrill and his defense were able to keep the Blazers from scampering across home plate.
Tulane had the first true chance of the game for either team to put a run on the board in the top of the sixth, as junior first baseman Tyler Wilson walked and sophomore Richard Carthon reached on an error while attempting a sacrifice bunt. However, freshman shortstop Stephen Alemais tried a bunt of his own, but ran into the ball in play to keep both runners at first and second. Mallard was then able to get back-to-back outs, including a lineout to shortstop off the bat of junior second baseman Garrett Deschamp, to kill Tulane's threat.
Hope spoiled Mallard's no-hitter in the top of the seventh, as he recorded a knock up the middle to give the Green Wave their first base hit of the contest. Hope then moved to second on a wild pitch by Mallard, but he didn't get any further, as Mallard induced two ground ball outs to end the inning.
UAB notched their second hit of the contest in the bottom of the seventh, as Tyler Mims singled through the left side. Mims was put out at second base on a fielder's choice by Ivan De Jesus, and Matt Morse followed him on the base paths to put two runners on with two outs. But like his counterpart on the mound, Merrill was able to get a ground ball out to keep the game scoreless.
Jeff Schalk added the third and final hit of the game for the Blazers, as he singled to right center in the top of the eighth after Davis scored.
The Green Wave will return to Young Memorial Field to take on the Blazers for the second game of the series on Saturday at 2pm CT. Live stats can be followed by clicking on the GameTracker link on the baseball schedule page at TulaneGreenWave.com. The game will also be broadcast on the home of Tulane baseball for the 2014 season, 88.3 FM WRBH.
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