BIRMINGHAM, AL -- The UAB baseball team was
unable to muster up anything offensively against UCF ace Ben Lively on Friday
night, as the Knights clipped the Blazers, 8-0, at Young Memorial Field.
The two clubs will square off
for game two of the three-game series on Saturday, with first pitch moved up to
12 p.m. CT due to possible inclement weather in the Birmingham area. David
Crane will call the game action, as fans can tune into WJOX-AM 690 on their
radio dials to hear the action.
UAB (9-12, 0-1 C-USA) totaled seven hits in the loss, with five coming from the top three hitters. Ryan Prinzing continued to swing a hot stick in the leadoff slot, going 2-for-4, while John Frost laced two hits, including a triple.
Lively (5-1) produced a standout outing for UCF (15-9, 1-0), going eight
shutout innings, yielding seven hits and recording nine strikeouts. The
right-hander only walked one batter and forced the Blazers to strand eight base
"(Ben Lively) is really
good and he's got a chance to pitch in the big leagues. His fastball command
was unbelievable. We almost had to be perfect against him," head coach Brian
UCF jumped on the Blazers in the top of the first, but southpaw Sam Kelley (1-1) was able to dodge serious damage. Leadoff hitter JoMarcos Woods drew a walk and advanced all the way to third on a squib hit by James Vasquez to put Knights on the corners with no outs. Erik Hempe brought home the first run of the game on a sac fly to right.
Kelley escaped further damage by getting two more fly outs, with UCF leading 1-0 after a half inning of play.
The Knights threatened again
in the top of the fourth against Kelley as they loaded the bases with one out,
ending the day for the lefty as UAB went to the bullpen calling on righty Cory
Eller, who fell behind 2-1 in
the count to Woods, recorded the pitcher's favorite play, and inning-ending
1-2-3 double play to get out of the jam.
UCF continued to put pressure
on the Blazers, as it put runners on first and second with no outs in the
fifth. But, Eller induced his second double play in as many innings appearing
to escape another Knights' threat. However, Parker Webster just missed a
homer, clubbing a two-run double off the wall in left field to break the game open
in the fifth.
Chase Davis kept the Blazers
within three runs in the top of the sixth, with an over-the-shoulder catch in
straight-away centerfield with two outs and the bases loaded off the bat of
UAB threatened to score in the
bottom of the sixth, as Frost broke up a string of 10-straight batters retired
with a triple to center, but was stranded.
In the seventh, the Blazers
appeared to have something going with two outs as they put runners on second
and third after Tanner Bryant doubled with Harry Clark on first. Lively was
able gear up and escape UAB's threat with a strikeout to keep a three-run lead
Leading 3-0, Hempe connected for a bases-clearing triple to highlight a four-run top of the eighth inning for the Knights. UCF tacked on a run in the ninth to round out the scoring.
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