BIRMINGHAM, AL -
The UAB baseball team recorded its second straight shutout with a 1-0 victory against No. 29 FIU on Saturday afternoon at Young Memorial Field. It marked the first time UAB has earned a shutout in consecutive games since March 2-3, 2007 against Central Arkansas.
With the win, UAB (19-8, 6-2) won a series against a ranked opponent for the first time since April 22-23, 2011 against then-No. 19 Rice. In addition, the Blazers won their fourth straight Conference USA three-game series, dating back to the Tulane set in 2013. This marked the first time the squad has won its first three conference series since 2011, as well.
“It is good, but this league is so competitive,” head coach Brian Shoop said. “You look at the scores and I think this league is going to come down to the last game and tie-breakers. Every win you get is precious when you get them. I’m grateful for this day and we will be back after it tomorrow.”
Junior right-handed pitcher Alex Luna continued his tear on the mound. Luna threw 7.0 scoreless innings, scattered six hits, struck out four, and did not walk one. The Huntsville, Ala. native has not allowed a run in 14.2 innings and has not issued a walk in 17.0 innings. Luna improved to 5-0 on the hill in 2014 with a team-best 0.84 ERA.
“Today was going to be near impossible to score,” added Shoop. “It was going to be a day when one might be enough and to score you might need help. Luna doesn’t help teams. He doesn’t beat himself. He doesn’t walk people. That always works to your advantage and has worked to Alex’s advantage all season.”
Neither team would record a hit in the first two innings. FIU (21-6, 6-5) registered an infield single in the third, but could not get its runner past second base.
UAB struck for its only run of the afternoon in the bottom of the third. Junior infielder Nathan Vincent started the inning off with catwalk and then stole second base, his first stolen base of the year. Redshirt junior infielder Matt Morse hit a sacrifice bunt to advance Vincent to third. The next batter, sophomore infielder Adam Smith, hit a well-placed single through the right side to score Vincent and give the host team a 1-0 advantage.