BIRMINGHAM (AStateRedWolves.com) – The Arkansas State baseball squad fell to the UAB Blazers by a score of 3-1 Saturday afternoon at Regions Field in Birmingham, Ala.
UAB (10-1) struck first in the game after A-State (5-6) starter Chandler Hawkins allowed three straight singles to open the game. With the bases loaded and no outs, Hawkins got a fly out to shallow right field to keep the runners at their respective bases. The Blazers got on the board one batter later as Jeff Schalk laced a two-run single to left-center field to give UAB a 2-0 lead. Hawkins got a strikeout and pop out to limit the damage to two runs.
Those two runs were all UAB would need, but the Blazers added one run in the bottom of the eighth inning on a RBI single with two outs by Chase Davis to make the score 3-0. The Red Wolves did plate their first run of the series when Kevin Fitzpatrick doubled to left field with two outs and Lucas Feddersen drove Fitzpatrick in to make the score 3-1. Zach Maggio grounded out to second base to end the game and set the final at 3-1 in favor of UAB.
Johnny Lieske took the win for UAB after allowing two hits in 5 2/3 innings of work, striking out four, and walking just one. Adam Lau came in to record the final out to get the save for UAB. Hawkins took the loss for A-State after tossing four innings and allowing two earned runs on six hits with three strikeouts and three walks.
Offensively, A-State had five players record a hit with Derek Birginske and Fitzpatrick each recording doubles. Austin Baker added his sixth steal of the season in six attempts and catcher Stuart Levy gunned down two UAB would-be base stealers for some Arkansas State bright spots on the day.
A-State's first threat to score occurred in the top of the fourth inning when Baker reached on an error by the catcher and Levy was hit by a pitch with one out. Both runners advanced to second and third on a wild pitch during Matt Burgess's at-bat. A couple of pitches later Burgess ripped a line drive destined to tie the game, but UAB's second baseman Matt Morse made a tremendous diving catch to rob A-State and Birginske flew out to end the inning.
The Red Wolves had another scoring opportunity when Birginske led off the A-State seventh inning with a double to left-center field and Fitzpatrick drew a walk after pinch-hitting for Ty Michelotti to give the Red Wolves runners on first and second with no outs. Feddersen struck out and pinch hitter Maggio popped up to second to give Blazers' pitcher Thomas Lowery two outs. Joe Schrimpf struck out looking to end the frame and keep the game 2-0 in favor of UAB.The Red Wolves and Blazers conclude their series Sunday with first pitch scheduled at noon from Regions Field. 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).