Strong Pitching Carries USM to Series Win Over UAB


Dylan Burdeaux led the USM offense with three hits and an RBI Saturday in a 3-2 win over UAB. -Courtesy photo/Joe Harper

Dylan Burdeaux led the USM offense with three hits and an RBI Saturday in a 3-2 win over UAB.-Courtesy photo/Joe Harper

Christian Talley’s struggles on the mound continued Thursday night as he only lasted 3.2 innings, allowing four runs on three hits while striking out five.

UAB jumped on Talley in the top of the third to put the first runs of the night on the board. After Evan Peterson grounded out, Adam Smith worked a masterful at-bat for the Blazers, fouling off four pitches and drawing a 10-pitch walk. Then the wheels came off for Talley.

He hit Chase Davis before balking, allowing Smith and Davis to each move up a base. Then, a wild pitch allowed Smith to score and Davis to advance to third. Following another walk, Jeff Schalk and Esteban Tresgallo singled and doubled in runs, respectively, to give the Blazers an early
3-0 lead.

Davis added an RBI single in the top of the fourth, leading to Talley being pulled and Jake Winston coming in, before the Golden Eagles finally got on the board in the bottom half of the inning.

Dylan Burdeaux led off with single and scored on a double down the line by Chase Scott. However, Chuckie Robinson flied out to right field and Nick Dawson popped out in the infield, stranding Scott at second base.

A two-run home run by Smith in the top of the sixth extended the Blazer lead to 5-1 and the Golden Eagles simply could not manufacture enough offense to come back. Scott had a sacrifice fly for USM in the bottom of the sixth, but the Golden Eagles failed to scratch across another run, losing 7-2 in the series opener.

No. 2 starter Cody Carroll answered the bell in game two Friday night with a gem of a performance. He threw 8.1 shutout innings, allowing only two hits and striking out 10.

Scott got the momentum going in the bottom of the second with a single to center field before Ryan Ellis got on due to an error by UAB second baseman Matt Morse. Nick Dawson then singled to center field for an RBI as Davis bobbled the ball in center field, allowing Scott to score and Ellis to reach third.

Daniel Keating followed with an RBI single to left field and two batters later, Taylor Braley singled to center field, scoring Dawson and increasing the Golden Eagle lead to 3-0.

From the fourth inning on, the game was a pitchers’ duel as neither team was able to score. Carroll picked up his second win of the season and Milton secured his sixth save. Dawson led the USM offense with three hits while Keating and Braley each had two hits.

Saturday’s rubber match was yet another pitching duel as both starting pitchers allowed just two earned runs.

Consecutive one-out doubles by Keating and Burdeaux got the Golden Eagles on the board first in the bottom of the third inning. Burdeaux killed the momentum though as he was thrown out trying to steal third with USM’s best hitter at the dish in Braley.

After a double play to start the bottom of the fourth, USM started another one of their patented two-out rallies. Scott beat out a grounder to second for an infield single then Ellis singled up the middle to put runners on first and second base.

Catcher Austin Roussel then singled to right field, but the ball was misplayed by UAB right fielder Griffin Gum, allowing Scott and Ellis to score and Roussel to advance to third. Blazer starter Johnny Lieske ended the threat though by getting Dawson to ground out to the shortstop.

Davis led off the sixth with a single for the Blazers before being brought home by an RBI double to left field off the bat of Nathan Vincent. UAB added another run in the top of the seventh inning, but it could have been a lot worse.

Schalk led off with a single up the middle before Adam Lau doubled to left field to score Schalk. Lau then stole third as the throw from Roussel got away from him and scooted into left field. But Breck Kline, who had just entered the game as a defensive replacement in left field, picked up the ball and gunned Lau out at home to keep the Blazers from tying the game.

Kline’s throw ended up being the play of the game as USM won 3-2 and Golden Eagle starter James McMahon improved to 6-0 on the season. McMahon pitched 6.1 innings, allowing two runs on five hits and struck out three. Burdeaux led the USM offense with three hits and an RBI.

The Golden Eagles (17-11-1, 6-5 Conference USA) will look to improve its winning streak to three Tuesday when they travel to Pearl, Mississippi, to take on Ole Miss (16-16) in a neutral site game.

The game is considered a home game for USM and first pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.