BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - UAB used a pair of early two-run home runs and posted multiple runs in four different innings to top Gardner-Webb, 10-5, Friday night in the first of a three-game series.
After a two-run shot from UAB first baseman Michael Busby in the second inning put the Blazers (22-17) on top early, but Dusty Quattlebaum answered with a two-run double in the top of the third to tie the score for Gardner-Webb (20-19).
The Blazers went in front for good in the bottom of the third, taking advantage of an error to plate four runs and take control of the game, 6-2. Ryan Ussery had a two-run home run in that frame to spark the surge.
Gardner-Webb cut the lead to 6-3 in the fifth, but UAB responded with a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth and two more in the sixth to get into double figures. Scott Coleman had the RBI knock in the fifth for the Runnin' Bulldogs, following Ryan Hodge's double.
The Runnin' Bulldogs loaded the bases in the top of the ninth, and got an RBI single from Zeke Blanton to trim the lead to 10-4. Quattlebaum drew an RBI walk with two outs to cut the lead to 10-5. UAB got a fielder's choice from there to end the game.
Matt Fraudin (1-4) took the loss for Gardner-Webb, allowing six earned runs on seven hits in 5.0 innings of work. Matt Liedberg, Brandon Boling and Jimmy Moore closed out the game for GWU, with Boling and Moore hurling scoreless innings.
The 'Dogs managed 11 hits, with Quattlebaum (2-for-3, 2B, 3 RBI) and Brad Collins (2-for-3) leading the way. Seven different players collected hits and the 'Dogs rapped out four doubles in the game.
UAB also had 11 hits, with Jeff Schalk (2-for-3, 2 RBI), Ussery (1-for-4, HR, 2 RBI) and Busby (1-for-2, HR, 2 RBI) having big games.
Chase Mallard came in to hurl 6.1 innings of relief to close out the game, picking up the win after allowing just two earned runs on six hits. Starter Dillon Napoleon allowed two runs on five hits in just 2.2 innings of work.
The two teams will meet again on Saturday, with first pitch set for 3:00 pm ET.