BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – UAB scored a come-from-behind 8-3 win Friday, defeating SIUE to open the 2019 baseball season.
"We came out with some good energy," SIUE Head Coach Sean Lyons said. "It was a good ballgame. We didn't play poorly, we just got beat. A couple of innings did us in."
The Cougars scored all three of their runs in the first three innings and held a 2-1 lead following a Raul Elguezabal two-run homer in the second inning. UAB led 1-0 when Peyton Cordova-Smith doubled to open the second inning. Elguezabal connected for his first home run as a Cougar with one out.
J Paul Fullerton's grand slam in the bottom of the inning put the Blazers up for good 5-2.
"That inning put us in a hole that we were unable to get out of," Lyons said.
Jordan Ross scored on a balk in the third inning to cut the lead to 5-3.
"Jordan Ross had a good day," Lyons said. "We got some good swings and a couple of big hits out of him."
UAB scored a single run in the third and added two more in the fifth for the final tally.
SIUE starter Collin Baumgartner worked 4 1/3 innings and allowed seven runs. He struck out four and walked two. Ryan Byrd allowed a run in 2/3 of an inning of work before Tyler Hutchinson worked the final three scoreless innings. He struck out one.
"Hutch did a great job putting up zeroes and giving us a chance," Lyons said.
UAB starter Alex Pondick allowed all three of SIUE's runs in 3 1/3 innings. Riley Davis followed with 3 2/3 innings of scoreless relief to earn the win.
"We couldn't get much going against their relievers," Lyons added. "Riley Davis did a great job calming the game down."
Ross finished with a pair of hits and a run scored. Elguezabel was 1 for 4 with the pair of RBIs.
Fullerton was 1 for 3 with the grand slam for UAB. Colton Schultz finished 2 for 4 for the Blazers.
Because of weather concerns Sunday, the Cougars and Blazers will finish the three-game series with a doubleheader Saturday scheduled for 1 p.m.