It’s not that a game against UAB doesn’t matter, even though Alabama played that way at Regions Field in Birmingham Tuesday night. It’s just that Southeastern Conference games matter a lot more.
And so on Tuesday night, Alabama suffered its first shutout loss of the year as the Crimson Tide was clubbed by the UAB Blazers, 8-0.
Of more importance, this weekend Alabama will host Tennessee in Sewell-Thomas Stadium in the second SEC series of the year, and first home conference series. Alabama fell to 13-7 overall with the loss to UAB, but enters the series against the Vols with a 2-1 SEC mark.
Friday’s game will start at 7 p.m. CDT with the game on SECN+. Saturday’s game at 8 p.m. and Sunday’s at 3 will both be on the SEC Network.
“This team is very capable,” Alabama Coach Mitch Gaspard said. “We just have to stay with it. It’s a disappointing night, but this team will bounce back. They will be ready to go this weekend.”
As for Tuesday’s loss, Gaspard said, "Credit UAB. They played extremely well,. They pitched well and swung the bats well. On our end, it's the second Tuesday in a row that I thought we put together a pretty poor performance. We didn't have good energy, came out flat, and they jumped on us in a hurry. We didn't show a lot of fight tonight, unlike what we did this weekend (winning the opening SEC series at LSU), so it was a disappointing night ."
The Blazers registered 12 hits, including four doubles, and kicked off the scoring with a four-run second inning. UAB added single tallies in the third and fourth innings and added a final pair of runs in the seventh frame.
A total of five pitchers were used by Alabama, with starter Mike Oczypok (2-2) suffering the loss. Oczypok worked 2 2/3 innings and allowed five runs (four earned) on six hits with four strikeouts. Tyler McMurray and Colton Freeman each made their first appearances of the 2016 season and were joined by Brock Love and Dylan Duarte out of the bullpen.
UAB reliever Kyle Davis (1-0) earned his first win of the season thanks to two scoreless innings pitched with one hit allowed and one strikeout. Blazer starter Andrew Lamar went three innings, limiting the Tide to only two hits and one walk with a strikeout in the effort.