UAB explodes for 14 runs to power past No. 12 Rice 14-4 in C-USA action

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — UAB exploded for 14 runs, including a six-run second and eight-run fifth, to surge past No. 12 Rice and clinch the Conference USA series in a 14-4 victory on Saturday afternoon at Young Memorial Field.

UAB (21-12, 8-6 C-USA) put up its 11th double-digit hit performance in the middle game of the series, tallying 14 in the first series win against the Owls (22-15, 11-6 C-USA) since the 2011 campaign.

Four Blazers tallied multiple RBIs, led by Nathan Vincent’s four on a 2-for-5 day at the plate with two runs scored. Griffin Gum was 3-for-4 with three runs driven in, while Adam Smith had three RBIs and Adam Lau had two.

In all, five Blazers had at least two hits each, and eight UAB players contributed to the 14-run explosion.

UAB starter Alex Luna went five innings, allowing four runs on four hits with two strikeouts and five walks. Ryan Ruggles provided effective relief work with just two hits allowed in three innings, and Dylan Munger entered to close it for the Blazers in the final frame.

After Rice took an early 2-0 lead off a two-RBI double in its first chance at the plate, Vincent came through with a triple to left center field to clear the bases as the Blazers ultimately took a 6-2 lead.

Rice responded with two more in the top half of the fourth, but UAB’s 8-run fifth, the most runs in an inning this year, sealed the deal.

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