JACKSONVILLE – Andrew Manning had a pair of hits and drove in two runs to lead UAB to a 7-5 win over Jacksonville State at Rudy Abbott Field on Tuesday.
Beau Pender (5-2) allowed just one hit in three innings and had three strikeouts to earn the win for the Blazers, while Nick Graffeo recorded the final four outs to earn his fifth save of the year. JSU's Kevin Elwell (1-3) got stuck with the loss for the Gamecocks.
The Blazers (21-17) took a 5-0 lead in the second inning after Harry Clark got a bases loaded walk to score the first run, then Andrew Manning followed with a two-RBI double to center field to give UAB a 3-0 lead. Bradley Hick followed with a RBI single and Manning came in to score on a groundout to give the Blazers the early lead.
Jax State (20-19) cut the lead to 5-2 in the home half of the second on a two-run home run by Orrin McFaden, and the Gamecocks scored two more runs in the third inning when Jake Sharrock had a two-RBI single up the middle to cut the lead to 5-4.
UAB added a run in the seventh on a RBI triple by Jonathan Merritt and Luke Stewart hit a solo home run to lead off the eighth inning to give the Blazers a 7-4 lead.
JSU's Kyle Bluestein hit a solo home run to lead off the bottom of the eighth inning for the final margin.
Sharrock finished with three hits, while Todd Cunningham had two hits to lead the Gamecocks, while Merritt, Manning, Hicks and John Frost each had a pair of hits for UAB.
The two teams will play each other again on Wednesday. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. at Young Memorial Field in Birmingham.