Behind a masterful one-hit shutout performance in the nightcap by junior righty Ryan Griffin (Athens), Alabama-Huntsville (19-11, 4-3 GSC) split a Gulf South Conference doubleheader at West Alabama (15-9, 2-2 GSC) falling 6-5 in the opener before taking game two, 1-0 in Livingston.
Allowing the lone hit and mere pair of walks in the scheduled seven-inning contest that went nine frames, Griffin dominated the Tigers matching his career high with eight strikeouts. Griffin carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning until Colin McKeen singled to left to end the bid. Only the third game in school history to finish with UAH leading 1-0, the blanking was the first 1-0 shutout since 2007 when Tom Longyear hand cuffed West Florida in a seven-inning affair.
A took a two-out extra inning rally to get earn the win for the Chargers. Senior third baseman Jordan Parker (Hartselle) delivered a single to center and then moved to second on a Tiger passed ball. A single up the middle by freshman catcher Justin Riddle (Huntsville) proved to be the difference as Parker scored from second as UAH earned the split.
The series opener was also a tight contest with the Tigers plating a run in the bottom of the ninth to earn the win. UAH got on the scoreboard right out of the gate with a pair of runs in the first to take the early 2-0 advantage. Back-to-back two-out singles by Parker and junior first baseman Grant DeBruin (Boaz) got things going for the Chargers before Riddle walked to load the bases. Junior right fielder Eric Deese (Tuscaloosa) then laced a single back up the middle that brought home both DeBruin and Parker.
The Chargers opened up a three-run lead in the second again scoring with two outs when riddle singled down the right-field line plating junior center fielder Ty Chancelor, who ledoff the stanza with a double. West Alabama cut the lead to a run with a two-run bottom of the frame but UAH answered right back with a run in the fourth on an RBI single by senior shortstop Corey Whittle (Cullman) that scored junior left fielder Mike Love (Auburn).
UAH stretched the lead to 5-3 in the fifth when Love hit a sacrifice fly to right that scored Riddle to round out the scoring for the Chargers in the contest.
West Alabama would then use a two-out rally of their own to tie the contest with a three-run seventh inning that chased UAH senior starter Ryan Frevert (Liberty, Mo.) from the game. Frevert would get a no-decision giving up five earned runs on five hits in six and two-thirds innings pitched. Junior David Kendrick (Pell City) came on in relief of Frevert and took the loss working the final one and two-thirds innings. Kendrick allowed one earned run and three hits while notching a pair of strikeouts.
The two squads finish the series on Sunday with a rubber game at 1 p.m.