West Alabama falls in season finale
Special to The Star
April 29, 2001
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. With Montevallo defeating Lincoln Memorial earlier in the day, the University of West Alabama baseball team went in search of its first conference tournament berth since 1995. But Alabama-Huntsville spoiled the Tigers' tourney hopes by completing the three-game sweep with a 13-7 win on Sunday.
West Alabama drew first blood, scoring one run in the first inning on the strength of an RBI single off the bat of Carl Wiggins. With the Chargers leading 7-4 in the sixth, Wiggins and Corey Hayden hit back-to-back home runs evening the score at seven apiece. From there, UAH outscored the Tigers 6-0 en route to picking up its 11th conference win of the season.
Wiggins paced the UWA offensive attack with two hits, including two-run homer, and three RBIs. Walt Simmons also hed a big game, going 3-for-5 with two RBIs.
Brandon Lee drew the start for the Tigers, pitching 41/3 innings and allowing seven runs on eight hits, earning a no decision. Chris Mason took the loss out of the Tiger bullpen, allowing three earned runs on three hits over 22/3 innings.
The loss moved UWA's record to 25-25 overall and 11-10 in GSC play as the 2001 campaign came to an end.
With tournament spots at stake, West Alabama traveled to the UAH for a crucial three-game set. If the Tigers could win both games of the Saturday doubleheader, they would be on their way to Valdosta, Ga. to compete in the GSC tournament. Instead, it was UAH keeping their once fading hopes alive by sweeping UWA 10-5 and 10-3.
The Tigers grabbed control early in game one, when Carl Wiggins ripped a two-run triple into the right field corner in the bottom of the first inning. However, from there it would be all UAH, with the big blow coming in the seventh when UAH scored four runs to put the game out of reach.
Wiggins led the UWA charge with one hit and two RBI. Martin Jackson chipped in with two hits and a pair of runs scored. Walt Simmons also added a pair of hits and one run scored. Michael Allen went 52/3 innings for UWA, allowing six runs (three earned) on seven hits en route to picking up the loss.
In game two, UAH picked up two runs in the third inning to break a scoreless tie. The Chargers added five more in the fourth on the strength of a three- run home run and a two-run single to gain control.
Once again, it was Wiggins leading the Tiger charge with two hits, including a solo homer, and one RBI. Michael Friedlein and Scott Merkich added one hit and one RBI apiece while teammate Thomas Monk chipped in with a 2-for-2 performance and one run scored.
Freshman Josh Allums took the loss for UWA, pitching 31/3 innings and allowing six earned runs on five hits.