Ninth inning costs UWA baseball home opener

Published 8:37 am Monday, February 18, 2013

LIVNGSTON – West Alabama gave up five runs in the top of the ninth to lose its home opener 9-4 to Saint Leo on Saturday.

“I thought we played well up until the seventh inning,” said UWA head coach Gary Rundles.

“We made a few mistakes that allowed the game to get away from us. They took some advantage of some walks in the ninth inning with a couple of big hits and that was the ball game.”

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The loss snaps a two game win streak for West Alabama (2-6), while Saint Leo (7-2) improves its win streak to six as the Lions lead the three game series.

Matthew Hewitt closed out the game for Saint Leo without giving up a single hit in the final two innings. UWA’s starting pitcher Barry Meeks hit a season high of eight strikeouts in six innings. Replacement pitcher Brett Ivey suffered his third loss on the season after giving up five runs.

“I thought Barry played the way we expected him to play,” said Rundles. “However, his pitching count started to get high and that’s not good in this weather.”

Center fielder Chris Newcomb tallied three RBI’s in the top of the ninth inning with the score tied at 4-4 to put Saint Leo ahead. He led the Lions at the plate with two hits, two runs.

Mitch Holgate totaled two hits and two runs in three trips to the plate to lead the Tigers on offense.

“You always like to open up with a win but we just did not play good enough for the win. It is just one game. We have two more tomorrow and we’ll come back out ready to play.”

Both teams will meet again tomorrow for a double-header. The first pitch for game two of the series is set for Noon.