BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - UAB used the long ball again to stake itself to an early lead over Gardner-Webb, and scored three runs in the seventh to pull away for a 5-1 win Saturday afternoon.
The Blazers (23-17) got a solo home run from Patrick Palmeiro in the second inning and another solo shot from Ivan De Jesus in the third to go up 2-0. Gardner-Webb starter Beau Hilton settled down from there, allowing the Runnin' Bulldogs (20-20) to cut the lead to 2-1 in the sixth inning.
Dusty Quattlebaum singled up the middle with one out, stole second base with two outs in the inning, and scored on Scott Coleman's single through the left side. UAB starter Ben Bullard stranded the tying run on base, however, and after a scoreless bottom of the sixth and top of the seventh, the Blazers pulled away for good.
UAB took advantage of an error to go up 3-1, drew a bases loaded walk to make the score 4-1 and scored the final run of the day on a sacrifice fly from Michael Busby.
Gardner-Webb stranded a pair of runners in the eighth and another in the ninth, with UAB reliever Ryan Nance scattering three hits over 3.0 innings for his seventh save of the season.
Bullard (4-4) picked up the win, striking out 10 and allowing just one run on six hits in 6.0 innings pitched. Hilton (4-2) dropped his second decision in a row, allowing four runs on five hits in 6.1 innings (three strikeouts).
The Runnin' Bulldogs out-hit the Blazers 9-7, with Quattlebaum (2-for-4, run), John Harris (2-for-4) and Danny Yelverton (2-for-4) leading that attack.
UAB was paced by De Jesus (2-for-4, HR, RBI) and Palmeiro (2-for-3, HR, RBI) at the plate.
The two teams will wrap up the series at 2:00 pm on Sunday afternoon.