BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Tulane freshman pitcher Corey Merrill put together another solid outing.
But he couldn’t get his teammates to give him what he needed — a run.
The Green Wave lost to UAB 1-0 on an error in the bottom of the eighth inning at Young Memorial Field on Friday night — a severe blow to a team whose chances of making the Conference USA tournament were already slim.
With both teams scratching for a hit, let alone a run, second-place UAB (32-16, 17-8) scored the lone run on an error by the Tulane infield.
Sophomore reliever Tim Yandel began the eighth for Tulane (21-26, 8-15), and he walked leadoff hitter Chase Davis.
UAB’s Ryan Prinzing sacrificed Davis to second on a bunt down the third-base line, and after Davis rounded second on his way to third, Tulane second baseman Garrett Deschamp threw to an uncovered third base, allowing Davis to go all the way home.
That was it.
The Green Wave got only two hits on the night off UAB starter Chase Mallard (9-1), who pitched a complete game. Only senior outfielder Andrew Garner and freshman third baseman Hunter Hope notched hits for Tulane.
Merrill, for his part, pitched seven innings of two-hit ball, striking out one. He walked five and hit one batter, but he got two double-play balls and kept the Blazers from scoring.
Mallard struck out five and allowed two walks while notching his second complete game of the season.
Yandel (0-1) allowed one hit and walked one while striking out one.
The Blazers had a few opportunities to score early. They had runners at first and second in the first and fourth innings, but Merrill and his defense kept them from scoring.
Tulane had its best chance to score in the top of the sixth, as junior Tyler Wilson walked and sophomore Richard Carthon reached on an error while attempting a sacrifice bunt. But when freshman Stephen Alemais tried a bunt of his own, he ran into the ball in play, keeping the runners at first and second. Mallard then got back-to-back outs, including a lineout to shortstop off the bat of Deschamp.
The teams return to Young Memorial Field for the second game of the series at 2 p.m. Saturday.