Memphis Defeats Cal-State Northridge 6-2 In Baseball Season Opener
Feb. 20, 2004
HOUSTON - The University of Memphis baseball team won its season opener defeating Cal-State Northridge 6-2 Friday in the opening game of the Coca-Cola Classic at Reckling Stadium hosted by Rice University. The Tigers (1-0) pounded out 11 hits and drew nine walks off five Northridge pitchers as they jumped on the Matadors with six runs in the first three innings.
Memphis starter Jarrett Grube allowed just one earned run in six innings of work to pick up the win and catcher Kurt Welch sparked the offense with a three-run homer in the first inning to help lift the Tigers to their fourth-straight opening day win under head coach Dave Anderson.
"That was a great way to get our season started," Anderson said. "Our pitching didn't walk anybody, we got some big two-out hits and (Kurt) Welch's home run was a really big lift. We really played a solid, all-around game."
Welch gave the Tigers an early 3-0 lead when he sent a three-one fastball deep over the leftfield fence off CSUN starter Peter Eberhardt. The three-run shot scored Michael Lewis, who walked, and Bill Moss, who lined a single off Eberhardt's glove.
Memphis loaded the bases in the second with one out, but failed to push any runs across as reliever Nathan Hochgesang pitched out of the jam after walking a pair of Tigers.
After Grube stuck out the side in the top half of the third, the Tigers mounted a two-out rally off Hochgesang when designated hitter Ryan Martin lined a single up the middle. Shortstop Brent Dlugach followed with a walk, then Kyle Scott, Jordan Hart and Chad House each added two-out RBI singles as Memphis extended their lead to 6-0. House reached base in all five of his plate appearances drawing four walks to go with his RBI single.
Northridge got on the board in the fifth with a RBI single by Jesse Perez scoring second baseman Eric Hagstrom who led off the inning with a double. That would be the only run surrendered by Grube, who won his fifth-straight start dating back to last season. The senior righthander allowed just seven hits and did not walk a batter en route to the victory.
The Matadors added a run in the seventh off Memphis reliever Brandon Rowan when Raymond Ravago scored on a fielder's choice by Quinn Ciccarelli. Junior Bill Edwards logged a scoreless ninth inning to wrap up the victory for the Tigers.
Hart and Moss joined Welch as the trio of Tigers each had a pair of hits in their season debut. Eberhardt (1-2) took the loss for the Matadors after allowing Welch's home run in the first and walking three batters.
The Tigers return to action Saturday and face No. 7/16 Arizona State at 6 p.m. in day two of the classic.