Two-Out Hitting Powers @MemphisBaseball Past Samford, 11-6
Feb. 21, 2014
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Eight two-out RBI sparked the University of Memphis baseball team (5-0) to an 11-6 victory over Samford (1-3) on Friday at Joe Lee Griffin Field.
Two-out hitting was the focus for the Tigers hitters entering Friday's game and the response was impressive. Memphis entered the game having gone 2-for-34 (.059) with two outs, but went 5-for-13 with two outs and produced eight RBI.
Memphis scored six runs in the sixth to break a 5-5 tie. Zach Willis tripled to the rightfield corner with one out and two walks loaded the bases. After a strikeout, Memphis began the two out damage with Kane Barrow being hit by a pitch to score the go-ahead run. Jake Little padded the lead to 8-5 with a two-run single up the middle. A walk to Ethan Gross loaded the bases for Drew Griffin and Griffin roped a bases clearing triple to the leftfield corner to cap the six run frame.
Coming off an upset win at Mississippi State on Wednesday, the Tigers fended off any questions of a letdown in the first inning. Zach Willis worked a one-out walk on four pitches and he stole second to stand in scoring position with two outs. Birmingham native Carter White started his homecoming off with a bang hitting his first career home run over the fence in centerfield to give the Tigers a 2-0 lead.
Designated hitter Bryce Beeler helped the Tigers add to the lead in the second, leading off the frame with a double off the wall in left-centerfield. Beeler advanced to third on a fly out to right field and came around to score on an Ethan Gross single through the left side.
Samford used back-to-back two out walks to threaten in the third, but Memphis starter Jon Reed escaped the jam setting the stage for the Tigers offense in the fourth. Third baseman Drew Griffin rewarded Reed with a leadoff home run to start the inning. Darien Tubbs followed with a walk and advanced to second on a balk. White picked up his third hit and RBI on the afternoon with a single up the middle to give the Tigers a 5-0 lead.
The Bulldogs loaded the bases with no outs in the fourth and managed to score two runs to trim the U of M lead to 5-2 after four innings. Back-to-back singles and a walk loaded the bases before the Tigers turned the double play up the middle allowing one run to score. A two-out double pushed the second run across before Reed stranded the runner at second to end the frame.
Samford scored three runs with one out in the fifth to tie the game at 5-5. A one-out error put a runner on for the Bulldogs and back-to-back home runs led to the tie ballgame. Tripp Martin pulled Samford within one with a blast down the leftfield line before Heath Quinn followed with a solo shot to left-centerfield.
Reed picked up the win after going five innings in his second start of the season. The senior right-hander allowed five runs, four earned, on six hits. Reed struck out four and walked three. Freshman southpaw Ryan Garner was summoned in relief and earned the four-inning save, his first.
Memphis improves to 5-0, marking the first 5-0 start since 2001. This season marks the seventh time in program history that a Memphis club started the season 5-0.
The Tigers look to win the series on Saturday with game two set for a 2 p.m. start in Birmingham, Ala.