Memphis Shutouts Missouri Behind Moll's Seven Strong Innings
Feb. 22, 2013
Memphis wasted little time, scoring first as the U of M posted a two-run first. Carter White ripped a one-out double down the right field line to extend his hitting streak to five games. Tucker Tubbs, who missed Tuesday’s game with an ankle injury, followed with his second career home run to give Memphis the lead. It was Tubbs’ second career home run and first of the season for the home Tigers.
The Tigers’ offense kept the early momentum as back-to-back one out singles put two runners on base. Zach Willis dropped a single in to right field, but Ethan Gross was thrown out at the plate for the second out. With runners on the corners and two outs, Willis stole second and Ford Wilson attempted to score on the throw to second. The return throw to home nabbed Wilson at the plate ending the frame.
After holding on to a foul-out over the first base dugout railing for the final out in the top of the third, White led off the bottom of the inning with a single to left field. Drew Griffin extended his hit streak to five games with a double to left to plate White and give Memphis the 3-0 lead. Bryce Beeler followed and was hit by a pitch to put two on with two out. Memphis attempted the double steal to move both runners to scoring position, but Griffin was thrown out at third.
Moll worked the first three innings without allowing a hit, but Missouri changed that quickly in the fourth. Dane Opel ripped a leadoff triple down the first base line for Missouri. Moll fanned the next batter he faced and a pop out had the junior southpaw an out away from escaping the jam. With a full count, Moll hit Shane Segovia with the payoff pitch to put runners on the corners. Dylan Kelly pushed Moll to the brink as he had a nine pitch at-bat that included six foul balls. The ninth pitch went to Moll as he struck out Kelly to end the inning.
Memphis added to the lead in the sixth with a pair of runs to increase the lead to 5-0. Beeler led off the inning with a single and Jake Little followed with his first career triple to drive in his first career run. With two outs and Little on third, Wilson ripped a single up the middle to plate the second run of the inning. Wilson’s hit was the Tigers’ 11th in the game, marking a season-high hit total.
Willis delivered his third hit of the day with a double to lead off the bottom of the seventh. With the hit, Willis tied his career high and came around to score later in the inning. White reached on an infield single, his third hit of the day for his career high. Willis moved to third and scored on a Tubbs’ sacrifice fly. Missouri appealed the sacrifice fly to third, thinking Willis left early, but the throw to third was wide and rolled into the Missouri bullpen, allowing pinch-runner Austin Hatfield to go from first to third on the error. Hatfield tried to score on a flyout to right field, but became the fourth Memphis player thrown out at the plate.
After working out of trouble in the fourth, Moll retired the next nine batters he faced to get Memphis to the eighth inning. He recorded his 13th career quality start as he allowed just one hit over seven innings. He walked one and struck out five. Memphis and Missouri square off in game two of the series on Saturday at 2 p.m.
Game Notes: Carter White and Drew Griffin extended hitting streaks to five games, respectively. Carter White was 3-for-4 marking a career high in hits. All nine Memphis starters collected hits in the game, the first time Memphis has done that this season and first time since May 19, 2012 at Houston. Ford Wilson had two hits in the game, his first multi-hit game of the season and 11th of his career. Carter White had multiple hits for the third time in five games and 10th time of his career while Drew Griffin had multiple hits for the third time this season. With three RBI, Tucker Tubbs recorded his fifth career multi-RBI game, first of the 2013 season. Sam Moll recorded his 13th career quality start and 11th start where pitched seven or more innings. It was also Moll’s 11th outing where he struck out five or more batters.