Big Innings Lift @MemphisBaseball Past Samford, 8-3
Feb. 23, 2014
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Two big innings helped Memphis (6-1) series clinching 8-3 victory at Samford (2-4) on Sunday at Joe Lee Griffin Field.
The Tigers trailed 3-1 in the sixth before the bats came to life. Two walks got the inning started and Kane Barrow lofted a single to leftfield to load the bases. Two RBI groundouts, by Carter White and pinch-hitter Nate Rupiper, tied the game at 3-3 before Ethan Gross roped a single to right field to drive in the go-ahead run.
Memphis added four runs in the seventh to take an 8-3 lead. Jake Little led off the frame with a double and the Tigers scored two before the Bulldogs got an out. Little came around to score on a single by Darien Tubbs and Tubbs moved around to third, advancing on the throw plus a Samford error. Zach Willis struck out, but reached on a wild pitch to keep the inning alive. A fielder’s choice allowed Tubbs to score from third, but Samford failed to get an out. Keaton Aldridge drove in another run for the Tigers with a groundout and a wild pitch scored the fourth run.
Samford swatted two doubles off the outfield wall to take a 1-0 lead and a single drove in a second run. Memphis starter Dylan Toscano settled in two strikeout the next three batters to limit the damage to 2-0 after one inning.
The Tigers got one run back in the third, to trim the deficit to 2-1. Drew Griffin doubled down the leftfield line and an infield single by Jake Little put runners on the corners with one out. Darien Tubbs skied a fly ball to centerfield and Griffin tagged and scored to plate the run. Little stole second and third, but was stranded on third to end the frame.
The Bulldogs added to their lead in the fourth, but Toscano limited more damage by holding the score at 3-1. Memphis responded in the sixth, scoring three runs to grab a 4-3 lead. Toscano finished with five innings and allowed three runs on six hits while striking out a career-high six batters. Blake Myers tossed a scoreless sixth. Blackwood entered in the seventh, closing out the game earning his second save without allowing a hit.
Memphis had five stolen bases in the game, the most since swiping six bags against Evansville on February 18, 2011. At 6-1, Memphis is off to its best start since a 7-1 start in 2007. Gross and Little paced the Tigers offense, each collecting two hits. Darien Tubbs had two RBI and scored two runs.
The Tigers return to FedExPark for a four-game homestand that begins Tuesday with a 4 p.m. matchup with Belmont.