Five Run Fourth Backs Jon Reed's Quality Start in 8-4 Win over SEMO
Feb. 28, 2014
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Behind a quality start by right-hander Jon Reed and a five-run fourth inning, Memphis (8-1) defeated Southeast Missouri (6-4) 8-4 on Friday at FedExPark.
Senior third baseman Drew Griffin was 2-for-4 with a home run, two runs scored and three RBI to lead the Tigers. Second baseman Zach Willis was 2-for-3 with an RBI and the Tigers had six players collect an RBI.
SEMO took a 2-0 lead in the third behind three hits in the frame. Two straight singles started the frame, before a foul ball on the bunt put one out on the board. A passed ball pushed the runners to scoring position and a walk loaded the bases. Matt Tellor hit a single up the middle to score two runs, but the Tigers threw out a runner at third for the second out. Memphis escaped further trouble with a strikeout to end the frame.
Memphis responded in the fourth, scoring five runs on five hits to take a 5-2 lead. The Tigers sent 10 batters to the plate with Kane Barrow starting the damage with a one-out double. Bryce Beeler reached on an error and heads up base running allowed him to advance to second. Drew Griffin brought in the Tigers first run with a single to right field and the U of M tied the game at 2-2 with a groundout by Tucker Tubbs.
The Tigers added three more runs with two-out damage. The second error in the frame allowed Griffin to move to third and a bunt single by Darien Tubbs gave Memphis the 3-2 lead. Zach Willis followed with a ground rule double to make it 4-2 and an infield single by Jake Little increased the lead to 5-2.
Memphis added another run in the fifth, coming on a two-out single by Ethan Gross. Tucker Tubbs singled, stole second and scored on the RBI single to give the Tigers a 6-2 advantage. SEMO answered in the sixth with a two-out RBI by Derek Gibson to make it 6-3.
Griffin added two more RBI in the seventh with a two-run home run down the left field line. Bryce Beeler started the inning with a single up the middle and Griffin blasted the first home run for the Tigers at FedExPark this season to increase the Memphis lead to 8-3.
Reed pitched a career-high six innings allowing three runs on eight hits while striking out a career high six and walking just one. With his quality start, Memphis has received a quality start in three of the last four games.
SEMO added a run in the eighth to set the final score of 8-4. Dalton Hewitt walked with two outs and advanced to third on a two-base passed ball. Cole Ferguson drove in the run with a single up the middle. Craig Caufield pitched three innings in relief allowing one unearned run on one hit to earn the save.
With Caufield's save, Memphis has eight saves in nine games. Memphis' bullpen now sports a 3-0 record with eight saves and a 1.56 ERA in 34.2 IP. At 8-1, Memphis is off to its best start since 1994.
The series will be decided on Saturday when the two teams play a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m.