Tiger Baseball Falls to Kentucky, 2-1, in 12 Innings in Service Academies Classic Final
Feb. 29, 2004
Tiger Baseball Falls to Kentucky, 2-1, in 12 Innings in Service Academies Classic Final Five Tiger base runners picked off in loss
Millington, Tenn.-- Kentucky's Spencer Graeter's game-winning RBI-double to the leftfield corner brought home J.B. Schmidt from first base to negate solid pitching and outstanding defense by the University of Memphis baseball team, as the Tigers (3-2) suffered a 2-1 extra-inning loss to Kentucky (7-2) Sunday at the Service Academies Spring Classic. The Wildcats claimed the 2004 Classic championship with the 12-inning win.
The Tigers struck first in the opening frame with a two-out rally. Seniors Josh Payne and Kurt Welch each produced two-out singles before designated hitter Ryan Martin, who went 3-for-5 on the night, plated Payne with a single up the middle to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead.
Kentucky answered with the tying tally in the top half of the second. Jesse Barber and Aaron Edwards drew back-to-back walks. First baseman Michael Bertram then singled through the right side to score Barber and tie the ballgame.
The Tiger defense thwarted a pair of UK scoring threats in the seventh and eighth innings when rightfielder Jordan Hart and second baseman Michael Lewis teamed up in both innings to throw out runners attempting to stretch doubles into triples. Payne would also help hold the Wildcats at bay in the ninth when he robbed Kentucky centerfielder John Shelby of a sure extra base hit with a diving catch.
Bill Edwards (0-1) took the loss on the hill for Memphis, although he pitched a solid 4.0 innings, allowing just one run on two hits and striking out a pair of Wildcats in a losing effort.
Memphis starter Stephen Gostkowski gave up one earned run on two hits and struck out six in 5.0 innings before being relieved by Brandon Rowan in the sixth inning. The crafty lefthander held UK scoreless in 2.2 innings of relief.
Both Hart and Lewis had two hits for the Tigers.
Wildcat reliever Matt Scott improved to 3-0 on the mound, giving up six hits and striking out four in 6.2 innings of scoreless ball in relief of starter Kalen Gibson who gave up one earned run in 5.1 innings.
Payne, Martin and Derek Hankins, who struck out a Tiger record-tying 17 batters against Murray State were each named to the All-Tournament team.
The Tigers will return to action when they travel to Murray, Ky. to battle Murray State in a three-game weekend series beginning on Fri., March 5.
All-Tournament Team Spencer Graeter, Kentucky (MVP) Mike Breyman, Kentucky Seth Stanley, Kentucky Derek Hankins, Memphis Ryan Martin, Memphis Josh Payne, Memphis Nathan DeRohan, Air Force Corby Heckman, Indiana Clayton Couch, Air Force Derrick Newton, Murray State Jeff Lange, Navy