Tigers Pick Up 7-6 Win at Mississippi State
Feb. 29, 2012
STARKVILLE, Miss. – After leading 6-2 in the eighth, Mississippi State scored four to knot the score at 6-6, but the University of Memphis baseball team scored on a catcher’s interference call in the ninth to win 7-6 at Mississippi State on Wednesday.
The win marked the Tigers’ first victory in Starkville, Miss., since the 1996 season. It is also the Tigers first road win over a SEC opponent since a 2-0 win at Alabama in 2006.
Memphis got a one-out single by Adam McClain in the top of the first, but he was erased trying to go first-to-third on a single to left by Jacob Wilson. Chase Joiner made his first career starter for the Tigers and struck out two batters in the first, but two doubles helped Mississippi State grab a 1-0 lead after one inning.
The Tigers gained their first lead of the game in the third with a three-run inning. Ford Wilson started the inning with a double and Zach Willis hit a hard hit grounder to short that was misplayed putting runners on the corners with no outs. Ethan Gross delivered a RBI-single to even the score at 1-1. With one out and runners on the corners, Jacob Wilson doubled to left to plate two more runs for the U of M.
Joiner allowed three-straight singles in the fourth and Mississippi State cut the lead to 3-2 in the Tigers favor. With runners on first and second and no outs, Joiner fielded a sacrifice bunt attempt and threw out the lead runner at third for the first out. Tigers’ catcher Carter White threw out Brandon Woodruff on an attempted steal of third base and a groundout to second got Joiner out of the jam.
Jacob Wilson’s impressive day continued in the fifth as he picked up his third hit of the night with a home run down the left field line. Gross scored on the play after leading off the inning with a double down the right field line. The Tigers loaded the bases with no outs in the seventh and a bases loaded walk to White made the score 6-2. Memphis mustered just one run in the frame after a double play and strikeout ended the top of the seventh.
Joiner registered the sixth quality start for the Tigers throwing seven innings and allowing two runs on six hits. He struck out eight and walked none in his career long outing. Joiner retired 10 of the last 11 batters he faced.
The Bulldogs scored four runs in the eighth to knot the score at 6-6. A hit batter and walk put two runners on for Daryl Norris who drove both the runners in with a two-run double. Wes Rea followed with a two-run home run to left-center to tie the score. Jonathan Van Eaton entered the game with a runner on first and one out and following a single by Taylor Stark, Van Eaton was able to get out of the jam with a strikeout and flyout.
Memphis regained the lead in the ninth after Jacob Wilson led off the inning with a walk. Eli Hynes followed with a single, but Mississippi State appeared to be close to getting out the jam after a strikeout and fielder’s choice nabbed the go-ahead runner at the plate. T.J. Rich was walked to load the bases and a catcher’s interference allowed the go-ahead run to score.
Van Eaton struck out two of the four batters he faced in the ninth and picked up the win for the Tigers. A two-out single and wild pitch put the potential tying run on second, but Van Eaton forced a game-ending groundout to secure the win.
Jacob Wilson led the Tigers with four hits on the game and five total Tigers had two or more hits. Memphis recorded the most hits against Mississippi State this season as the Tigers out-hit the Bulldogs 13-10.
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Pitcher of the Game
The Tigers return to FedExPark for a three-game weekend series with Bradley. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. on Friday.