Sam Moll Leads Tigers to Fifth-Straight Win, 4-2 Over ULM
March 1, 2013
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Behind seven shutout innings from Sam Moll, Memphis (6-3) won its fifth-straight game with a 4-2 victory over ULM (5-4) Friday at FedExPark.
Moll cruised through the first four innings as he allowed just a one out single in the second inning. The junior southpaw worked around a leadoff walk in the fifth with a fielder's choice, pop out and his seventh strikeout through five innings. In the sixth, ULM hit three-straight one out singles to load the bases. All three singles went toward second base, but a fourth hit that way got Moll out of the inning with the double play.
Memphis broke the pitcher's duel in the fourth as Zach Willis started the inning with a single through the left side of the infield. A bunt attempt was popped up for the first out, but Bryce Beeler followed with a single to right field. Willis advanced to third and just beat the throw that allowed Beeler to advance to second. Tucker Tubbs delivered the go-ahead RBI with a single to left field and Drew Griffin grounded out to second to score Beeler and the Tigers took a 2-0 lead to the fifth.
Little helped the Tigers increase the lead to 3-0 in the sixth as he led off the frame with a single. On the first pitch to Beeler, Little stole second and moved to third on a fly out by Beeler. Tubbs picked up his second RBI of the evening with a groundout to short and Little scored for the 3-0 Tigers lead.
The Tigers had a chance to add insurance runs in the seventh, but the U of M stranded two runners on base to take a 3-0 lead to the eighth. Keaton Aldridge started the seventh with an infield single and moved to second a sacrifice bunt by Ford Wilson. Colton Simbeck was hit by a pitch, but Warhawks reliever Trey Setzer retired the next two batters on fly outs to end the frame.
Moll's day was done after his second-straight start in which he didn't allow a run in seven innings. The Tigers went to reliever Heith Hatfield. ULM got a leadoff single from Josh Faciane and Dalton Herrington followed with a two-run homer to cut the Tigers lead to 3-2. Hatield sat down the next three hitters in order to keep Memphis on top.
Memphis closer Jonathan Van Eaton came on for his fourth save opportunity in the ninth. After a leadoff walk, Van Eaton struck out the next two batters before a groundout ended the game. With his third save of the season, Van Eaton is three saves shy of tying Matt Yokley for the school record of 14.
Beeler and Aldridge paced the Memphis offense with two hits each as the Tigers out-hit ULM 8-7. Tubbs had two RBI while Aldridge and Griffin added the other two. Game two of the series is set for 2 p.m. at FedExPark Saturday. Admission is FREE with spring football practice starting at the Murphy Athletic Complex at 11 a.m.
Game Notes - Memphis scored first for the eighth time in nine games this season. Sam Moll pitched seven or more innings in back-to-back starts for the seventh time in his career. The start was his 14th quality start and second-consecutive such start. Moll improved to 8-4 in his career at home and sports a 2.08 ERA on the home field. Keaton Aldridge had two hits, his third-straight game with two or more hits and 10th such game in his career. Bryce Beeler had two hits in a game for the second time this season and third time in his career.