Strong Pitching Leads Memphis to Sixth-Straight Win, 3-1 Over ULM
March 2, 2013
For the ninth time in 10 games, Memphis jumped to an early lead on the opposition as two ULM errors led to two runs. Zach Willis started it off with a double down the right field line and he came around to score on a throwing error that allowed Nate Rupiper to reach third. Tucker Tubbs dropped a single into right field to score Rupiper, but a double play ended the frame.
Memphis failed to increase the lead third as they left the bases loaded. Rupiper singled and Bryce Beeler followed with a double to put two Tigers in scoring position with one out. A strikeout put two outs on the board, but a two out walk loaded the bases. Warhawks' starter Cale Wine later induced a groundout to third to escape the third inning jam.
The Tigers left two more in scoring position in the fourth, but Wine again escaped the trouble. Ethan Gross was hit by a pitch with one out and Ford Wilson reached on a bunt single. A groundout moved each runner to scoring position. Rupiper hit a tailing foul ball down to the right field corner, but ULM outfielder Taylor Abdalla crashed into the Tiger bullpen fence and made the catch to end the inning.
Schoenrock retired the first eight batters he faced before ULM got a hit on the board with two outs in the third. An error in the fourth allowed the only other Warhawks' baserunner in the first four innings. In the 5th, ULM put together a two-out rally with the help of a walk and single. With runners on first and second, Dudley grounded out to third to end the fifth.
ULM got the bats going in the seventh to cut the Tigers lead to 2-1. After a leadoff walk and sacrifice bunt put a runner on second with one out, the Warhawks used back-to-back singles to score a run and put runners on the corners. Schoenrock escaped the jam with a double play ball to shortstop for his first career quality start.
The Tiger bullpen posted two shutout innings in relief of Schoenrock as Conner Porter worked a scoreless eighth inning allowing just a walk. Blake Myers fanned the first batter in the top of the ninth and Jonathan Van Eaton completed the two-out save for his fourth of the season. With his four saves, Van Eaton is now three saves shy of tying Matt Yokley for the career saves record.
Rupiper and Beeler paced the Memphis offense with two hits on the day. Rupiper scored two runs while Beeler chipped in with two doubles. Tubbs had two RBI or the Tigers in the win and the U of M out-hit ULM 9-4.
Memphis and ULM meet in the series finale on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Game Notes - The Tigers scored first for the ninth time in 10 games this season. Erik Schoenrock allowed one run over seven innings of work to register his first career quality start. Nate Rupiper had two hits on the afternoon for his second multi-hit game of the season and fifth of his career. Bryce Beeler had two doubles in the game marking the first time that a Tiger hitter had two doubles in a game since Eli Hynes did it at Missouri on May 13, 2012. The sixth game win streak marks the eighth since 2000 that stretches six or more games.