Tiger Baseball Falls 7-2 at No. 18 Ole Miss
March 2, 2010
OXFORD, Tenn. -
Memphis (2-5) 200 000 000 - 2 3 0 No. 18 Ole Miss (7-1) 101 002 21x - 7 8 0
Three Ole Miss pitchers combined to strike out 15 Memphis hitters en route to a 7-2 defeat of the Tigers Tuesday night in non-conference action at Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field. Memphis falls to 2-5, while 18th-ranked Ole Miss improves to 7-1 on the young year.
The loss was Memphis' 13th-straight setback to the Rebels dating back to the 2004 season. Since the 1999 season, Ole Miss has claimed 21 of 24 games.
Rebel's starter Matt Tracy was stifling, striking out 10, while walking three and giving up three hits in five innings. He gave way to reliever Matt Crouse, who continued the dominance of the Tiger offense. Crouse pitched just 1.1 innings, but struck out three. Brett Huber and Eric Callender fanned one batter each.
Memphis got out of the gates quickly behind a leadoff double by Drew Martinez and a walk by Chad Zurcher. Senior Trey Wiedman lined a single down the leftfield line to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead. Zurcher then scored on a passed ball.
Tim Ferguson and Ole Miss answered with a run in the first. Ferguson led off the inning with an infield single and moved to second on a groundball out. A balk by Tiger starter Heith Hatfield allowed him to advance to third and another ground out allowed him to score to make it 2-1.
Ferguson struck again in the third--this time belting a solo home run into the home bullpen in leftfield to knot the set at 2-2.
The Rebels took advantage of Hatfield's inability find the strike zone in sixth to gain control of the game. Hatfield issued back-to-back walks to Matt Smith and Matt Snyder to lead off the frame and then walked David Phillips to load the bases. An RBI-single off the bat of Alex Yarbrough put the Rebels on top 3-2. Ole Miss gained a two-run cushion on a fielder's choice groundball.
The Rebels tacked on two more runs in the seventh behind consecutive doubles by Smith and Snyder, followed by an RBI-single by Houston High School product Zach Miller.
Hatfield falls to 1-2 on the year after giving up four runs (all earned) in 5.1 innings. The sophomore fanned six, but walked five in his first start of the year. Marcus Barnes provided the Tigers with damage control in the sixth, holding the Rebels to just two runs after entering the game with the bases loaded and one out. The southpaw struck out a pair in 1.1 shutout innings and allowed just one hit.
Memphis will now prepare to play four games in four days at FedExPark, beginning Fri., Mar. 5. The Tigers will open a three-game weekend set versus Oakland before playing a rare Monday game against Portland. Weekend game times are slated for 4 p.m., 2 p.m. and 1 p.m. Monday's game, which was originally scheduled for 3 p.m., has been moved to 12 p.m. to accommodate Portland's travel plans.