Memphis Baseball Outlasts Eastern Illinois, 5-4 to Win AutoZone Classic
March 4, 2007
Eastern Illinois (2-4) 011 010 010 - 4 14 3 Memphis (7-1) 001 121 10X - 5 10 0
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Senior Bill Moss went 2-for-4 with a two-run home run and three RBI to lead Memphis (7-1) to a 5-4 win over Eastern Illinois Sunday afternoon. The Tigers, who claimed the 2007 AutoZone Classic title, have now won seven consecutive games and are off to the program's best start since the 1994 season.
Moss tucked a two-run homer just inside the foul pole to give Memphis a 4-3 lead in the fifth, and from there the Tigers never trailed. Moss' blast was the third of the year and second in as many games for the senior.
Consecutive singles by Irvin and Michael Murray set up an RBI-single from Redshirt freshman Steven Watson, and the Tigers had a two-run cushion at 5-3. The run-scoring base hit was Watson's first career hit and RBI.
EIU threatened in the seventh after DH Ryan Meyer lined a single up the middle and Adam Varrassi walked. Pinch-hitter Brett Nommensen singled through the right side to load the bases. Meyer crossed on a passed ball to make it 5-4, with one out and runners on second and third. However, Tiger reliever Matt Yokley fanned the next batter and induced an inning-ending fly ball to preserve the one-run lead.
Tiger pitching again faced a challenge in the ninth, as the Panthers put together consecutive one out singles. But Will Hudgens was able to force Jordan Kreke to hit into a 1-6-3 double play to end the game. The save is the first of Hudgens' career. He earned a win in his first outing against Missouri on February 25. Yokley picked up his third win in as many decisions after giving up an unearned run in 2.2 innings of relief.
The Tigers will take a day off before hitting the field again on March 6 in the first of a two-game midweek series at Samford University in Birmingham, Ala. First pitch for Tuesday's tilt is set for 2 p.m.