Tigers Erase 3-0 Deficit with Seven-Run Fifth in Win Over Buffalo
March 8, 2013
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Six runs with two outs in the fifth inning capped a seven-run inning as Memphis (8-4) erased a 3-0 deficit to defeat Buffalo (6-5) 7-4 at FedExPark, Friday.
After four innings in which the leadoff man reach and nothing to show for it, Memphis put seven runs on the board in the fifth to take control the game. With runners on the corners and no outs, the Tigers executed a perfect suicide squeeze to break into the scoring column. After a hit batter loaded the bases and a groundout put two outs on the board, Ethan Gross hit with two runners in scoring position. Gross fell behind in the count one ball and two strikes, but battled back to work a walk that loaded the bases. In the 15 pitch at-bat, Gross fouled off eight, two-strike pitches before taking the freebie.
The Tigers cashed in after Gross' at-bat, plating six runs on three hits. Nate Rupiper walked with the bases loaded to cut the lead to 3-2 before Bryce Beeler cleared the bases with a three-run double down the right field line. Beeler ended up on third after an errant throw to the plate, but Beeler scored on Tucker Tubbs RBI double. Keaton Aldridge added the Tigers seventh run of the inning with a RBI single, the sixth two-out RBI in the frame.
Buffalo put together a two-out rally to get on the scoreboard in the first inning. Tyler Mautner roped a single to right field and took a wide turn at first. The Tigers noticed his wide turn and tried to throw him out, but the throw to first was errant allowing Mautner to advance to second. Alex Baldock placed a double just inside the left-field foul line and Buffalo grabbed the 1-0 lead.
The Bulls added two runs in the third to take the 3-0 lead, but Memphis starter Sam Moll settled in, allowing just three base runners over the next three frames. Moll fanned seven in the first three frames and added five strikeouts over the next three innings to set a new career high of 12 strikeouts. With the win, Moll matches his career-high win streak of three games as he improves to 3-1 on the season.
Connor Porter came on in relief of Moll and earned his first save of the season, going three innings and striking out three batters. Porter scattered four hits in three innings and Buffalo was able to plate one run in the ninth to set the final score of 7-4.
Aldridge collected his fifth multi-hit game of the season as he led the U of M with two hits on the day. Beeler had three RBI which tied his career-high and match his season total entering the game.
With three of four runs allowed, the Tiger pitching staff has match the 2007 pitchers for the longest streak of allowing three earned runs or less in 10-straight games. With Moll's 12 strikeouts and Porters three added to it, the Tiger pitchers matched a single-game season high with 15 strikeouts.
The Tigers go for their third-straight series victory tomorrow with a doubleheader scheduled for 1 p.m. Game two of the doubleheader follows approximately 45 minutes after the conclusion of game one.