Tigers Come Up Short In Series Finale Against Buffalo, 9-8
March 9, 2013
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Jake Little was 4-for-4 with three RBI, but a four-run eighth helped Buffalo (7-6) to a 9-8 victory in the series finale against Memphis (9-5), Saturday at FedExPark.
Buffalo jumped to an early lead 2-0 lead after three innings of seeing three different Tiger pitchers. In the first, Buffalo plated a run on a RBI double from Tyler Mautner. The run was the first earned run in 13 innings by starter Alex Gunn, but the junior right-hander stranded Mautner at second to end the inning. In the third, Mautner hit a leadoff home run off of freshman Colin Lee to make it 2-0. Lee hit a batter and walked another, but a groundout and strikeout put two outs on the board. Jon Reed came in and stranded the runners there with a strikeout out of the bullpen.
Memphis scored four runs in the fourth to take control of the game. Nate Rupiper started the rally with a single, but was retired on the fielder’s choice. Tucker Tubbs singled with one out and Keaton Aldridge hit a grounder to first that was misplayed, allowing a run to score. With runners on the corners and one out, Jake Little roped a single down the left field line to tie the game and he scored on a RBI single by Ford Wilson. The Tigers added the fourth run of the inning on Drew Griffin’s sacrifice fly, carrying a 4-2 lead to the fifth.
Little quickly made it 5-2, hitting his second home run of the doubleheader to lead off the fifth inning. For Little, it was his sixth RBI on the day, including both games of the doubleheader. Ford Wilson was hit by a pitch and stole second and third base. He scored on a safety squeeze bunt by Zach Willis to make it 6-2. Little added his third RBI of the game in the sixth on a double down the left field line that scored pinch-runner Austin Hatfield.
Buffalo didn’t go away as the Bulls scored four runs, all with two outs to take an 8-7 lead. A sac fly plated the first run and a double by Mautner added another. Mautner scored the tying run after an errant throw at first base, and the Bulls grabbed the lead after a passed ball allowed the runner to cross home.
The Tigers tried to rally in the ninth, as Buffalo intentionally walked Little to load the bases, but the next two Memphis hitters each recorded a fly out, stranding all three runners on the bags. In all five of Memphis’ losses, the potential tying run has been on base after tonight’s game.
Memphis travels to Tuscaloosa, Ala., for a two-game midweek set with Alabama. First pitch is at 6:05 p.m. on Tuesday.