Tiger Baseball Outslugs Murray State 14-12
March 11, 2003
Memphis, Tenn.-- - The University of Memphis baseball team belted a season-high four home runs as the Tigers overpowered Murray State 14-12 in a slugfest Tuesday at Nat Buring Stadium. The two teams combined for 26 hits and seven home runs as Memphis (4-7) equaled its season high in runs for the third time in its four wins on the season. The victory over the Thoroughbreds (5-6) snapped a five-game losing streak for Memphis.
Catcher Kurt Welch led the Tigers' offensive attack with a 2-for-5 effort including his first home run in a Memphis uniform. The junior college transfer also knocked in a season-high four RBI.
"We got out to the start that we wanted, but we let them back in the game," Memphis head coach Dave Anderson said. "We are still making mental mistakes, but after they battled back to tie it in the top of the seventh, we answered with six runs in the bottom half and that was good to see."
Leftfielder Chad House provided an early dose of what the afternoon would be like as he clubbed a home run to leadoff the bottom of the first for the Tigers. The home team would add two more runs that frame on RBI singles from shortstop Brent Dlugach and Welch.
Memphis added five more runs in the second to build an 8-0 advantage. Two runs came across on a fielding error by Murray State first baseman Brett McCutchan. An error by second baseman Derrick Newton on a groundball by Kevin House up the middle kept the inning alive for Welch who drove the first pitch he saw deep over the leftfield wall.
McCutchan more than made up for his error in the second inning as he went 5-for-5 at the plate with two home runs and seven RBI. McCutchan helped Murray State pull even at eight in the top of the seventh with his second homer of the game.
The Tigers had an answer though as they plated six runs in bottom of the seventh to build their lead back to six at 14-8. Junior Josh Payne drove in the first run of the inning with a Sacrifice fly that scored Kevin House from third. Rightfielder Jordan Hart than gave Memphis a four-run cushion as he drove in three runs with his third long ball of the season. Hart finished with a 2-for-4 effort at the plate.
Following a single by Ryan Martin, junior third baseman Michael Lewis drove in what proved to be the game-winning runs with a two-run homer to leftfield. For Lewis, it was his third home run of the season. Chad House, along with his replacement in leftfield Martin, also had two hits for the Tigers.
Junior Brandon Rowan picked up the Tigers' first save of the season as he got the final three Murray State batters to fly out to rightfield. Sophomore Michael Novarese (1-2) pitched 1.2 innings to pick up his first win of the season. Sophomore Daniel de Armas started for the Tigers and gave up five runs, two of which were earned, and six hits in five innings of work.
Murray State reliever Greg Gray (1-1) was charged with the loss after allowing three earned runs on three hits in two innings of work.
The Tigers open a six-game homestand at AutoZone Park Wednesday as they play host to the Ole Miss Rebels with first pitch set for 7 p.m. at the downtown ballpark.