Baseball Drops Fourth Straight, 10-6 to MTSU
March 13, 2002
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Memphis baseball fell into its second four-game losing streak of the season after dropping a 10-6 decision to Middle Tennessee State at AutoZone Park on Wednesday afternoon.
At 3-8, the Tigers are off to the third-worst start in school history. The 1995 squad, which turned things around to finish the season 32-28 and won the Great Midwest Tournament title, started the season with an identical record. The 1971 Tigers started the season 2-9 and finshed 11-29, while the 2000 Tigers had the worst start of any U of M squad, with a 1-10 record through 11 games.
Despite the loss, the Tigers may have developed some much-needed momentum heading into their conference-opening series with Louisville this weekend. Memphis collected five runs and all 10 of their hits in the last five innings, including back-to-back home runs by freshman Ryan Martin and sophomore Josh Payne in the bottom of the ninth.
Payne has been a part of both of Memphis' consecutive home run combos this season, he and freshman shortstop Brent Dlugach went back-to-back in a 6-3 win over Air Force at the Service Academies Classic.
Senior catcher Barrett Smith broke-out of a season-long hitting slump, going 3-for-5 with a run scored. Martin was 2-for-4 with a run scored and three RBI, while Payne and junior first baseman Andy Gesell each had two hits.
The Tigers used six pitchers, most notably sophomore right-hander Matt Fry, who hurled a perfect eighth inning.
The Tigers open Conference USA play this weekend when they head to Lousville, Ky., for a three-game set with the Cardinals, beginning Friday night at 2 p.m.