Memphis Baseball Splits Doubleheader At Easton/USA Challenge
March 13, 2004
The University of Memphis baseball team split a doubleheader Saturday in its final round action of the Easton/USA Challenge blasting Wake Forest 15-3 in the first game before dropping a 3-2 decision to Missouri in the nightcap. The Tigers (10-3) had their seven-game winning streak snapped in game two as centerfielder Josh Payne drove in six runs and had four hits in the two contests.
Game One vs. Wake Forest
Wake Forest (8-7) grabbed a short-lived 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first when shortstop Ben Ingold hit a three-run shot after Memphis starter Derek Hankins (2-1) allowed a leadoff walk to Nick Blue and a single to Matt Antonelli. Hankins regrouped after yielding the 3-0 lead to strikeout the side in the first.
Hankins allowed just two hits over the next six innings to pick up his second win of the season as he finished with four strikeouts. Wake starter Kyle Young (2-1) dropped his first decision of the season surrendering eight earned runs on eight hits in four innings of work.
The Tigers erased the Deamon Deacons' three-run lead with a trio of their own runs in the second as they went on to score 15 unanswered runs in the contest. Michael Lewis drove in the first run with a sacrifice fly and Dlugach added the next two with his first home run of the season driving in Scott, who had singled.
After a scoreless third inning by both teams, Memphis pushed its lead to 8-3 in the fourth following an RBI-single by Chad House and Payne's second grand slam of his career. Payne launched the ball just inside the leftfield foul pole to increase his team-leading RBI total to 16.
Memphis added five more runs on five hits in the eighth to take a commanding 15-3 lead. Amar had his second RBI-single of the contest and Scott added a two-run double before Dlugach capped off the scoring with a run-scoring single.
Game Two vs. Missouri
Memphis manufactured a run in the bottom of the first to take a 1-0 lead. House singled, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Hart, took third on a wild pitch and scored on a sacrifice fly by Payne.
A pair of Gostkowski walks did not harm the Tiger starter as he got out of the jam unscathed in the second after inducing an inning-ending double play. The sophomore did not allow a hit until the fourth inning when James Boone lined a two-out single to center.
Hart led off the fourth for Memphis with a triple to the rightfield gap and came across to score when Payne lofted his second sacrifice fly of the game to center.
Gostkowski worked five-plus innings allowing just one hit before giving way to Zach Cook in the top of the sixth. Cook entered the contest after Gostkowski's fifth walk of the contest and forced Lee Laskowski to ground into a double play and got Boone to ground out to short to end the frame.
Entering the eighth inning, Boone had Missouri's only two hits, but the MU Tiger bats got going as they took a 3-2 lead on a trio of hits and a sacrifice fly. Cody Ehlers and Laskowski drove in the first two runs with singles and pinchhitter Adam Garrett came through with a sacrifice fly to leftfield.
Missouri starter Erik Dessau (3-1) gave way to the bullpen in the top of the eighth after allowing just two runs on six hits and striking out three Tigers. Taylor Parker pitched two scoreless innings to pick up his second save of the season. Bill Edwards (0-2) took the loss for Memphis after allowing a pair of runs on three hits in a third of an inning.
The Tigers return to action with their first official home game when they will host Ole Miss at AutoZone Park on St. Patrick's Day, Wednesday.