Three First Inning Runs Enough For Alabama in Win Over Memphis
March 13, 2013
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama (9-8) scored three runs in the first and held off Memphis (10-6) for a 4-2 win on Wednesday in Tuscaloosa, Ala. With the loss, Memphis dropped its first game against SEC (5-1) opponents this season.
A two-out three-run double by Kyle Overstreet staked Alabama to a 3-0 lead in the first inning. Memphis starter Michael Wills struck out the first batter he faced, but he walked the next batter on four-straight pitches to open the door. Ben Moore followed with a single, but Wills got a fly out to put two outs on the board. A two-out walk loaded the bases before Overstreet delivered the three-run double to left-centerfield giving the Crimson Tide the 3-0 advantage.
After Alabama put together a two-out rally to put two runners in scoring position, Wills escaped the jam sending some momentum to the Tiger dugout. Drew Griffin got the U of M into the hit column in a big way as he belted his first career home run over the left field fence with one out in the third. The home run marked the fourth-straight game the Tigers hit a home run after collecting one home run in the first 12 games.
The Tigers failed to get a leadoff man on base to start an inning until Zach Willis hit a leadoff double in the sixth. With one out in the inning, Alabama starter Tucker Hawley uncorked a wild pitch to advance Willis to third. With two strikes on Bryce Beeler at the plate, Hawley threw an inside pitch, but the ball got past the catcher allowing Willis to score, cutting the deficit to 3-2.
Memphis had a golden opportunity to tie the game at 3-3, but couldn’t cash in on the chance. Keaton Aldridge started the seventh with a single and moved to second after Carter White’s bunt. Alabama’s catcher elected to throw to second, but Aldridge beat the throw. With two on and no out, Ford Wilson was out on three fouled off bunt attempts and a fielder’s choice at second put two outs on the board and Tigers on the corners. Alabama reliever Jake Hubbard ended the frame by forcing Ethan Gross to fly out to right and the Crimson Tide hung on to the 3-2 lead.
Senior pitcher Heith Hatfield took over for Wills in the third inning and was effective as he allowed only two hits in 4.2 innings pitched to get the game to the bottom of the eighth. Alabama was able to scratch across one run in the eighth on a squeeze bunt to take a 4-2 lead.
Six different Tigers collected hits in the game and each team finished with six hits.
Memphis returns to FedExPark to host 2012 NCAA College World Series participant Kent State in a three-game series that begins Friday at 6:30 p.m.